This is probably going to be the first of many posts. Part 1 of my freak out. We’ve now past the 6 week mark in my maternity leave, it’s more than halfway over and suddenly instead of feeling like I have plenty of time to adjust to the new dynamic of our family, I am SCARED. I have to go back to work in 5 weeks and leave my husband alone all day with our two children.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m not doubting his capabilities. This is the same man who cared for our daughter on his own for four days when she was three months old and I had to take my first work trip across the county. This is the same man who can change a poopy diaper, sing the ABC’s, and rock a bassinet with his foot all at the same time. The same man who can carry a toddler on his hip, 2 diaper bags, Arlo in his car seat and still manage to hold the door open for me. He’s super dad – for real.
But I can’t deny that neither of us have figured out how to parent these two small, lots-of-attention-requiring human beings on our own without the other. We have such a team dynamic and have handled every parenting situation since Arlo was born jointly. Brent left me alone with both of them long enough to mow the lawn a few weeks ago and I must have looked out the window a dozen times to see if he was done. One minute I was breastfeeding Arlo while trying to prevent Everly from jumping off the side of the couch, the next I was trying to cut her turkey and hummus sandwich into bite size pieces while telling her not to poke her brother in his swing as he screamed to nurse again (the boy loves his cluster feeding). The thirty minutes he was gone felt like an eternity.
Last weekI fed the baby, put him in Brent’s arms and told him I needed to run a quick errand to the drugstore. When I left, Everly was playing with her toys and dancing to a song on Nick Jr. Twelve minutes passed before my cell phone was ringing and Brent was telling me to hurry home while both babies cried in the background.
I know we only have two children (and not 19 like the Duggars – I mean, can you even imagine!?!). I also know stay at home parents do this on their own every day (serious, for real kuddos to those of you who fall into this category). To make matters worse, we aren’t even new parents – we’ve got eighteen months of experience under our belts already. Each of us should be able to confidently take care of both children on our own without needing the support of the other. So why does it feel so intimidating?
As a team, we’ve got this. Two kids, two parents – man on man defense at its finest - but we better get our act together as individual caretakers quickly. These five weeks are going to fly by, and soon enough I’ve got to head back to work and leave Brent with both of the kids on his own. That will be eight hours or more on his own.
We need a plan and we need it now.