By Guest Blogger Jen Mearns
OK, I have a confession.
But before I get to that, let me give you some background.
After I had my first child, I really didn’t want to go back to work. I didn’t feel like I had enough time with him, had barely gotten him on a schedule and just generally didn’t feel ready. I went back to work for two months and then quit.
Fast forward four years and two additional babies. Yes, I know. It was fast. Yep, they are certainly close in age. Yes, I do have my hands full, thanks for noticing! Due to circumstances with my husband’s job—he was very unhappy, hours sucked, etc.—I decided to look for a job again.
I was unsure if I would be OK with going back to work.
I was unsure if my husband would survive our boys if I did go back to work.
I was unsure if they would ever be on time, anywhere, if my husband was responsible for their schedules.
Turns out, it worked out fine. Better than fine, actually. My husband is enjoying his time with the boys and being able to appreciate them when he’s not tired after a ten-hour day at work and cranky to boot. He enjoys cooking, tolerates cleaning better than I do, and—for the most part—gets everyone to school on time.
Being a stay-at-home dad is definitely a new role for him. It’s especially different because he was raised in a home where his mother stayed at home while his father worked. One great thing that has come out of this is that the boys have the stricter disciplinarian at home with them. I’ll admit it. I’m a pushover and tend to pick my battles. My husband, however, is stricter and fights nearly every battle with them in an effort for them to grow into well-behaved, Christ-following children, teens and ultimately, men. The cute, tiny Adirondack chair my dad made for T when he was born has become the naughty chair and it is used practically every day.
Of course, there has been the odd little hiccough. There was the time O was forgotten at preschool. And then when T was forgotten as well another day. And the time J, the baby, went for his 2-year-old well-child visit at the pediatrician and due to my husband’s answers on the ages and stages questionnaire, our pediatrician called me at work to make sure he didn’t need to send J to a developmental specialist. Sigh.
But it is a learning curve and we’re all learning.
And me? My job is good. The hours are great, much better than my husband’s 50-odd hour work week. I work in a cancer center lab, four days a week. The work is interesting, but it’s work. The really interesting thing? My secret confession? I don’t miss being at home. I’m a terrible housewife. A good mom, I think, but a terrible housewife. I got to spend four years at home with the boys and that was amazing. I know some women work because they have to and would rather be home with their kids. Now, however, I’m happy that I get to get out of the house and talk to adults and use my degree. And my husband is happy where he is for now. Things might change again in the future, but for now, we’re good.
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