Twin Dad Confession: I would not want my wife’s job.
I have a confession to make: Even if it was a paid-position, I would not want my wife’s job.
When we delivered boy-girl twins in August, she became a full time, stay at home mom. When I think of a full-time job, I think of 40-50 hours per week, but the truth is that she works way more than 50 hours per week. And she does double the work, because like I said, there are two babies to care for. twin dad confession
My wife was a full-time nanny for twelve years. She played the role of parent for twelve hours each day while their real parents were at work. She took them to the doctor, took them to their practices, took them on day trips, worked overnight shifts when parents were traveling, and did everything else that parents do for their kids. But now she does it for her own children. Two babies, one mom, and no salary.
Because she had “been in the business” for twelve years, she knew this would be exhausting. My schedule as a teacher allowed me to assist her for three weeks before I returned to school, and by the end of the third week, I was secretly relieved that I would be back in the classroom. twin dad confession
I might be the first teacher, in the history of all teachers, to look forward to the new school year. It’s common knowledge that teachers love their jobs for three main reasons: June, July, and August; but now, September never seemed so sweet to me.
At school, I could have some time to myself in the morning to read the news, grade papers, and do almost anything else I wanted to do. At home, there was no time for “me time”, which meant Mom has no time for this either. twin dad confession
Wait, it gets better (or worse). I was even lucky enough to spend two hours after school running with the cross country team I coached. Run? Mom didn’t have time to run. In fact, she had to play the role of Super Mom for two more hours because of me.
This wasn’t a fair arrangement and I was well aware of it. I apologized pretty much every day when I came home and I thanked her each day for taking such amazing care of our babies. She knew that I meant those things, but she also knew that I knew how lucky I was to have the escape that a full-time job offered me. twin dad confession
When I arrived home each day, she would kindly remind me to wash my hands and then instruct me on which baby to take. It wasn’t like a relay race where she would pass me the baton and then get off the track. It was more like a team effort where the sub-par teammate (me) came in from the sidelines to help out the team.
If what I did could actually be considered “helping”. In fact, not even once did she dump the babies on me and leave the house when I came home, which is probably what I would have done if our roles were reversed. I was so relieved that I was teamed up with this woman, this hero, who could tackle this exhausting job day after day after day. I’m sure I wouldn’t make it past Day 2. twin dad confession
Thankfully, life was always good about smacking me with a dose of reality whenever I forgot how lucky I was. There were a few times when Mom had to leave the house without taking the babies. She was usually going to a doctor’s appointment or maybe going to an engagement where she couldn’t bring children.
Before she left, she would tell me when the babies should be put down for a nap, when I should try to feed them, and what signs I should look out for if I wanted to avoid any meltdowns. twin dad confession
I followed her instructions to the letter, but sometimes the babies didn’t. She would come home and ask why Baby B was still awake. I would tell her that he wouldn’t fall asleep. Then, when Baby B was off his routine for the entire day, making everything much harder, she would remind me that this is why the babies have schedules.
My presence on the weekend consistently threw off their schedules, making me feel like an intruder. It became very obvious after a while, so I began referring to myself as the Weekend Nanny. Eventually, I learned to respect the schedule. If she could do it each and every day, by herself, then I should be able to do it for an hour or two, right?
Well, I finally got it! Mom would walk in the door and I would beam as I told her that both babies were sleeping, they both ate (most) of their bottles, and that I hadn’t even turned the TV on once!
Then I would tell her that I forgot to feed the dogs, that I hadn’t brushed my teeth, and that I was sorry for taking out every toy, Boppy, and blanket that we owned. She does this by herself, five days a week, for 13 hours. And she loves it! Unreal.
Oh and she’s exclusively pumping for our twins too. No, the world does not stop for ten hours of the day so she can pump in peace. She carries her pump and makes the most of it, as long as she’s within the limit of the 15 ft extension cord.
Exhausting as it is, I really do love my time at home and I cherish every second of it. It took me almost three months to realize that my time at home isn’t really my time anymore, but I’m glad I finally came around and learned this.
At first, I would try to cross out items on my weekend to-do list, only to accomplish none of them. Frustrated, I tried waking up earlier, as if that was even possible, but I paid the price for that. Finally, I learned to let things go.
One weeknight, I told my wife that I love being a dad during the week. I meant that I loved spending all night with her and the babies and all of the craziness that ensued, but I was still clinging to the weekends and my desire to get stuff done. It was stuff that pertained mostly to me, like maintaining the yard and making fancy meals, but I needed it. Or I thought I did.
I’m pleased to say that I’ve let go of most of those things. Of course, they’ll get done, but maybe just not when I want them to get done. I finally got it through my thick head that the weekends are most enjoyable for me when I make my family the first thing on my to-do list, just like Mom does every single day. If some of the other things get done, great. If not, oh well.
And besides, there’s always Monday.
Keith Lex is a high school teacher who loves distance running, home brewing, and being a dad of twins, although he hasn’t accomplished the first two since he became a dad of twins. He and his wife Megg have been married for eight years and enjoy spending time with their boy/girl twins, Griffin and Scout, along with their bulldog and golden doodle. They have become multitasking aficionados and love their new lives as parents of twins. You can also follow him on Instagram.