I have survived my first week back at work. A big achievement for me and an even bigger achievement for my hubby, who has survived his first week in his new job, Daddy Daycare. We’ve muddled through the nights of high temperature and sniffly noses (with a lot of support from our best buddy Calpol). I’ve managed to keep my eyes open for most of my meetings – I find that a tight ponytail can help with this – and leave the office at 4pm sharp. And hubby has managed to achieve the gold-standard in parenting in his first week: dinner on the table, a tidy house and a contented baby. He is clearly better at this job than I am.
When we found out that I was pregnant, we decided that our aspirational childcare arrangements for Baby G would be 3 days in nursery and 2 days at home with a parent. It wasn’t easy to decide who that parent should be. We both really enjoy our jobs and both of our jobs should be done full-time to be done well. But after some discussion, it felt like the timing was better for my other half to take a new part-time role that would enable the lifestyle we were hoping for.
Despite the positive steps taken in the U.K. towards equality in parenting, it was interesting to see and hear some of the reactions that he got for making this decision. Some colleagues expressed surprise and disbelief at the “wasted talent” and knock to his career. Others congratulated him on making such a brave decision and wondered how long he would last. I don’t think that we have once been met with quiet acceptance when telling friends our plans. Sadly it seems that a dad choosing to stay at home to take care of the kids is still an exception.
I’m proud of my exceptional man.