From the moment my wife got pregnant with our second baby I was very excited... I looked forward to the nappy changes, the never-ending feeds, the late nights, the amazing transition from baby into a little girl and the staying at home to care for her.
“Where is your mother?” When my daughter wonders around a museum or runs through a supermarket and I am right behind her, she often gets asked this question. If people find out she is with me she usually hears: “How nice! Are you out with daddy today?” My daughter doesn’t hear how presumptuous these questions are, but it makes me realise our family situation is, apparently, not the norm.
We are a family of four: my wife, me and our two daughters. The oldest just turned 5 and the youngest is 1.5 years old. Their birthdays also mark the dates I left my last two jobs. Both times when my wife’s maternity leave started, I stayed with her to meet our newborn and to help her with the tasks involved. I guess I might also have been a little bit afraid to miss out on anything.
The thought of going back to work after a few weeks scared me. Having children is the most amazing thing we have done and I am very happy we had the chance to enjoy so much of it together. Our ‘baby-moons’ did come to an end though, because my wife went back to work. She has worked hard to get the job she is in and I feel she deserves to stay on the career path she is following for as long as she wants to.
Maybe we could have considered various ‘out-sourced’ forms of childcare, like a nanny or a crèche. We know other couples who have done so and are very happy with their solutions. For us, it worked best that my wife went back to work and I stayed home, at least for the infant/toddler stage of each child's life. When our oldest daughter started to want to socialise more with other kids, I knew it would be better for both of us to stop spending full days together. I started a new job and she started daycare.
From the moment my wife got pregnant with our second baby I was very excited about the thought of doing it all again. I looked forward to the nappy changes, the never-ending feeds, the late nights, the amazing transition from baby into a little girland the staying at home to care for her. It is just as wonderful now as it was with my first daughter, but this one has a big sister that replies: “My mother is at work, but my father is over there.”