A few days ago my wife went out for the night and left me at home to complete all of the normal family routines alone. To demonstrate the differences between how I go about the normal routine and how my wife does I thought I would share our checklists.
1. Feed kids dinner.
My Wife- Use the available ingredients in the house to make a healthy meal while spending less money and preventing waste.
Me- Drive to Little Caesars for Pizza for two of the boys and stop at Taco Bell for the 3rd.
2. Get kids ready for bed.
My wife- Methodically get each kid into the bath/ shower and into pajamas.
Me- They smell okay and the marker lines all over the baby's face look like they will come out by using some "baby wipes" so we can forget the baths. I put the youngest in pajamas, the middle son likes going without clothes, and the oldest sleeps in his clothes so all is good here as well.
3. Spend quality time with them before bed.
My Wife- Read stories to them, talk about their day, and discuss what they will do tomorrow.
Me- Turn on the TV to check the score of the Laker game and then just go ahead and watch the rest of the game with the baby while the other two are off playing in their rooms.
4. Get them to bed on time.
My Wife- Pray with them and turn off lights at 7:30 PM.
Me- Pray with the boys, put one in his crib around 7:30, one goes into my bed around 8:00PM because he says he sleeps better in there, and the oldest I leave in his room with his lights on because he wants to stay up reading (at least that is good for his brain).
My Wife- Make sure all of the boys completed homework, pack their school bags for the next day, make lunches, and set out clothes for the morning.
Me- I forgot to check homework and therefore the older ones both had no homework completed for the next day, why would I need to pack school bags, I didn't realize we fed them lunch, how could I possibly know what they would want to wear the next day?
This morning I had the rare opportunity of being home with the family while they did the morning routine so I took care of all of the morning details. In order of importance... I made coffee, changed the baby's diaper, ate breakfast with the older boys, decided I should probably get clothes back onto the baby, and informed the boys that we would be leaving for school in 10 minutes so they needed to brush their teeth and put on clothes.
My wife then came downstairs, informed me that things run much more effiiciently in the morning without me, made lunches for the boys, checked to make sure they had all the school work they needed, made sure they actually put on their clothes and brushed their teeth, and kicked us out the door so we would be on time for school.... but without me she wouldn't have fresh brewed coffee.