Greetings readers! My name is Henry’s Mom (aka, Annie) and I’m excited to be able to contribute to this awesome blog! My husband, Henry’s Dad (aka Chris) has known Craig longer than he’s known me, and will also be contributing to THD when he finally gets a free moment. Here’s a little background slash introduction to my parenting world. Our son, Henry, was born in October of 2013, and has spent pretty much every day since then smiling, learning, and exploring. We live in New Hampshire with 3 cats, 2 dogs, and my dad. (Let’s hear it for multi-generational homes for millennials!) I cherished every day of my maternity leave, but was eternally thankful that Chris worked from home and was willing and able to take on the responsibility of being a stay/work-at-home dad. He would diligently send me photo updates almost every day, share his insane stories of the weird judgement he would get from women when they saw him alone, out, with an infant, and generally keep me posted on various types and frequencies of Henry’s bowel movements.
Anyway, flash forward to June, Chris and I had returned from our honeymoon/first family trip and I quit my job. Seem sudden and irrational? Maybe it was. But when I was on the trip with my family I came to the realization that I kind of like spending time with them. I didn’t hate my job, but I wasn’t crazy about it either, and there wasn’t a huge amount of growth potential without totally pigeonholing myself. I realized that the money I was making at my job wasn’t worth the time and moments I would be missing out on being there. So I quit.
I gave myself two months to “figure things out” and to see if being a stay at home mom would work for me. It didn’t. Not really. I love my family and I love my son, but I need something to spark my creative brain. Just when I was getting to the brink of cabin fever and starting to look for a new job closer to my home, I was given the opportunity to freelance for a friend of mine, part time. So now, Chris and I both work from home, are here for Henry, and yet still can’t manage to put our clothes away when they’re clean.
But Chris and I are figuring it out. Because we both work from home we have to manage the balancing act of “work” time and “free” time and “Henry” time, because those delineations aren’t made for us through daycare or work schedules. What’s working for us now is I take Henry most mornings, Chris takes him in the afternoons and then will also work after dinner. I love the freedom we have to go grocery shopping when it isn’t a madhouse, make doctors appointments that aren’t first or last in the day, and just being able to slow down and watch Henry turn into a kid.
Working from home hasn’t been a cake-walk, though. Would I be making more money if I went back to work? Of course. Would it be easier to figure out health insurance? Most definitely. Would it be worth it? I’m not sure. Maybe when Henry’s a little bit older, I’ll be more inclined to dust off my nice pants and blouses, but for now I’m happy in my stained t-shirt at home with my son who’s just starting to figure out spoons.
Look for my posts on THD about parenting roles and expectations from your partner. As more and more dads stay home with their kids, what other expectations have shifted/should (or should not?) shift with that role?