Today, for the first time since becoming parents, my husband went back to work. I dreaded the day. In fact, I was secretly counting down the days, keeping inventory of how many hours I had left before I was on my own. Being home alone can feel isolating and, with a newborn, sometimes pretty damn boring. I knew it was necessary for him to go back, but I daydreamed about a life where we could both stay home and take care of Lucas as a team. All the daydreams involved Cash For Life.
Dom was lucky enough to get three weeks off post baby, but by the time we settled into our perfect routine, it was time for us to readjust. For the past three weeks we had visitors almost every day, and now it would be just Lucas and I, while Dom went to work for 10 hours a day. For the first time ever my son and I would spend the majority of our time one and one, and it would be up to us to learn from and teach each other. I initially found this terrifying, and I was quite emotional about it, but when the day came my mom-confidence just seemed to kick in. I listened for my sons cues, tended to his needs, and even found time to make the dog feel loved. I FaceTime’d when I missed my hubby, sent him pics of his little meatball (his son, not me) and then went about my day. The tears never came, and the nerves were never an issue.
The one I really feel for in this situation is my husband. Today, my heart broke for him, and as a result, all the dads that have been in this very situation. Men rarely have a choice in this matter. It’s just a given that mom’s will stay home and that dad’s will rejoin the work force after – if they’re lucky – a couple of weeks. You spend these two (or in our case three) weeks in that amazing new-family-bubble, falling deeply in love with your child, and then you’re quickly plucked out and you have to snap back to reality. It sounds devastating and displacing; to be physically in one place, and emotionally in another. To be so reluctant to leave, and in such a rush to get back. To miss almost a third of the week with them, knowing fully that you are likely to miss all these amazing developmental milestones, like the first real smile, the first laugh, the first words and *GASP* the first step! Dad’s, you truly are the unsung hero’s. Missing those above moments takes a strength I know I wouldn’t have. Some may think that going to the office sounds like a dream. You get some quiet time away from what many assume are screaming children, but as women, we truly are blessed to get to stay home with our kids in that first year, and its a joy that many men will never know.
And so today, as my husband walked out the door, I was grateful for the role he is playing for our family, knowing that I would never want to switch places. I appreciated him and what he was sacrificing. I was thankful for modern technology, and how it would help us feel truly connected. And then my son did something cute and I Face Time’d him.