Originally Posted by CouttsClient
Can someone please explain to me why people keep saying taking care of a baby is a very difficult thing to do?
A friend and his wife have a 6mo old baby. He works 5-6 days per week and she works 3 days per week. The house is alway a tragic mess.
I took care of the baby while they were both working and managed to have a great time with the baby, clean and organize the house from top to bottom and I had dinner ready when they both drove up the driveway. Actually it was fun.
I know doing this for weeks and months on end can make you want a vacation but acting as though physically taking care of your household is some sort of tough job that people should get awards for is beyond me.
I think it is pure laziness.
You took care of a baby for one night. That's not even comparable to the constant-on lifestyle of someone with a baby.
I have a six-month-old son, and MrsG and I both work, so I'm qualified to answer this question.
Our life, Monday through Friday:
MrsG wakes up between five and six, depending upon when LowerCaseG awakes. There's also a strong possibility that she's been up at least once during the night to tend to the baby (though this has gotten better recently). She feeds the baby, gets him dressed, and gets ready to leave for work.
I wake up and get in the shower while she finishes with the baby. There's a fair possibility I've been up with the baby as well, though MrsG usually wakes to his cries before me and deals with him, so I'm less likely to be awakened during the night. She leaves for work (she commutes), and I try to keep the baby happy while I get ready for work. I drop him at day care, where I have to give a run down of how he slept and when he last ate, and head to work.
We both work all day.
I get off work, pick up LowerCaseG, and head home, where I start cooking dinner. I also have to entertain the baby and let the dogs out. MrsG gets home about half an hour after me. With any luck I've been able to at least get dinner prepped by the time she gets home. She takes over with the baby so I can cook dinner. Depending upon when dinner is finished, she might have to eat while feeding the baby. We usually finish eating between 6:30 and 7:00, but it can go much later if LowerCaseG needed a lot of attention before mommy got home.
We finish dinner and try to spend some time with the baby. At some time around 8:00, mommy takes LowerCaseG upstairs for bed, where she changes his diaper/clothes, reads him a story, and puts him to bed. She's usually back downstairs between 8:15-8:30. The baby usually stays asleep, but sometimes I have to go up and settle him again between 8:45-9:00
Once the events of the evening are finished, we try to take some time to spend together, pay bills, pick up a bit, and maybe watch a little TV. Then it's off to bed so we can do it all again tomorrow.
As you can see, it can become a grind. You get good at it, and it's worth it, but that doesn't make it easy. Also, babies have no concept of when you're tired, or when you need some time to relax, so you're at their beck and call whenever they decide they need you.
With regard to cleaning, given there's no extra time during the week, that stuff gets done on the weekend, but you also want to spend that time with family and/or having fun elsewhere. Sure, the house could be spotless if you spent your weekend only taking care of it, but sometimes you think "you know, a nice day at the park with my wife and baby, or spending some adult time at my friend's cookout, is more important to me right now than scrubbing the bathroom."