My husband is the primary care giver for our 6-month-old son. He is an out-of-work construction worker and with recession, there is not much work in sight for him. This meant that after two months on maternity leave, I packed my lunch bag and headed back to work as the sole provider for our family. I have been noticing that our “a-typical situation” is rapidly becoming more a typical situation for many families across the country, where a mom works and a dad stays home with the kiddos. It is a mental adjustment for everybody and definitely has its pros and cons – at least as far as I am concerned.
- Pros: I don’t have to pay for day care, I get to be with “grown-ups” all day, and I get a sense of self-worth out of working.
- Cons: I don’t get to spend every waking moment with my little guy and the biggest one of all – I am starting to miss some of the milestones that he is hitting.
The single idea of missing Elijah’s milestones has been a heavy subject on my heart even before he was born. I always thought I would get to be there to watch him roll over for the first time, crawl for the first time, and take his first steps. As much as I wish I could be there for all of these great accomplishments, I know that I can’t. And so it is with that, I am coming to terms with this fact of life and trying to figure out how to cope with it.
I read some mommy blogs about this topic, as I know I am nowhere near the only person in this boat. It really helped to ease my mind that almost every working mom was on the same page as me: sorry they are missing the milestones, glad they can provide for their family, and finding ways to make each milestone a celebration, even if it is not really the first time for the child. One of the resounding comments throughout the blogs was: tell your caregiver to not inform you of the milestones so that you can still be surprised when you see your baby rollover/crawl/walk etc. I love that idea for the most part, though part of me wants to know as soon as it happens! My husband called me today to tell me that not only did I miss Elijah’s first “roll over,” but he did too! He looked away and then all of a sudden he looked up and there he was on his belly! It was reassuring to me that I may have missed this moment myself had our roles been reversed.
I am still trying to figure out what it is that I really want to know and not know (and when!), but I am confident that my husband and I can work out a plan. Maybe it will be different with each milestone. Who knows?!
If you have any suggestions on how you or your partner coped with missing milestones, please share it with us in the comment field below. We’d love to hear from you!
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