When it comes to my son, I must admit that I am insanely jealous of my husband.
No, not because of the male bonding that will occur throughout the rest of his life. They can have their farts, getting dirty, rough-housing and all that other boy stuff that I'm used to from having 2 male animals in the house already. I know we'll have our own type of mother-son bond that will be special to us.
What I'm referring to is the fact that my husband works from home and gets to experience 9 hours of daily growing, learning and fun while I am at work. We took on a bit of a role-reversal in our household, with me being the parent that goes to work and him staying home to care for our son. It just made sense...I didn't go through 6 years of college and a CPA exam for nothing and he can do most of his work from home as a photographer.
I also like my job (weird, right?). I enjoy the people and I get amazing benefits. And if you really want a confession, here's one: I sometimes LIKE getting away from home on my own. As much as I love my husband, son and relaxing in my pajama pants all day, sometimes it's nice to be in the car, by myself, enjoying a coffee and singing loudly along to some good tunes. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't still submit my resignation if I were to win the next Powerball lottery.
They are only this young for such a short amount of time and so much happens while I'm away. I went back to work after 6 weeks, so my 6 weeks home consisted mostly of hibernating on the couch for feedings and sleep. We played and sang and read books, but there isn't much interaction at that point. Now, at almost 8 months old, he is a ball of energy, soaking up the world around him, laughing, playing with toys and reaching milestones like nobody's business. It's like my husband gets an entirely different experience, one that that will change over time, both good and bad I'm sure.
I, however, get the few hours each night, consisting of eating, some playtime, a bath, eating some more and then bedtime. Some nights, I feel guilty for thinking about other things that need to be done in those few short hours when I'm supposed to be making the most of the time with him that I long for. For the most part, though, having such limited time forces me to cherish every second that I do get with him.
Here are some ways that I'm making the most of this situation:
- We have activities that only he and I do. The biggest of these activities is bath time. It's just me and him...and some duckies and other bath toys. We are fortunate that we have a child that actually enjoys baths and we definitely take advantage of that. So we hang out and play for however long he wants to stay in there.
- We get out of the house. This one gets a little more difficult during the winter, since it's usually almost dark when I get home, but I like taking him to the park or for a walk around the neighborhood if he didn't already go on one with Daddy during the day. This gives us both a new environment and some fresh air.
- I get updates and photos throughout the day. My husband will send me texts and photos of what's going on during the day. Getting a random photo of my almost-naked baby playing in his jumper brings an instant smile to my face.
- We take photos and video of anything and everything. I still don't think we take enough, but we make sure to take photos and video with our cameras and each of our phones so we both have memories wherever we go. We make sure to include big milestones, as well as daily nothings. Is it bad that I’ve already started looking back at them and reminiscing?
- I still have firsts with him too. One thing I thought would be depressing is that my husband would be the witness to all of our son’s firsts, like eating solid food, crawling, speaking, etc., but that hasn’t been the case thus far. I was the first to notice both of his first two teeth. Now, whether my husband already saw them and made me think I was first or if I was actually first, we'll never know. I also swear he said Da-Da after hearing me repeat it over and over (I say Da-Da and Ma-Ma, he can choose what he wants to say first...I also say Mick-ey, because that would be the best thing ever for two Disney fanatic parents). I constantly try to think of new things to do so that when I get home, we do new things to keep him entertained instead of repeating everything that he did with Daddy during the day.
- We make the most of our weekends. I have yet to really go anywhere without my son on the weekends. Mostly because I just don't want or need to. Making the most of it could include going to festivals, relative's houses or around town...or it could be relaxing and playing at home. Whatever it is, we're together.
While I may be jealous of my husband's time with our son, it is an incredible feeling to know that at least one of us is able to stay home and personally take care of him. I also get to reap some rewards, like not having to spend my weekends cleaning or having to rush around in the morning to bring him to daycare, which means more pajama and family time for me.