How often have you told your stay at home husband/wife/partner, "I'll be home at 6pm" and then at around 6:20pm called or texted or skyped to let them know that you are 'just now stepping out of the office to head home'? Once a week? Once a month? More? Or worse yet, do you wait until your significant other calls YOU 30 minutes after you should have arrived only so that you can tell them you didn't have 30 seconds to step out of a meeting to inform them you'd be an hour late?
You may think that the partner stuck at home (with the kids who want to go to the park, dinner not ready, the pet that needs to pee and a delivery man at the door) having a complete mental breakdown because you are 'only 20 minutes late' is over-reacting. And in some cases that may be true.
Are you trying to KILL us?
What YOU don't understand is how devastating that last 20 minutes can be to a person who sees you as their light at the end of the tunnel. Like it or not, you have become a beacon. The end to all our frustrations. When you walk through that door we are no longer alone in our battle.
When the decision was made for you to continue having a job and a career that gets you out of the house while your partner takes on the responsibility of staying home with the kids, running the household, the lion's share of parenting and the myriad of chores and decisions that comes along with that, you also took on the job of tagging your partner out in the evening.
We're all busy.
Don't get me wrong - I understand that work can be busy and stressful. You have a ton of meetings, deadlines, bosses breathing down your neck. Emails and phone calls to check and return. And you are probably the sole-breadwinner which is a big monkey on your back.
I worked from before graduation until the day I went off of work to have my son. In busy offices with all those same deadlines, rushes, overtime, etc. I loved it! You know why? Because there is a social aspect to going to work. You get to talk to people older than 5. You get adult conversation and get to use your skills that you went to college/university for. You get a great sense of satisfaction when that deal closes or that game ships. You're the hero!
What does your partner get? Time with the little ones. That can never be under-rated. But it sure can be stressful and frustrating. Just imagine if your boss or assistant did nothing all day but demand you get them food and then kicked you. Or stood in the doorway to your office refusing to either leave or come in until you gave them a flashlight? You'd quit right? Well, we can't. We have to learn to parent the yelling and kicking right out of those little buggers while you sip your coffee and eat donuts with adults at your office.
Did you get to sit on the train this morning with your iPod or reading your kindle? Great. I drove my son to school who was screaming "I want Daddy!" in the backseat the whole way. Because in his mind Daddy would never have made him get in the car and go to school. Mmm hmm.
Share the pain, spread the love.
Look - this may sound one sided but it's not. You working partners have your own problems while us stay at home partners have ours. All I'm asking is that when it comes to evenings the workload gets shared.
Be on time as often as you possibly can and if you're going to be late, call ahead of time! You are the hail mary at the end of the day. Don't fumble.