Yesterday we had an open day at my kindergarten. An open day is when parents who haven’t registered can come to experience the place hands on. They can come see the place and ask questions. So as you can imagine, it is an all-day affair and you have to be on your feet, talking all day to parents.
I loved it. No complains there. But, it was exhausting!
After the event ended, it’s Asr time already. But I have to take a nap, so we decided to go home for a quick shut eye. Arrived home, and went straight to my room. Door locked. Head on the pillow.
30 seconds passed.
Someone knocked the door. It’s my son. I can’t remember what he wanted, but I accommodated anyway. Door shut. Locked. Head on the pillow again.
10 seconds passed.
Doorbell rang. My son’s friends came. I invited them in and then went straight to bed. Door locked.
Door knocked. My son wanted something. My memory is blurry at this point. My voice was still calm though. Door closed, locked. Head on pillow again.
Just to save you time, this went on a few more times before I decided to just get up and hang around in the living room. Tried to sleep on the couch. As you can imagine, that didn’t go well.
Where was my wife? Well, she and I went to the open day together. So, she was tired too. I decided to let her sleep while I looked after the kids, as best as I could. But honestly, I wasn’t in my best mental state.
Not an excuse though. Parenting still goes on. No breaks.
But my wife, being my partner, she knows I was tired too. After she got her snooze in, she immediately got herself ready and took our kids out to the supermarket. We didn’t have to communicate this. It’s one of those things where we just knew about each other, so there’s no need to talk about it.
Like telepathy, but not exactly. Maybe a feeling or an intuition.
She action gave me my much needed me time. It gave me enough time to rest and recharge. She came home after about 30-40 minutes, and then we all went out for dinner.
Parenting is hard, and often times tiring. But understand that it is not a solo act; it is a team effort. There will be days when you have to play tag team where one person covers for the other, and then switch. Sometimes both can’t do the job simultaneously, so one needs to take a break while the other enters the ring.
But this teamwork needs to be established early. My wife and I are married for about 9 years now. Although we haven’t gotten everything figured out yet (who does?), but we managed to establish a few key things that are important.
One of which is the idea that when both are tired, one of us still needs to be in the ring and keep the house going while the other needs to rest for a while. It could be a quick nap, a quick walk outside, or a quick drive.
Keyword is “quick” because you can’t leave your partner in the ring for long. When you got your rest, you need to tag in and let your partner take a break. That’s how parenting can be a 24/7 responsibility but without burning out either one of the parents.
That’s teamwork in a marriage.
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