Andy, a father who goes by "Secret Dad Lad" on Facebook, is giving his wife a much-needed shout-out for all she did (and still does!) for their family over the course of her three maternity leaves. In a thoughtful post, he admitted that sheltering in place has really opened his eyes to just how much his wife was able to accomplish while home on parental leave.
"My wife's had 3 maternity leaves. All of which I've been in work fulltime getting home for 6pm to spend an hour doing the glory bits," he explained. "I'm not so conceited that I didn't realise it was a tough gig, but I would rebuff any bemoaning from Mrs Secret Dad Lad with 'being at work isn't exactly a f**king holiday'. Turns out, comparatively, it is."
Because Andy's wife has been working full-time during the pandemic, he has taken on most of the day-to-day parenting responsibilities. He jokingly dubbed the time he's spending caring for his three kiddos — Josephine 5, Ernie 3, and Walt, 1 — as "paternity leave," and is realizing that being home with kids all day is a lot harder than it looks!
Andy continued, outlining his typical day; and honestly, it sounds all too familiar:
- After helping with breakfast, Wife exits stage left.
- J/E ask for a biscuit
- Catch W climbing in washing machine whilst explaining to the others that biscuits are not part of breakfast.
- Put Netflix on.
- J sends E to ask for a biscuit.
- Break up fight over who has the remote.
- Put most guilty one on naughty step.
- Catch W drinking from dog's water bowl.
- Read him a book he hates.
- Forget one is on naughty step, they wander back to watch Netflix.
- J/E ask for biscuit. We negotiate. They get raisins.
- Decide they've watched too much Netflix, get crafts out.
- W does a massive sh*t, spend 10 minutes fighting him to allow me the pleasure of wiping his arse.
- Come back to crafts, but they've left and are back watching Netflix.
- Clear up crafts, wishing whoever created slime a slow, gruesome death.
- Give them early lunch because they're pissing me off.
- They hate my lunch. Give them crisps.
- Put them in garden.
- I tell E off for purposely lobbing balls into next door's garden, meanwhile J tries to force W to play with her and he's like 'nah' and bites her.
- They're all f**king crying.
- We go inside.
- I put on a film for big two, take up tired Mr bitey for his nap.
- I hide for a bit.
- They find me like they're sniffer dogs and I'm selling pills at a festival.
- They ask for a biscuit. I give them several just so they'll f**k off.
- They scream 'Daddy we're bored of this film!' repeatedly and very loudly.
- I run in and shout at them through gritted teeth that they're going to wake their little brother up.
- Little brother wakes up and starts crying.
- Resist temptation to demonstrate how much I currently despise my two eldest children and go get W up.
- The next 3 hours is a complete f**king parenting sh*tshow.
- Mummy comes down from the loft and they turn into golden children.
Andy's list is clearly exhausting, and according to him, the term "relentless" doesn't even cover it. "I may have it slightly tougher in one sense during lockdown as there's less options to escape," he shared, adding that thankfully he does have backup from his partner if he needs it. "Plus, if the sh*t really does hit the fan, I have another parent available upstairs who could help me out," he said.
Now, he's giving major props to all the partners out there who have ever taken leave. "What I'm getting at is all you maternity leave survivors, fair f**king play," he said. "I've experienced a small amount of what you endure(d) and I'm flagging. We love our kids, but when they're young looking after them can be ferocious. So, to my wife especially, I apologise for taking your daily efforts in rearing our kids so magnificently for granted. I've had a big taste of humble pie. Sorry it's taken so long."