Daddy Daycare

I could hear their excited squeals from out on the street. I couldn’t wait to get inside and cover them in cuddles and kisses. Had they missed me? Did they have fun? Had they had their dinner? Were they ready for bed? Did Dave think it was hard? These questions darted through my mind as I fumbled with the key in the door.

I opened the door expecting my almost-three-year-old, Curly-locks, to come racing toward me to give me a hug. She didn’t. I hid my disappointment and quickly surveyed the scene before me.

House: Looked like a tornado had touched down on the toy box.

Curly-locks: Wild-haired, happily squealing, jumping up and down doing her ‘ballet’. She was wearing the jeans that I could never convince her to wear.

Smiley: Even wilder-haired, in high-chair, face covered in food, squealing along with her sister.

Dave: In the kitchen cooking beef cheeks!?! for Curly-locks (He told her they were sausages. It seems he’s a compulsive liar too πŸ™‚ ) with a stupid grin on his face and the wildest hair out of the three of them.

It was past their dinner and bath time. Curly-locks hadn’t started her dinner yet, and Smiley was only half way through hers. It didn’t matter a single bit though. They were happy.

It was a case of Daddy Daycare at our house this weekend. I worked both Saturday and Sunday at the Brisbane Pregnancy Babies & Children’s Expo leaving around 8.30am and getting home just after 6pm each day.

This was the longest time Dave had looked after the girls by himself and I was dying to know how he had coped. I knew he would do a stellar job, but I was just keen to hear what he thought. Some nights when he comes home from work, I am at my limit and he finds it a little hard to comprehend what’s so tough about ‘being at home having fun with two kids all day’.

It would seem Dave found nothing tough about this weekend. In fact, I think my three loves had the time of their lives without me.

When I walked in the door, they had just gotten back from a big adventure. Dave drove to Kangaroo Point, parked the car, and set off with the two kids in tow on his scooter. Curly-locks rode on the scooter with Dave, while Smiley sat up high in the baby carrier backpack. It would have been such a sight. I can just imagine them setting off on their adventure with the wind in their hair. He carried both girls and his scooter down the millions of extremely steep steps at Kangaroo Point and scooted all the way to South Bank where Curly-locks had a play, and then they all scooted back. The way Dave excitedly told me about that day’s adventure and hearing Curly-locks pipe in with ‘We scooted, mummy,’ ‘We saw boats, mummy’ was adorable.

When I asked Dave what else they had done that weekend, he presented me with a picture of Strawberry Shortcake he had coloured in. This was no ordinary drawing. He had shaded. Strawberry’s hair had highlights. He had put some serious effort into this one.

photo(8)

When I asked what else they did, he shrugged his shoulders and said, ‘We just chilled’.

As easy as that. They just chilled.

Dave delegating Smiley's feed time to Curly-locks ;)

Dave delegating Smiley’s feed time to Curly-locks πŸ˜‰

I quickly pushed the negative thoughts of ‘Why can’t I just chill with the girls?’ and ‘Why did they behave so well for him?’ out of my head and smiled. How could I not, when they were all brimming with excitement and happiness?

The relationship fathers have with their children is so different to the relationship mothers have with them. (In this family at any rate).

Dave is a little more rough and tumble with the girls, he nudges them out of their comfort zones and they just get out there and do stuff. I tend to have more structured activities. I have a routine. I stick to it. We still have fun, but there is an air of organisation about it.

It doesn’t matter that we are so different though. The girls have major fun with both of us and when it comes to serious parenting issues we manage to somehow meet in the middle.

I’m so pleased Dave had a chance to have this quality time with the girls. He feels he misses out on so much when he’s away from them every day at work. They had fun. They bonded. They were the ‘do stuff club’. Routine went out the window and fun reigned.

So, instead of feeling a wee bit jealous, I’ve decided they could all do with some more quality time together. It’s time I had some ‘me’ time!

How does the relationship you have with your children compare with that of your partner’s?

36 comments on Daddy Daycare

  1. iSophie
    June 25, 2013 at 7:00 am (4 years ago)

    What a great weekend for the three of them!
    My hubby will just decide to do something spontaneous with them (the 4 of them!) and take them out for an afternoon, leaving me in peace and quiet for a bit. I think last time he realised what a handful the youngest one can be with his incredible stubbornness. He gets stressed out more then me if they misbehave, because I am more used to it.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 25, 2013 at 9:56 am (4 years ago)

      Yes, that’s the same for me too, Sophie. Good on your hubby for taking them out spontaneously. It’s win win for everyone!

