There is a certain power with a tag team. I am not a fan of professional wrestling but I have seen it enough with my son to understand that a tag team is a force to be reckoned with. One guy goes in, of course there’s a kick, a punch, ooh there’s the chair…and then when he is tired he simply goes to the ropes and tags off. Presto! His rested-and-ready-to-go partner jumps into the ring and finishes the job. When that one has enough, there’s another tag….and another tag…
You don’t mess with a tag team.
Okay, so we don’t have cool names like “The Rock” or “The Undertaker”, and we have yet to hit someone in the head with a folding chair, but my husband and I consider ourselves to be one of the great tag team duos of all time.
Todd and I parent in a tag team style. We both work: I work during the day, he works at night. Todd comes home, I leave for work, I come home, Todd leaves for work… and somewhere in all of that madness, we parent our three young children.
We each deal with different struggles. We both secretly think that the other has the “easy role” of the team, but of course to each other we’ll always say we have it the easiest. To be honest we both have it hard, both have it easy., we parent very differently, get through our days differently, function on a lack of sleep, have those days/nights when we are simply just in survival mode. If you think about it we are in many ways similar to single parents, as the majority of the time we are outnumbered by our children 3 to 1.
So here’s how our team works:
“In corner number one we have Todd, aka Daddy, a complex operator who works 6:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m.” Todd’s tag-in to parenting starts at 6:30 a.m. when he comes home from a long night of work. I wouldn’t want my husband’s job. He melts metal during a 12 hour night shift in a dark, hot factory. At 6:30 a.m. he comes in to a quiet house with peaceful children and a sleeping wife. He then has to wake us all up (not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination). As I get up to get ready for work, he tries to convince our 3 year old that he can’t wear his Bears jersey again, rolls his eyes at my daughter’s out of the box fashion trends, and shrugs his shoulders when my other son wants to wear sweatpants and shirts that don’t match. On every weekday except Tuesday, he gets my 3 year old off to daycare, comes home, drives our other two to school, and then finally hits the pillow for a nap. He then sleeps for a few quick hours, picks up our kids from school, picks up our youngest from daycare, drops our daughter off at dance and then comes home to tag off with me and head back to work. Now of course, his days always don’t allow for sleep. There are sick kids, holidays, and polar vortex weather like we have been having that keep the kids home. I’ve seen my husband roll his eyes at many a newscaster reporting the schools are once again closed.
“His partner behind the ropes is Mandi, aka Mommy, an attorney who works during the day”. My tag in to parenting starts at 5:00 p.m. when I rush home from a long day of motions, depositions, countless emails, phone calls, or in some cases trial. Once I tag off with Todd, I instantly leave the house off to cart my kids around to all of their activities. My daughter is a competitive dancer that lives at the dance studio, my son plays every sport under the sun. In other words, we are never home. So for the first 2-3 hours of my night I’m driving around in my mini van, entertaining my boys while we wait for my daughter, or cloning myself to get two kids to two events at the same time. I come home, eat dinner with the kids (often I cook dinner during my lunch break so I have it ready to go – otherwise we’d eat at midnight), do homework, baths, practice dances, play around, you name it we do it. I get the kids off to bed, clean up the tornado that was left behind from the day (or…in full disclosure sometimes ignore it and watch a DVR show), and then I start working again to catch up on my cases and do all the stuff I couldn’t get done during the day. Although I’d love to tell my doctor that I get a full 8 hours of sleep, I usually do not get to bed until about 1:00-2:00 a.m.
Life for the tag team is chaotic, but we make a great team. We are always there to help with a “tag” – I’ll work from home on an overtime stretch so Todd can sleep, Todd will switch with a co-employee so I can work late. Sure we have the days where we would kill for an extra hand or two or four, but I’m really proud of how we parent together. Our kids have two working parents with busy careers but have never had to go full time to daycare, always have a parent home when they are sick, get to come home after a day of school and relax before activities, and get to spend equal time with both of their parents.
So yes, my friends, we’re getting by one tag at a time.
Are there any other tag team parents out there? How do you function with your tag team partner?