There was this one time, and ONE TIME ONLY, when my daughter was about three months old, that my husband walked through the door, took a look around the house and said, “What have you been doing all day?”
It could have been my death-stare, or very possibly the three-hour-long meltdown where I kept crying / shouting / throwing shit (literally – I threw a shitty nappy at him) that ensured that he NEVER ask that question again.
In hindsight, my reaction was a little over the top, but like many mums I was in the throes of sleep-deprivation, adjusting to the upheaval of my ‘normal’ life and feeling under-appreciated, unattractive and totally overwhelmed.
The hardest part is that as a stay-at-home mum, it can be difficult to actually answer that question – even though any partner who values their life should know better than to ever ask. It’s hard to answer because often, the nappy-changing, tummy-time, meal-time, bath-time, story-time and nap-time routine can become so monotonous that they can blur into one, loooong moment and before you know it, it’s 6pm and you still have bits of Cornflakes in your hair and you’re still wearing the same pair of undies from the night before.
It’s not like that for all mums, I know, but it can be that way for many.
This is why we’ve fallen in love with Tony Emms, a dad from Northumberland in the UK, who snapped a picture of his sleeping partner and their baby when he walked in the door from work. He then posted that picture to Facebook with the following caption:
“I sometimes don’t give this woman the credit she is due. When I come from work she is always “tired.” Now, it’s me who has been at work doing stuff all day, but lately I’ve been thinking what this amazing woman does while I’m out…surely she just sits with the baby and watches tv and has a chilled day, right? NO is the answer.
“When I leave for work she fears woken up by me and has to spring straight in to action to get up and get her self sorted for the hectic day she has…so gets up. Baby is kicking off cause he is hungry but so is she. She doesn’t eat but baby does, then sits and plays with him, then changed a disgusting nappy, then plays again, he falls asleep. Brilliant mummy can have a nap, no she doesn’t – she does the washing, cleans up baby’s toys and starts washing the pots from the night before. Baby wakes up and is hungry – mummy hasn’t had breakfast but she still doesn’t eat. She gets baby set for his lunch, after his lunch he then wants attention and plays…remember mummy still hasn’t eaten..all the cleaning she done earlier is now time wasted as baby’s toys are everywhere.
“I come home from working and get annoyed that I have to tidy up and say “mummy hasn’t done anything” yet she has worked her ass off all day to make sure the baby is healthy and happy. If any other daddy’s out there feel like me, think about what you’ve done and what mummy has done. Respect the mother of your child. She is a special type of human that has given up everything to bring up your baby. I truly love my 2 sleeping baby’s and they both deserve their rest.”
Nice work Tony, nice work indeed.
Do you ever feel under-appreciated as a mum?
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