      Reply
  2. Zanni Louise
    June 25, 2013 at 7:20 am (4 years ago)

    I relate to this. Daddy in our house hold is so fun, patient and resilient. And my three-year-old appreciates the difference. These days, she prefer to hang out with him than me if given the choice. It seems dads can play more with kids, and just hang out. I am envious…but I try and learn from what he does. And I guess I offer things to the kids he can’t…they need a balance. xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 25, 2013 at 10:00 am (4 years ago)

      Yeah that’s right, Zanni. We all need a little balance in our lives. In our case, I think Dave tends to play more with the kids because he doesn’t get to do it often. He doesn’t worry about the groceries that need buying, the clothes that need washing etc when he’s playing with the kids. He just gets down and has fun.
      That is so sweet your daughter is a daddy’s girl at the moment. I bet he’s loving that x

      Reply
  3. Lydia C. Lee
    June 25, 2013 at 8:39 am (4 years ago)

    I think women (me included) make it tougher than it needs to be, and make a rod for our own back – but I don’t think I could be different either. I watch the kids behave different with us. It’s strange.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 25, 2013 at 10:02 am (4 years ago)

      Yeah it is strange, Lydia. I suppose I do make it tougher for myself and am trying to take it a bit easier. I don’t freak out as much if the house isn’t spotless and if the ironing cupboard is overflowing. I know they aren’t going to be this young and adorable forever, so I need to slow down and enjoy more.

      Reply
  4. meagan
    June 25, 2013 at 9:42 am (4 years ago)

    Oh it sounds like they had the BEST time! This post had me smiling at how simple he made it seem.. I dont have kids but i’ve been a full time nanny. I think this is def a good time to have this happen mroe often and you can have some ME time! yes yes yes x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 25, 2013 at 10:03 am (4 years ago)

      Yes, it seems like win win all around doesn’t it, Meagan?! Being a full time nanny would have been interesting. I bet you have some stories to tell x

      Reply
  5. Me
    June 25, 2013 at 11:10 am (4 years ago)

    That is the best way to look at it – have some ‘me’ time while they have some ‘they’ time !!!
    Our family was pretty much the same although I went back to work when K was only 3 weeks old but I tended to be more structured about what we did whereas A was more fly by the seat of his pants. I think, as Moms, we also tend to think about everything else that has to be done around the house where Dads just think about fun things to do.
    I couldn’t have managed those steps at Kangaroo Point by myself never mind with two children and a scooter – go Dave !!!!
    Have the best week !
    Me

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 25, 2013 at 11:36 am (4 years ago)

      Haha yeah I know! It must have been a serious workout for him. From all the responses I’m getting, it seems to be a common theme. Mums are more structured whereas Dads are more spontaneous. It’s good to know it’s just not me πŸ™‚ Have a great week too!

      Reply
  6. Lisa
    June 25, 2013 at 11:13 am (4 years ago)

    I definitely think I’m the disciplinarian when it comes to the kids – my husband is usually just happy to let things slide and doesn’t notice the ‘little details’, like a child wearing the same dirty socks he had on yesterday!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 25, 2013 at 11:35 am (4 years ago)

      Lol, Lisa. Dads eh! You’ve gotta love em πŸ™‚

      Reply
  7. Miss Cinders
    June 25, 2013 at 11:13 am (4 years ago)

    What an awesome post! Sounds like they had a great time together πŸ™‚

    Husband is the one that takes the kids on adventures. The little ones love it. I seem to worry about them hurting themselves more than him doing ‘fun’ stuff! lol I think it’s a Mum thing!

    MC x
    #teamIBOT

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 25, 2013 at 11:34 am (4 years ago)

      Yes, I think it must be a mum thing. When he told me he carried the two kids and a scooter all the way up and down those steep steps, I nearly died. They were all okay though and loved it. How lucky we are that our children can experience both their mums and dads.

      Reply
  8. Mel
    June 25, 2013 at 11:30 am (4 years ago)

    I love the way you write. My kids seem to have more spontaneous fun with Dad. I too am more structured and routine-based. I am also less likely to roll around on the floor or jump as high on the trampoline (thanks pelvic floor). That’s what dads are for!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 25, 2013 at 11:32 am (4 years ago)

      Haha yes, the good ol pelvic floor stops me from a few jumping and running activities too! Thanks for the compliment, Mel. I’m enjoying your blog too!

      Reply
  9. Angela East
    June 25, 2013 at 12:01 pm (4 years ago)

    Can totally relate to this one too. My husband is exactly like that. He just lets things go around the house if I’m gone and he always has a fabulous time with my little guy. They always get out and about too, and aren’t restrained by the ‘routine’ of the house and chores that need to be done.

