A few days ago I was able to listen in on a such a validating conversation. I took Toby to Arctic Circle so he could get all his pent-up energy out on their play place, since the weather has been a little less than ideal: rain, snow, rain, snow, lots of wind, random sunshine, and repeat... Anyway, as I sat there watching Toby go up and down the slide I couldn't help but tune into a conversation between two dads. Dad #1 was a stay-at-home dad and Dad #2 (from what I could gather) worked from home. The conversation went something like this:
Dad #1: "Man, I am so ready to go back to work. These kids are wearing me out."
Dad #2 "How much longer til you are done with school?"
Dad #1 "One more semester and then I am done. I hope I can make it. I tell you what staying at home is HARD. The constant fighting, refusing to nap, no time for me to do anything for myself..."
Dad #2 "Yeah I know what you mean. It's amazing how many dad's think being at home with the kids is easy. In reality, going to work is a lot easier to me. It's almost like a mini-vacation."
At this point I was just beaming over in the corner (while still trying to pretend I wasn't listening). I almost wanted to tap Dad #2 on the shoulder and ask, "Excuse me, but can you repeat what you just said? I didn't quite catch it." Just so I could revel once more in the huge compliment to mom's everywhere. Now let me clarify something. I am not saying that men have no challenges or stress with being "the breadwinner" or that mom's who work full-time or attend school don't have their own hardships either. I only wanted to share this because as a mom who is currently able to be at home with my son, I felt so appreciated and flattered by his words. It was like someone gave me a pat on the back and said: "You got a tough job and I have complete respect for all the hard work you do day in and day out."
After I left I kept thinking I wished I had a tape recorder because I am sure woman everywhere would have loved to hear such a priceless exchange between two dads. I guess my blog is the next best thing. :)
Happy Mother's Day!