On Tuesday last week, when I arrived home, my kids proudly showed me their sand art that they had created with John while I was at work. “You’re doing crafts with them?” I asked, with a mix of incredulousness and awe. And, okay, I admit it, jealousy. In 8 years as a full-time stay at home Mom, I never did crafts with the kids. Maybe I dumped some paint and some play dough out on the kitchen table once in a while, but sand art is taking it to a whole other level.
I read somewhere once that Moms and Dads parent differently, and that kids need both types of parenting to grow into fabulous adults. yeah, yeah, yeah. But what mother really believes that? We secretly know: we are the best (or do we just take things way too seriously?). Dads are great for an impromptu game of floor wrestling or, as my favorite parenting expert would say, ‘lowering the boom’ when a simple time-out will not suffice. But who knew that in a span of less than 2 weeks, my husband would learn to pack a picnic for the kids better than I ever could. Or that he would not only clean up the house, run the errands, and taxi them to swim lessons, but also find time to take them on mini adventurous field trips.
To be fair, (and John would completely agree with this statement), part of the reason John is doing such a fabulous job with the kids is that 1) it’s summer break, so time is more relaxed and 2) he sees an end in sight, when he returns to work in August. If he had to sustain such awesomeness for the next 8 years, it might be a different story, he admits. Still, I am forever grateful that he has taken on this task, not only without a word of complaint, but with such spirit. It makes leaving my kids completely painless.
It helps, too, that when I leave I am heading to a great job. Just as I love freelancing because I love to write, at my new job I get to write and edit all day long, and because there are other people there (nice people, I should add), I no longer have to talk to myself. Will it be hectic when the kids start back to school and we are all rushing around to get out the door by 7 am? Of course. But to get out the door with my family, on my way to a fabulous job, is much preferred to watching them all go out the door without me. I’m excited about the opportunities and experiences in front of me. We all are.
So to answer the questions, so many have been asking in the past 2 weeks since I started my job: We’re doing great. Role reversal, and a new perspective on life, is always a good thing.