    I wish I was more like that, but then again…it might be ok for a couple of days but not sure I would survive after a week of built-up chaos πŸ˜‰

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 25, 2013 at 1:25 pm (4 years ago)

      Oh so true, Angela! I’m sure they wouldn’t be able to cope for long either with no clean clothes or food to eat πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  10. Becc
    June 25, 2013 at 12:26 pm (4 years ago)

    It sounds like the best of both world. They get time together, you get time off. Perfect!
    Becc @ Take Charge Now

    Reply
  11. Pip
    June 25, 2013 at 3:34 pm (4 years ago)

    It’s funny isn’t it. I leave dad in charge for a weekend and he does tons of fun stuff with her that never tends to come up when together we seem to have a weekend free. It’s almost like they’re saving themselves for the best impact as fathers – and I’m glad they do – as every time they come back beaming like in your post it reminds me why I decided to have a child with him πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 25, 2013 at 8:31 pm (4 years ago)

      Oh exactly, Pip! I love watching Dave with our kids. It just makes my heart swell.

      Reply
  12. EssentiallyJess
    June 25, 2013 at 8:25 pm (4 years ago)

    Yep I find Boatman has a totally different day with the kids than I do. He is never as stressed either! I wish I knew their secret

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 25, 2013 at 8:32 pm (4 years ago)

      Jess, I think their secret is that they don’t worry about things like cleaning, ironing etc. In our case, Dave doesn’t get one on one time with the kids often, so when he does he makes the most of it.

      Reply
  13. Josefa @always Josefa
    June 25, 2013 at 8:28 pm (4 years ago)

    oh, it is very different with Daddy – very much like you guys, Daddy is more fun and Mummy is more structured. I think because hubby works such long hours during the week – the rules have to relax a little on the weekend – for all of us xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 25, 2013 at 8:33 pm (4 years ago)

      Yes, weekends are definitely chill time for us too πŸ™‚ x

      Reply
  14. Emily @ Have a laugh on me
    June 25, 2013 at 8:35 pm (4 years ago)

    OH MY GAWD Renee, I could have totally written this! WTF is it with our husbands and their chilling and just being! But then again I suppose it’s a novelty for them. I also come home after being away to a mess, and it’s because they just do whatever the kids want and don’t think too far ahead, like us mums do. They also get less time with them so when they do they totally do whatever their babes want – LOVE THIS POST!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 25, 2013 at 9:23 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you so much, Emily!!! That means the world to me. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’d love to spend a day in their shoes. Hell, maybe I will this weekend!

      Reply
  15. Janet @ Redland City Living
    June 25, 2013 at 8:46 pm (4 years ago)

    I’m glad they had fun, but I think the reason Dads think it’s so easy is because they are not busting their boiler trying to do the washing up, hang out the laundry, make the beds, pay the bills, do the grocery shopping, take kids to hair and dentist appointments, vacuum, mop the floors, empty the bins …. whew makes me tired just thinking about it!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 25, 2013 at 9:24 pm (4 years ago)

      So, so true, Janet! I’m exhausted thinking about it too. And a lot of us mums are doing all of this when we’re sleep deprived too! Ahh well where would we be without them? πŸ™‚

      Reply
  16. Emily
    June 25, 2013 at 9:17 pm (4 years ago)

    I’d like to chill too. BUT if I did, the house would be a pigsty, we’d have nothing to eat, and we’d be wearing plastic bags from the supermarket… scratch that, we’d be naked because no-one would have done the supermarket shopping!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 25, 2013 at 9:25 pm (4 years ago)

      Haha love it, Emily. I think it’s time us mums went on strike so the dads have a better idea of what we do!

      Reply
  17. Toni
    June 25, 2013 at 9:36 pm (4 years ago)

    Sounds like they all had a fun weekend. I am so excited to see what T’s relationship will be like with our daughter once shes born. I think shes already a daddy’s girl because she certainly is more active when she hears his voice.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 26, 2013 at 9:53 am (4 years ago)

      Oh that’s lovely, Toni πŸ™‚

      Reply
  18. Leanne Winter
    June 26, 2013 at 8:01 am (4 years ago)

    Hi Renee, Nice post, I think all mothers could probably relate to this. It’s natural I think if the dad is not the primary care giver that his all-day attention (or 2 days) would be a bit of a novelty (for both him and the kids). Variety is the spice of life – sounds like this was a great opportunity for you to do your thing while they did some great Dad-kids bonding. And that colouring-in effort is amazing!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 26, 2013 at 9:55 am (4 years ago)

      Haha yes it was quite an impressive effort wasn’t it?! πŸ™‚ I think you’re spot on. It’s can be a real novelty for the dad and kids. We are so lucky to be able to provide our kids with that variety and balance.

      Reply

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