“Who watches your kids while you’re gone?”

I must have heard this question a dozen times last week while I was working from my New York-area office. The thing that kills me every time is the look of shock and amazement on people's faces when I respond, “Their father, of course.”

My husband, Pat, and I have three wonderful boys who are a perfectly spaced 4 years apart (8, 4 and 4 months). And, from day one as new parents, ours has been a completely equal partnership. We split everything – the cooking, the laundry, the child care – and we should, because we’re both in this together.

Switching from playing man-to-man defense to zone defense this past December as baby No. 3 entered our world hasn’t been easy, but Pat takes it in stride. He’s incredible – and he makes me a better mother.

He’s my solid, level-headed rock. He absorbs all of my frenzy and brings me back to reality. I have a highly demanding, time-consuming job that requires not only long hours, but travel about once a month. It’s a job that drives me crazy at times, and he’s always willing to sit and silently listen as I pummel him with story after story. It’s a job that allows us to provide for our children and plan for our future, but it’s a job that takes me away from my family. 

And Pat never complains.

On Tuesday, I called home from my hotel room to check in. Pat had just managed to collect two children from daycare, the third from school, dress them for an evening little league game, feed the baby and get everyone into bed by 8:30 p.m. He was a little frazzled, but none worse for wear. I was in awe.

Pat will be the first to tell you that being a dad is awesome. Our boys treat him like a walking jungle gym. He can rock a bottle for the baby, examine the engineering of our 8-year-old’s latest LEGO creation and critique our 4-year-old’s latest musical stylings without breaking a sweat.

I may manage the calendar, but Pat makes the calendar come to life – and then some.

***

Kim Hillyer manages to be a wife and mother to three children, ages 8, 4 and 4 months, while holding down a sometimes demanding, time-consuming job. Kim wrote this guest blog for Momaha.com.

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