Dani’s thoughts and feelings on Chris going back to work….
That is all I wanted to write….but perhaps I should explain myself a bit more. Although I reckon that many of you mums out there won’t need me to write an explanation because we probably feel the same way about our partners returning to work after parental leave.
Chris technically doesn’t get parental leave. In the US, you are lucky to get any parental leave. Chris saved up his annual leave to allow him to take 3 weeks off for both the birth and learning to become a dad. Fortunately some of the days include public holidays – Christmas, New Years and Martin Luther King Day. So that was lucky to get an extra few days without eating into his leave.
Chris’s company does give him a ‘transition week’, which when you add up the time off equals 2.5 days of parental leave. What is a transition week? Well, he gets to work half days from home…allowing him to support his new family but ease both him and us into working life again. Makes a lot of sense. I’ll let you know how that goes!
So Chris’s last day of leave was last Friday. It has been amazing to have him around. He has been amazing. I don’t know how mums do it when their partners go back to work within a few days…or worse, they are simply not around because they are deployed or for some other work related reason. Why has he been amazing?
- He has given me confidence that I can do this.
- He supports my breastfeeding, by making sure I have everything I need – water, food, pillows, blankets, burp cloths, entertainment, timing the feeds.
- He changes Aviana’s diapers/nappies.
- He gets up at night to wake up Aviana, give Aviana to me whilst I am in bed so I can nurse her, then put her back down to sleep.
- We share the burden of dealing with Aviana fussing at night. But sometimes he takes on more of that share.
- He has done the cleaning, washing, cooking, tidying, driving etc. All the things I haven’t been allowed to do for the two weeks of my post partum recovery.
- He is an expert in all things bath related for Aviana.
- We take turns in dressing Aviana and trying to figure out what is and isn’t appropriate to wear!
- He has dashed out to shops to get things we hadn’t thought of or ran out of sooner than expected.
- He looks after Aviana, even when she is fussing, so that I can take a shower in the morning, and a bath at night (helps with my postpartum recovery).
- Read the books, googled advice and hacks on looking after a newborn. Sharing his newfound knowledge with me.
- Tells me he loves me and how he loves seeing me being a mum. He also makes me feel like I am more than just a mum to him, I am still his wife.
- Encourages me to achieve one personal goal a day.
- Cries with me when I randomly cry (which mostly has been at happy things or pure relief things have worked out well for us)
😦 Dani’s sad face.