In our household, one parent goes out to work every day and holds a full time job while the other parent is a stay home parent and takes care of the needs (and sometimes the wants) of the kids. HusBenKoh is the one who goes to work, while I am the one who stays home with the kids.
More often than not, the stay home parent is the one who knows the kids better. In my case, I know the likes and dislikes of my kids better than my husband. I know the names of my kids' friends and I hear more about what happens every day than my husband.
On top of caring for the kids, the stay home parent is the one who gets to discipline and teach the kids more. More time with the kids means more opportunities to "bump" into all the good and not-so-good behaviour in the kids. More time with the kids also mean more opportunities to teach life lessons and to share knowledge.
Basically, the parent who stays home instead of going out to work, is most likely the one who will know every bit, or at least more about the kids, than the parent who goes out to work.
While husBenKoh does spend time with the kids when he is not at work, I have found that it is different for him when I am home with him and the kids. Even though it is nice to have family time, it is sometimes necessary for me to be out of the house so that husBenKoh can truly get to know the kids.
When I am home with husBenKoh and the kids, the kids have an alternative, or a choice if you will. When they need a hug, they may choose me over husBenKoh because I am usually the one who comforts them on most days. When they need to be disciplined, I may step up first because I am usually the one who does it anyway.
The opportunities to get to know the kids at a deeper level are different when it is one parent taking care of the kids versus both parents being at home taking care of the kids together. Therefore, if the working parent wants to get to know the kids just as well as the stay home parent, he or she needs time to take care of the kids alone.
HusBenKoh gets these opportunities of taking care of the kids by himself whenever I am out doing my freelance job (I am a freelance events emcee/host), or when I am occasionally out on a break, getting some me-time. The duration of such occasions vary between a couple of hours to one whole day.
Another thing I like about husBenKoh having the opportunity to take care of the kids alone is how he will have a taste of what I go through every single day while he is at work.
On certain days, I come home from a freelance job and find husBenKoh sharing a big cuddle with the kids. They are seated in front of the TV, all huddled together as they watch whatever is on the TV screen. Moments like this doesn't happen to husBenKoh every day, so they are extra special to him. I smile, knowing that husBenKoh get to have extra cuddles from the kids.
On other days, I come home from my freelance work and find husBenKoh all worn out after a frustrating day with the kids. I usually ask him what happened while I was away and he shares what the kids have done that got him so upset. When that happens, I smile too, and tell husBenKoh, "Welcome to my every day.".
I'm not saying that family time is not important or that handling the kids alone is better. Family time is always the best, but what I'm saying is that every parent should have a chance to take care of the kids alone.
It is only when you are alone with your kids that you get to do every single for your kids (when they are young), and through that, get to know your kids' likes and dislikes firsthand instead of hearing from your spouse.
It is only when you are alone with your kids that you learn how to discipline and teach your kids, and you learn what works with one and the other.
It is only when you are alone with your kids that you have a chance to experience what your stay home spouse goes through every day, from the washing and cleaning, to feeding and changing, to addressing every big and small issue concerning the kids.