// Fabian is a new father living in Norway who shared his experiences during his 6-month parental leave. //

I’m now at the end of six months of parental leave – of which I shared two with my wife and was the primary caregiver for the remaining four months – and it’s time for a quick recap. I’ll elaborate a bit, but to cut to the chase: these six months were both the most wonderful and also most exhausting of my life!

I have experienced some truly great moments and I have got to know my daughter in a way that would have never been possible otherwise. I have cared for her as she has grown from a six-month-old, who had just learned to roll over from her tummy to her back and cried when things were not going her way, to a toddler, who can almost walk by herself, laughs and starts to articulate herself by gestures and with her own adorable babbling.

Obviously, it has been a lot of fun to watch our daughter go through her developmental stages and achievements, like climbing up on the couch without my help or starting to feed herself. However, I equally appreciated the moments when she was struggling, either because she was going through a rough growth spurt, teething or when she was too exhausted to fall asleep so that she got extremely frustrated. For me, this was where the real parenting started, and it was so fulfilling to be there for her and help her get through those struggles.

Needless to say, things weren’t always easy. The constant attendance to a very small but very active human being and the lack of sleep left me feeling physically run down at times. Now and then I got frustrated by my own self-inflicted pressure of being nothing short of the best dad and husband possible, for example my annoyance when I caught myself looking at my phone for a few minutes rather than playing with the baby, or for failing to do the laundry, or not preparing dinner before my wife would come home from work. And then there were the moments when you thought you had finally cracked the code to make her sleep through the night and you would repeat everything exactly as the day before, just to be woken up four times during the next night.

However, I can truly say that I cherished every minute of my parental leave. Being a stay home dad is unlike anything I do at the office, and while some people consider parenthood the hardest job in the world, I consider it a true privilege and I am already looking forward to my next parental leave in 2020! #DroppingTheNews #NumberTwoIsOnItsWay