Fellow moms, I recently discovered a secret that has changed my life. It’s a secret that I believe has been long-kept by all the husbands out there. One could even throw out the word “conspiracy.” What is this revelation, you ask?
The secret is…“dad chores” are SO MUCH FUN and, dare I say, relaxing.
Before you call me crazy, hear me out. Like you, I was once a skeptic. Most of the chores my husband did outside looked hard and sweaty – the exact opposite of fun. Mowing looked boring and monotonous, and most of the other outside chores I honestly didn’t even know how to do. I considered myself lucky to not be required to participate. I was perfectly fine being left out of all of it.
But, then Covid happened.
Suddenly, I was stuck at home and all my normal self-care activities vanished. Solo Target runs were no longer relaxing. They became a mission focused on finding priceless items like toilet paper and Clorox wipes, and getting in and out as quickly as possible. Going to the gym was no longer an option and spending time with family or friends felt like a gamble.
So, I decided to give mowing a shot.
Sure, it didn’t look like a typical way to relax, but I have a really hard time just sitting and doing nothing anyway. Plus, it would mean being outside and alone for at least two hours. And it would allow time to listen to music or a podcast of my choosing. In other words, uninterrupted time all to myself. I got a quick tutorial on mowing from my husband, left him in charge of our girls, slipped on my headphones, put on a podcast and went for it.
I hit a few snags in the beginning. I quickly learned that push mowing a hilly yard is no joke. But I also felt all my tension and stress melt away. Yes, it was sweaty and difficult, but there is something to be said about hard work and the satisfaction that comes from seeing instant proof of a job well done. Unlike washing the dishes or doing laundry, where it’s often hard to see any obvious progress, “dad chores” yield noticeable and much longer-lasting results. And there’s the bonus of it being a killer workout, too.
Since mowing was such a huge success, I decided to give pressure washing a try. I spent two glorious long afternoons alone with a pressure washer cleaning every concrete surface I could find. It’s one of the most satisfying chores ever invented. You get to literally blast dirt away. And I used the time to listen to the new Taylor Swift album and have my own personal dance party in the driveway (sorry to any neighbors who may have witnessed that).
I now find myself looking forward to my weekly dates with the yard work, and I have big plans for leaf blowing this fall. My family is still choosing not to venture out much during this crazy time so being “the dad” for a few hours every week has become my own personal “me time.” It may seem like an odd form of self-care, but it’s the best form of stress relief I have found thus far. I can safely take out all my frustrations with the year 2020 on the yard.
I also love that my girls get to see me doing something traditionally done by a male (at least in most of the families I know). My girls see their daddy and mommy both helping with all the jobs around the house. They don’t believe certain chores are only meant for certain members of our household. I acknowledge that being able to choose to do these chores instead of being forced to do them probably makes a huge difference in the fun level (shout-out to ALL the single moms out there for doing ALL the chores).