Cait and I have talked about this a few times, but it almost seems like being a really top-notch parent is easier when we are not both around. I'm really proud of how well I did as a solo-parent while Cait was gone for 3 weeks. Did our kids eat a few bowls of Cap'n Crunch, yes, they did, but they also ate a ton of vegetables, played outside all day and read an endless pile of books with me. I was focused, present, kept the house quite clean and kept my temper fairly well, even as it got hot. But now that Cait and I are together all day, I have a lot harder time stepping up and find it a lot easier to drop into a chair with a book. Of course, reading a book a few hours a day during a long, lazy summer is fine, but I am having a hard time even doing my half of the household responsibilities, which usually consist of cleaning and monitoring active and outdoor play for the kids (Cait usually defaults to cooking and transitions and taking the kids to activities outside the home). I just feel like I have a lot less energy and need more sleep and downtime when Cait is around. It's all going fine, of course, the houses we've stayed in have stayed pretty clean, the kids have mostly stayed off devices and the kids play outside plenty, but it still feels almost harder to get these things to happen when we are both home.
Of course, solo parenting only seems to work well for us when we feel like the other parent is doing something important, so spending a few hours in a coffee shop reading a book alone doesn't quite have the same effect as studying for finals or volunteering for a week.
I have been getting more alone time than Cait, for sure (like right now at this bakery and coffee shop while Cait is at the splash pad with the kids)
Anyway, that's what's been on my mind. We realize that it's totally a luxury to have both parents choosing to be at home (not involuntarily unemployed, for instance). It's great that Cait could get some intensive field work done in the first month of the summer leaving us with two months to bounce around rent free in the unoccupied homes of vacationing friends, but the trials of luxury are still worth talking about, right? Maybe not.
Do any of our readers have experience with both parents at home for an extended period? How did it go? Do you have any tips or tricks? Or anything you want us to blog about, besides our secret? We are taking requests.