The ‘worst day’ competition

I love being at home for the girls every day, since being made redundant. Like, really love it.

For now, I don’t want to look for a job. I’m content; happier than I expected to be.

And the hubster? He has a good job, that’s giving him loads of opportunities, it’s supportive, let’s him leave on time, and is a pretty good commute to the big smoke, compared to some others.


I’ve noticed a parenting phenomenon. I like to call it ‘The worst day competition’. It goes something like this…

MMT: [Having just dried up and put away the last pot from dinner, swept up the last grain of rice from the floor, put the last toy from todays play date back in the toy box; sits down and picks up phone for first time in hours…whilst children with happily filled up tummies start winding down (in front of Peppa Pig).]

Mr G: [Walks through the door at six, to a scene of domestic bliss. A stark transformation from 60 minutes prior, whilst hungry crying children cling to my legs whilst I’m preparing dinner].

Mini-G’s: [Go nuts with happiness. Daddy’s home].

Mr G: “Kids are in a great mood!”

MMT: Moans about how kids have been such hard work all day and this is the first time all day she’s sat down. Then, “How was your day?”

Mr G: “Pretty rubbish”

MMT: “I’m so tired…”

Mr G: “I’m exhausted. And I’ve been at work all day you know…”

MMT: “My day hasn’t exactly been a bed of roses…”

And so on…and so on…you get the idea.

I wonder why is it we feel we both need to challenge who had the tougher day? No doubt we both had days mixed with struggles and wins, but ultimately we both are very happy with where we are, if we weren’t, we would change something. Why do we always look for the negatives? Am I turning into my Nan? How did the chaos of the 4-6 witching hour erase all positivity from my day? Make me forget the magical moments, the funny conversations, the sleepy cuddles, the great fun we had?

I think each of us thinks the other got off lightly – a day with adults, a pub lunch, time ‘to yourself’ Vs a day at home, with our children, having fun, not having to answer to anyone. That grass just looks so much greener, doesn’t it?!

In truth, the alternative isn’t always peachier; and the reality isn’t all bad either.

I guess we both hope the other will ride in on a white horse; shower us with comfort, offer a massage, to run a bubble bath, to sort out the others favourite dinner. We both want a bit of me time, to unwind and not feel so tired, especially after a year of broken sleep. Whichever one of us got up to do the 5am shift, the other one didn’t exactly get an undisturbed lay in. But both craving that sympathy so bad, neither is willing to let our own fight down to win the prize for most deserving.

So, together, we put the kids to bed. Sometimes, he is my hero by ordering us a takeaway. Sometimes I make his day by saying yes to that film I don’t really fancy. We face the night wakings as a team.

In reality, I don’t think either of our days were so bad after all.

So tomorrow, maybe I’ll let him win. MMT 0, Mr G 1.


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34 thoughts on “The ‘worst day’ competition

  1. agentspitback Reply

    So true. Brilliant post- I can so relate. We used to do this too when I was a SAHM. And now that we both work, we tend to “compare” our work days with each other as well and you’re right, it shouldn’t be a competition. I think I secretly want him to say, “Oh, ok, it’s all right to have that piece of chocolate/cake then” when I tell him about my day. #fartglitter

  2. Mama Reply

    Haha- we do this too. Not really competing as we both know the other is knackered but complaining about the bad and not thinking about the good. Here’s to trying to be positive.
    Thanks for linking up to #fartglitter x

  3. moderatemum Reply

    Ha ha! Brilliant. Yes, a take away has taken on a brand new status since we became parents #MarvMondays

  4. nipperandtyke Reply

    Yeah, I hear ya! I actually convince myself that my husband is only going out to work to get away from me and the kids sometimes, although I know that’s not the case when I go out to work… well, not ALL the time 😉
    x Alice

  5. sisterk1n Reply

    So true! I love being a SAHM but some days I’m jealous of my husband leaving the house unaccompanied and I know he’s jealous of me spending more time with the kids. It’s a lose lose situation. #fartglitter

  6. Robyn Reply

    You’ve hit the nail on the head, and you’re gracious enough to admit that your husband has a valid point of view. I could learn a lot from this post 😉 So true that at the end of a day taking care of baby, I want someone to take care of me, on the other hand I’m sure husband wants to be taken care of himself after a day of taking care of business.

