I am a stay at home dad. This means I am responsible for keeping the domestic wheels of this family turning.
I don't have a large family: a wife that works full time, one primary school-aged daughter and another on the cusp of turning four. Although a small family unit, keeping it running is a challenge.
When I first became a stay at home dad, my wife and I would often end up bickering on a Sunday night. My wife simply wanted to relax where as I, once the kids were in bed, spent an hour going crazy getting the house and family ready for the week ahead.
After several small-scale arguments, I produced a list highlighting what I was doing every Sunday evening. The aim of the list was to show my wife exactly what I have to do to get the family prepared for the week ahead.
This wasn't to point fingers, it was simply so she knew what I was doing and, if she wanted, provide a checklist as to how she could help me. The aim was also to provide a useful guide on the odd evening when I am not around.
When I stepped back and read the list, however, I realised that with two exceptions (putting out the recycling and rubbish) I do everything on this list every night. In fairness, this list is borne from hard, personal experience.
A missing school shoe at eight o'clock in the morning can snowball into a major crisis when we end up leaving the house late. This type of thing happened once too often and I learned the importance of preparing the morning before.
You may be wondering what is on this list? I will keep you in suspense no longer.
I have reproduced it below. I call it The 19 Point Guide to Domestic Bliss. I hope you find it useful.
• Work clothes ironed and ready for my wife
• School uniform ironed and ready for my eldest daughter
• Clothes ironed and ready for my youngest daughter
• School shoes cleaned
• School shoes put away in shoe cupboard
• Youngest daughter's school shoes in storage cupboard
• Eldest daughter's homework diary completed
• If a nursery day, ensure youngest daughter's nursery bag is filled with spare clothing
• Nurtibullet drink part-prepared for Mrs Adams and I (chopping board and fruit washed and ready to go)
• Fruit set aside for girls' breakfast and two clean glasses set aside for their use
• All saucepans washed and ready for use
• Kitchen work surfaces wiped down
• Crockery and cutlery ready for use (ideally dishwasher emptied)
• Storage box cleaned and ready for use so Mrs Adams can take a salad to work
• Mrs Adams' lunchtime salad part-prepared
• Coffee pot prepared and ready for use
• Kitchen bin emptied
• If a Sunday; put out appropriate recycling
• Put the non-recyclable rubbish out.
Do you have a list like this? What do you do differently? Please leave a comment below, I'd be interested to hear.