Who has the roughest job?
(custom carpentry in 120 degree heat)
Sometimes when I come home from work and it has been a particularly rough day, I can get a bit cranky. If it so happens that my wife has had a particularly rough day, she can get a bit cranky as well.
For those of you who don’t know. That’s not particularly a good mix. Throw in a crying baby and …. yes.
Sometimes I snap that it isn’t fair that I am the one doing all the work for the money and I always regret it the moment I say it. Why?
Because whether I am building a custom cabinet, creating a documentary short, shooting a TV ad, writing a feature screenplay or working on streamlining factory flow lines, I do have the easy part.
Case in point: Most of the day today I have been looking after my daughter by myself. My wife is out with some friends getting her hair done. Yes, I do like to ensure my wife gets out with her friends and goes and has fun as often as possible because normally she doesn’t get out that much.
What do I learn when I am alone with my daughter for more than just a couple hours? Being a mom is a tough job. Tougher than my job which brings in the money that’s for sure.
When I do my work, it is me “against the world.” If something gets in my way, I move it aside. If someone is giving me crap, I don’t take it. If there is something really heavy that needs moving, I move it. If something is wrong, I figure out what it is. It is a very open and shut scenario.
When you are with your child it is a whole different ballgame. You can’t get angry when they cry, and they can’t tell you what is wrong. You often just have to try one thing after the other after the other until they stop crying. Usually after you pick them up and carry them for 20-30 minutes or so.
You can’t leave them alone unattended for any period of time when they are this young. And even when they play with you they can get frustrated and leave you wondering, what the heck is going on?
It is exhausting.
It is true that building custom cabinets in 120 degree heat is exhausting but only physically.
Your child can mentally and physically exhaust you in ways you never thought possible.
For example, you often live on the edge of constant anxiety. If your child hasn’t made noise for a bit you get worried. Is she okay? Did something happen? Etc…
After you spend enough time with them, you get to realize that mom does have the toughest job, which is why it is great to give them some space once in a while. They sure need it.
Now that I’ve been “home alone” with my daughter for most of the day changing diapers, feeding her, holding her, getting puked on continuously by her (this is my fourth shirt for the day), I know that the next time I feel like complaining about who has it roughest, I should just pull off my shoe, and stuff it in my mouth.
Oh it has its rewards as well. There is nothing quite like having the smiles and giggles and laughs. I figure those were meant to be there to keep you from going insane. 😀
My little girl is getting ready to start crying again now and I know she won’t let me put her down for an hour or so. So I am signing off for now.
She pays me with more giggles, laughs, squeals of delight, smiles and unforgettable looks than my company does. So it definitely has great compensation!
aka The Clueless Father