10 March 2010

Stay-at-home dad

Yoko is fighting off an infection, leaving her with no energy and a high fever. She stayed in bed today, leaving me to fend off the children and mark essays. I did my best. At one time in my life, I wanted to be a stay-at-home dad. Having stayed at home with the kids a couple of times, I don't think it is my vocation, but I do okay. The house is clean. The kids are clean and well fed and in bed now. I didn't make dinner, getting Chinese food instead, but I was sort of expecting all day that Yoko would get up and say, 'Okay you can go to work now.' It never happened.

Doing this is supposed to be some revelation to men about how hard their wives have it (in the traditional, American sitcom world, at least), but I don't find it that difficult. The thing about being at home with the kids is that you have no supervisor. No one is riding your ass to do anything. I find that to be liberating. No deadlines. Things have to get done, I suppose, but you can make it fit as you want.

When Yoko is ill, all the girls end up sleeping in our bed and I am banished to the guestroom. I sort of hate that with a passion. Having kids is all about splitting your energy up into millions of little pieces, and you end up with very little left at the end of the day. Sleeping in the same bed with your wife is sometimes all you have: to lose it, even for two nights, sucks pretty hard.

Ah well--this was all very self-pitying. I got my French homework done and the kids are asleep, so I can have three hours or so to myself. Luckily, my Rothko documentary came today, so I can watch that while working on my first six month progress review for the PhD. One down, five to go.