Clint Edwards, an author and blogger at No Idea What I’m Doing: A Dad Blog, recently shared an excerpt from his book, I’m Sorry. . . Love, Your Husband, and it’s safe to say that a few stay-at-home moms’ jaws will drop.
“Ten years ago, shortly after she became a stay-at-home mom, I started judging my wife for our messy house. Mel and I got into this big argument. I told her it was embarrassing,” he wrote. “I asked what she did all day. ‘It can’t be that hard to keep the house clean,’ I said. She looked at me flatly, with tired, irritated eyes, and told me that I needed to realize what she was up against. And then she told me something that really hit home: ‘Sometimes it comes down between cleaning the house, and taking Tristan and Norah to the park. Or spending time having fun with them, or teaching them to read or write. Sometimes I can either do the dishes, or teach our son how to ride a bike, or our daughter how to walk. I’d rather do those things, frankly. I’d rather not be that mom who ignores our kids, and myself, because I’m so busy worrying about what the neighbors might think of our messy house.'”That was all Clint needed to hear to put things into perspective. “And suddenly it clicked. I began to see what I’d been missing. I stopped looking at the dirty dishes, assuming that they were evidence of Mel sitting around all day,” he said. “Instead, I got up myself and started washing the dishes. I realized that this was not her mess, but our mess, and I started pitching in more.
Now, having a clean house is the last thing on the father’s list of priorities. “I stopped worrying about the house, and started paying attention to the development of our children,” confessed Clint. “I started to pay attention to how happy they were, and the kind of relationship they shared with their mother, and I noticed that we have a messy house, and really happy, bright kids. And I ended up apologizing.”
He continued, clarifying something for his readers: “I’m not saying that if you have a clean house, you are doing something wrong,” he said. “But what I am saying is that I don’t judge my wife for teaching my son how to swim, rather than vacuuming the living room. I don’t judge her for potty training my daughter rather than clearing the table. And I don’t think you should look down on stay-at-home moms with a messy house, because chances are, they are using that time wisely.”