  7. Mama Reply

    Back again to say thanks for hosting #coolmumsclub

  8. An imperfect Mum (@animperfectmum) Reply

    This is so true it must happen in homes all around the world. I think it is because we spend all day being positive and lovely at work or with the kids and then our partners take the brunt of it because we know we can let loose with them. I think you’re right and I should let hubby win but just for today 😉

  9. mackenzieglanville Reply

    think we all go there, I still here my parents do it and they’re retired lol great post #coolmumclub

  10. butterflymum83 Reply

    This is certainly familiar! Thankfully, my hubs usually conceeds, since looking after T alone several times he admits it’s hard work lol! Like you say, most days are neither good nor bad really – but a mixture of hard work and happy moments 🙂


  11. Life Love and Dirty Dishes Reply

    I found it really hard when I first became a mum to justify what I had or hadn’t done each day. My husband would come in and I would start rattling off a list of chores and successes and failures. After a while he sat me down and told me I didn’t need to justify anything, he knew I worked hard. Think there’s always a period of adjustment. #coolmumsclub

  12. Anna Brophy Reply

    Do you remember the brownie scene from The Notting Hill movie?? Who had the saddest story got the last chocolate brownie at the dinner party? We play that…often… Oh well…have to debrief with someone… But so get the frustration of (finally) having everything mildly under control by the time they get home…appears so easy! #coolmumsclub

  13. motherhoodtherealdeal Reply

    Yes I think we have ALL been guilty of doing this but unless little missy has been an absolute hell raiser these days I try to not bash on about it too much because the reality is…everyone’s days have good and bad bits and that’s just life and moaning just gets really boring in the end doesn’t it? Go on…let him win! xx #coolmumclub x

  14. Rebecca @ AAUBlog Reply

    yes, yes, yes! So true and relateable. the days aren’t bad, sometimes just a but ‘meh’ haha #coolmumclub

  15. The Speed Bump Reply

    I can totally relate! Over the summer I was working full-time and he was at home with SB and we had massive ‘worst day’ competitions. I usually won because my job involved talking to angry miserable rude people on phones, but sometimes SB could give them a run for their money 😉 #coolmumclub

  16. Kyles Reply

    This is a lovely post. I can relate to it too. I’ve told my husband not to ask me how my day was when he first gets in anymore because if he does I usually get a bit ranty. Once I’ve had a bit of time and space to recollect myself after the witching hour, then all the happy and funny bits bubble back to the surface and they’re the things I want to share. #coolmumclub

  17. Complicatedgorg (@complicatedgorg) Reply

    Don’t let him win. Ever. Haha. We are always most tired 😉 x Only joking – team work is the only way ahead. I am pathetically grateful for even a cup of tea sometimes – you can keep your jewels x #coolmumclub

  18. Unhinged Mummy (aka Janine Woods) Reply

    Lol me and my hubby do this too. And you are right. We have probably had as shit a day as each other. Except my husband has never got up to the kids in the night so I get to win the argument about which of the two of us is more tired, although he does try to put up a good fight 😉

    Thanks for hosting #coolmumclub

  19. beautybabyandme Reply

    brilliant post! It is something that plays on my mind about how we’ll cope with balancing things out but the way you summed it up at the end of the post sounds exactly how me and my hubby would be too. A great read xx #coolmumclub

  20. rhymingwithwine Reply

    Fantastic and true! We have exactly the same type of conversation. It then ramps up on Saturdays when I go to work and he stays at home with the kids (for one day only), and we are each then daring each other to complain or say that we’re tired, so that we can pounce on it and go “yeah see, it’s so hard going to work / staying at home with the kids isn’t it? Now you know how I feel for the rest of the week blah blah…” Great post. Dawn x #coolmumclub

  21. Anita Cleare (@thinking_parent) Reply

    My husband and I compete to see who can make the loudest and longest “Oh my god it’s so good to be in bed after a hard day” noise when we get into bed. Same argument, less words 🙂 #coolmumclub

  22. reimerandruby Reply

    Sounds so familiar! we do it at home too, trying to boast at each other how tired we are, it’s silly, isn’t it?! Lovely post!

