There are quite a few funny stories about Dads and their attempts at homemaking in our family folklore. Like the one about a dad who served the children sausages and eggs for dinner every night (for quite a number of nights) when his wife was in hospital because that is all he knew how to cook. Or the dad who was changing the nappy of a toddler eating a chocolate biscuit and let’s just say he was handed a piece of biscuit to share that turned out not to be biscuit!
And while these stories might make us giggle, even on the two hundred and thirty seventh retelling, there is no denying that when it comes to being left in charge of the parenting or homemaking, most Dads do it differently. Not necessarily better or worse…just differently to the way Mums do it.
Where I am a bit of a routine junkie, especially when it comes to food and sleeping, Dad 101 is much more flexible. When he is in charge all the regular things happen, just not necessarily in the order, timeframe or style that I would have them happen. And from what I hear from other Mums, that tends to be pretty common.
For example, two weekends ago I (along with quite a number of Australian mamas) headed interstate to a blogging conference and by all accounts the papas who were left at home with small people did a fine job. I heard the story of one Dad who admirably managed a night with a vomiting preschooler and the next day had big boxes out for a spot of imaginary play. Another took three children aged 6 and under to the museum for the day.
And at our house? There were excursions to the swimming pool (where Dad 101 may or may not have missed catching Immy – who can’t swim independently – as she jumped to him in the pool) and into the city for sushi lunch and a visit to Daddy’s work.
There was paint. And glitter
There was Immy’s favourite dinner – yellow rice…albeit in front of the television.
And when they picked my up from the airport she was wearing mismatched clothes and it looked like her hair hadn’t been brushed for the four days I was away.
But she was happy and full of stories to tell and really that is all that matters.
As for Dad 101. He used to say that he would love to be a stay-at-home-Dad…
Now he says he could never survive being home fulltime!
How does your partner manage the children and household when you are away?