I’ve mentioned in passing before that The Hubs is staying home with Ariadne. He’s a Pseudo Stay at Home Dad. Pseudo, as in, he works when he can (from home) but he is our solution to two people who very much wanted to avoid daycare.
I’ll say right away that daycare was the big thing holding me back from having a baby. In fact, when The Hubs told me he was ready (FINALLY) my big question to him was – “What are we going to do while I’m at work?” I left it up to him to come up with a workable solution, because I’ll be honest, I’m the breadwinner. Actually, I’m just The Bread. I’m the one with the solid income. The Hubs does work for the school (a corporate grant research type statistical analysis thingymajig), but it’s obviously no where close to a real salary and every semester it’s a crapshoot as to if he’ll still be working.
So, there was no way I was giving up working. Even though at the time I totally foresaw a future of being a Stay at Home Mom (maybe later I’ll tell you all about figuring out that I’m most totally definitely not SAHM material) if he wanted a baby stat, it was going to have to be without me staying home, and without daycare.
Maybe I should broach that subject.
We’re a non-daycare partaking family. Not just because we could do without it. But because we specifically went into getting pregnant with the decision to not use daycare – at least not full-time, and hopefully not for the first year. Obviously this isn’t the case for all families. But for us, if we had not had a non-daycare solution, we wouldn’t have gotten pregnant. I don’t have issues with daycare, or people that use that option. It’s just not for us.
For a few of our non-controversial reasons – daycare would have caused major setbacks for our cloth diapering plans, it would have eaten up a lot of our monthly surplus (we could afford it no problem, but it just wasn’t what we wanted to spend our money on) and to be frank – it seemed a waste when The Hubs could make staying at home work.
It was The Hubs decision for him to stay home. His work schedule was flexible, and his last few classes could be done in the evening. After the classes were done in December, he could easily work on his Doctorate from home. So with that, we had a solution.
At the time I worried a lot about what kind of Dad he would be. Not to say I questioned his fatherly abilities, not at all. I just didn’t know how into being a Dad he would be. Would he play with her? Would he remember to do tummy time? Would he challenge her developmentally? Would he be teach her sign language? (a big big big big big thing I wanted her to learn) Would he take pictures and video? A lot of Dad’s (and Mum’s) just aren’t cut out to stay home. It’s not easy. It’s challenging and exhausting.
I worried about how much work he would be able to get done. On top of the full time job of caring for an infant – he is also a full time PhD student, he’s finishing up his masters thesis, preparing for his doctorate, working for a huge international corporation on their research grant (with the hopes that they’ll hire him when he’s done school), tutors on the side etc. He’s a busy guy.
All things I shouldn’t have worried about.
The week before I went back to work, I was constantly harassing him about how this was all going to work. I kept on and on about making sure Ariadne was getting enough attention (like that’s ever a problem) and that his thesis was getting written. I spent way too much time worrying about how everything would get finished, and how messy our house would be with both of us so ridiculously busy. I was more worried than he was.
And he proved that he is so very much so cut out for this role. Without a doubt, he is the best person to be taking care of our girl.
Sure, it’s all a learning process. The first week had it’s challenges. On day 2, Ariadne didn’t nap.at.all, on day 3 I was late getting home from work – which meant The Hubs held the door open for me as I walked in and he walked out to head to class, on day 4 Ariadne pooped on her Daddy while he was on a conference call with the folks he works with at the Corporation.
But at the end of the week, I went to download pictures from the memory card, and noticed these
Pictures I didn’t take. Pictures that The Hubs took. Pictures that weren’t of her doing something funny, or cute. Serene pictures of a sleeping babe. Pictures that only someone who was absolutely in love would take. Pictures that only someone happy, and a peace with themselves would take. Pictures that captured a moment I missed, and that The Hubs wanted me to be part of.
We are so lucky for our girl. But I am the most lucky, because I have a husband who has completely embraced his role in his daughter’s life – and that is the greatest gift – watching him being a Daddy.
And this girl, this girl sure loves staying home with her Daddy.