  23. This Mum's Life Reply

    Aaah, this is great!! So thought provoking, and true! I did this only a couple of hours ago…! I had taken up position in the window seat, waiting for my husband to come home, and got the dreaded text to say he was going to be late… I have been so frazzled with my two, quite frankly almost feral, children for the last couple of weeks, that I immediately text him back and said I wanted something in return for his lateness, like for him to cook the dinner, or do bedtime by himself for the next couple of nights…! We had a bit of the worst day battle when he got in, but I suddenly realised I was being silly, and did bedtime and dinner as usual! It’s so wrong to make it a competition, especially when I love him so dearly!

  24. wendy Reply

    This sounds like my life, haha. We always compare who has had the worst day. I often think a full time job would be less stressful than looking after a grumpy 2 year old but the husband thinks staying at home would be better..the grass is always greener, hey?Great post.xx #coolmumclub

  25. toughcookie11 Reply

    Yes we are the same! When I have a day off with little man it’s a competition and even when I work full time, I am the one that brings him home, bathed, bed and puts tea on…hubby walks in half hour later to everything done, moaning about his tired he is lol! #coolmumclub

  26. occupation:(m)other Reply

    Ah sounds like you really understand the other one’s point of view, which is lovely…and something I need to improve. All sounds very familiar…particularly the way the nice parts of the day are easy to forget in the mire of tea time and bedtime! #coolmumclub

  27. Silly Mummy Reply

    Yes, I think this is a problem a lot of people have! #coolmumclub

  28. Mrs Lighty Reply

    I have just won the ‘who’s washing up the bottles?’ argument for today. Mr Lighty has been at work all day, yes, but I’ve had Baby Lighty all day, then after his bath, sat down to do some copywriting while Mr Lighty fed him. Then Baby Lighty wouldn’t settle for Mr Lighty, so I had half hour of rocking him until my knees were aching, at which point I gave up and just put him in his cot and hoped for the best (luckily it paid off). Then I got the washing out of the machine. Have just sat down to link up with #coolmumclub, so I think I deserve a bit of a rest and no bottle washing!!

  29. Mum in Brum Reply

    Fab post and so, so true – we are terrible for this!! I was thinking last night that I need to stop having a moan as soon as Mr M walks through the door. I think with me it’s because in my head I’m convinced the hubby thinks I have it easy – so I have to make it clear that I haven’t! But yes, I definitely love these days really and maybe should let him win. I find cracking open a bottle of red reduces the whining significantly on both sides 😉 xx #coolmumclub

  30. Emily Reply

    Hi Sarah, I love this! Its so true!! I think like you say, each person knows that theyve had it just as hard as the other, but theyve also had great bits that are better than the others. I guess we just cant help but have a bit of a moan at the end of each day..and then occassionally, there are those days that are a little bit better and no one moans (I guess they are usually Fridays, lol). Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays again 🙂

  31. amumsim Reply

    Ahh, so true. My husbands away at the moment and will face a long flight, long drive and jet lag when he gets home tomorrow. I was already gearing up to unleash a speak about the hellish time I’ve had looking after a 5 year old with a stomach bug and a 7 month old maniac (who’ve I’ve been desperately trying to keep away from the sick and poo). He hasn’t been having a great time but he hasn’t been covered in sick and poo either (don’t think) I might not unleash it, I’m going to let him sit down, unpack and fall asleep. Thanks for a lovely post!

  32. Jordanne Lee Reply

    One thing I am thankful for is that my other half never ever says he has had a worse day than me, I really appreciate it and he never says he has had a bad day. He comes home and is so supportive, he makes dinner if I’m too tired to and he cleans my sons room and helps with the dog etc…. It’s not even his son and he does everything he can to help. I am very lucky in this department. I will say though, this competition seems to happen between some mummy friends I have, I’ll say I had a tough night and they will jump on my words and say but they had it worse…. It’s a never ending circle. #coolmumclub

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