Guest Post: Role Reversal Experience – Mr Infrastructure

This is the first guest post on Planning With Kids and I am very proud that it comes from my gorgeous husband! Here is his experience from trading roles with me last week (completely unedited!!!).

Back in 2003, Anika Sorenson (world #1 female golfer) addressed the media after her final round in a men’s tour event. She said,

“Felt was a great week but I’ve got to go back to my tour, where I belong. I’m glad I did it, but this is way over my head”.

While I feel this quote in some way aligns to my recent experience, I can confidently say its not a perfect reflection.

You will recall from last week’s Role Reversal Experience post, last week I traded my office desk and chair for 5 days in the role as a stay at home parent. I performed all the tasks Planning Queen normally would, from making the lunches to walking the kids to school, taking Possum to dance class to making 5 evening meals in succession. Apart from only very minor, but much needed assistance, PQ did very well to refrain herself getting involved. I was thrown in the deep-end, and had some very interesting learnings:

    1. The role of the primary carer is fundamental to teaching the kids good habits in preparation and timeliness. My attitude and approach becomes a beacon for how the kids react to obstacles and issues.
    2. Hey, I can cook an evening meal! I love a good process which is what PQ gave me with her simple recipes.
    3. Don’t put butter on sandwiches when the kids have told you three times already!!! – it can get nasty!
    4. It takes time to re-wire your everyday activities. Day 1 and 2 were murder however by Friday I was on the ball with routine, process and maneuvering through roadblocks (see point 3).
    5. It also takes time to re-wire the kids view of the “goto parent”. PQ normally gets afternoon tea, except for last week. PQ normally organizes lunches, except for last week. In some way, last week may have altered their perception of my role. Ongoing involvement could now re-enforce it.
    6. It’s OK to forget someone’s name if you haven’t seen them in months. It’s not OK if it’s only a matter of days. (Apologies to some of the kinder and school mums.)
    7. Playing games with the kids is most enjoyable when there are no outside distractions or time pressures. Unfortunately busy weekends, pre-sleep periods and a mind half on the office are not conducive to increasing fun. I need to change this!
    8. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Attempting too many tasks, just like at the office, results in a sub-optimised outcome, anxiety and frustration.
    9. Chose a better week to conduct a Role Reversal than the final mountain week of the Tour de France. Late nights wear you down.
    10. As apron-culture states, “Kiss the Cook” for the wider home-role they perform. Life without it would be messy, undisciplined, lethargic and average.

This week I used a different skill set to conduct a role for a sustained period which fortunately isn’t way over my head. While I did struggle earlier in the week, I was well and truly in the groove and enjoying what it gave me by the end of the week. In fact, this observation was made by a mum who recently changed from full-time employment to full-time stay-at-home mum.

While I definitely could get used to it, I’ve got to go back to my tour, where I belong. Like so many others, other pressures and objectives dictate this.

Cheers
Mr Infrastructure

Comments

  1. says

    I’m loving that post Mr I and have forwarded it to my darling hubby to read (just incase he felt like doing a similar experiment in the near future)!

    Hope you’re not having withdrawal symptoms this week from “no butter on sandwiches” and late nights from the Tour de France!

    ickle Kidss last blog post..ickle Kids is on You Tube!

  2. Annie says

    Excellent post Mr I! Had to laugh about the Tour de France. I too suffered primary carer fatigue last week. One interesting thing I’ve noticed when A and I role reverse is how (in our case) the reaction of the just got home parent to kids’ misbehaviour in the evening is generally much more lenient than that of the parent who has been home all day. This helped me understand why I sometimes felt let down by A’s response and him understand how I need him to react a little more consistently. Also a reminder of how exposure affects our own behaviour I guess. Sometimes you need a lenient parent too to bring things back into perspective. Role reversal is just a great way to foster that all important mum and dad relationship through further understanding. Ooops long comment I should get my own blog really!

  3. Hungry Tribe says

    Good on Ya Mr I! Sounds like your efforts didn’t go unappreciated! Is this just a ‘one off’ exercise? Or more in the pipleine?
    HT

  4. says

    Noice.

    it’s interesting to see how the other half lives.

    I’m lucky that my hubby works strange hours so gets to enjoy being primary parent quite often methinks

    Bettinas last blog post..And in conclusion

  5. says

    I LOVED this post!!!

    Good on you for giving it a go. Many dad’s wouldn’t!!! I think it’s something that all partners should consider – really understanding how the other half lives. Not that I really want to go out and crutch sheep any time soon! :/

  6. says

    Oh I can so relate to number 3!!!

    I am very keen for my other half (lovingly named The Baldy Boy) to have a go at this… he can manage a large chunk of the day with the older two, but a whole week would be interesting. But I guess I should wait until the small child is not quite so dependant on me for food and sleep and.. ahem….. just quietly I have to confess I could never do what he does for a day job!

    katefs last blog post..Wordless Wednesday – Frost

  7. says

    What a shame that the school / kinder mum crowd can’t just be called “Maaate”. And he cooks, I do recall a time when someone went away for a long trip and filled the freezer with homecooked goodness….Nice to see the pants being shared around xoxox

    Caths last blog post..Scratching an itch….

  8. river says

    I think #8 was a very important point. Too many people have fingers in too many pies at once and get stressed when the 24 hour day doesn’t seem long enough.

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