Real Job

I was pretty sure I was having a stroke.  My knees felt very week and I had a twitch.  I didn’t get a chance to look in a mirror but I think blood was coming out of my eyes.

That’s how I felt a while back about ten minutes into Man Time with my two young sons.  Man Time still had a few hours left and things weren’t looking good.  Man Time happens when mom isn’t around and for this particular session my plans included the music of Waylon Jennings, hot dogs and wrestling.  Instead, those things were replaced with whining, fighting and me just hanging on for survival.

Every day when I come home from work, I see my wife at the end of her daily battle for survival and most of the time her eyes aren’t bleeding.  She spends all day, not just a few hours, with our two little men and she hears it all.

“Mommy, he kicked me!”

“Mommy, I didn’t put poop on the wall!”

“Mommy, Batman is in the toilet again!”

Did I mention that my kids are 19 and 21?

Last week, Hilary Rosen made a big splash when she said that Ann Romney, a stay at home mom, “had never worked a day in her life.”

I do not care about the obvious political jousting that’s going on with a statement like that and the predictable responses that come along with it.

All I know is that while I’m at work, my wife is trying to teach our two toddlers the importance of listening and learning.

While I’m at work, my wife is buying and preparing food for her husband and kids that’s not loaded down with sugar and that does not come out of a greasy paper sack.

While I’m at work, my wife is playing referee between two dueling sinners.

As a family, there’s a lot that we miss out on because my wife stays at home.  Her education and experience could easily double our family income and provide us with our own home and more stuff to put in it.  To say it another way, we aren’t missing out on anything.  What good is a sprawling home, if the only time we ever see each other is as we are coming and going through its doors?

It doesn’t get much better than to come home and hear my boys tell me what they learned from the book of James, what Bill Cosby said on Fat Albert and what bugs they found in the yard.  These are all wonderful experiences that they share with their mom everyday.

I guess I don’t know what a real job is.  Maybe being a campaign strategist is a real job.  Maybe having a big salary with plenty of benefits means that you have a real job.  If that’s the case, I’m glad that my wife doesn’t have a real job.  Her husband and her kids are better for it.

Not all mom’s are able to stay at home.  Some, like my mother was, are the family’s only source of income.  Others would love to stay at home but are forced to work for other reasons.  Second homes don’t pay for themselves, you know.

When I go home this afternoon, I’ll give my wife a break and spend time playing with my sons in the yard.  Right before it’s time to put them down for bed I’ll feel like I’m about to have a stroke.

But don’t worry, I’ll make it.

My wife’s the one you should probably be concerned about.

She’s the one with the real job.


Editor’s Note: My kids are much younger than 19 and 21.