Paternity Leave!

It's been nearly a week since my last posting.  Nothing especially busy was happening in our house... the week just got away from me.  :)

Patrick's first day of 12 weeks of paternity leave was Tuesday of this week.  We have about 2 weeks of overlap between his first day and my last day of maternity leave.  I go back the week after next.  The idea was that we would have this overlap so that he could observe our daily routine and the transition would be seamless for the kids.

During the last few months of my pregnancy, I started to hate lots of things.  Sleeping, peeing, walking, sitting, heartburn.  One of the things I really hated was hearing things like this at work: "Not too much longer until your vacation, eh?"  I wanted to hit everyone who said this.  (It came in different forms, including, "Won't you be happy to get a break?" and "I wish I could take a 12 week vacation!")

So Patrick has learned that referring to time home with two small kids as a vacation is not nice.  It's not even really safe, actually.

Even though he knows that, he still has a whole list of all of the things that he is going to get done while he is home with the kids.  And these are big things, not just things like organizing the hall closet.

These two days, it's been less "Daddy's home with us!" and more, "Daddy's home, but so is Mommy, so Mommy will be the go-to parent."  He's found time to do all of the things that he wants to do: mow the front yard, mow the back yard, do some line trimming, sand and re-stain the dining room table...

So we've decided that this week will be like a week that we both happen to have off, and next week will be the week where he shadows us while we go about our regular day.  We'll see how that goes.  I'll report back with how next week turns out, and I'll be sure to periodically provide updates on his 12 weeks home with the babies.

To be totally clear, Patrick's a great dad -- actually the best dad I know -- so I know he will do a great job.  I'm fortunate that he is a hands-on father, that he changes diapers, puts Avelynn down for naps, is receptive to feedback and does lots (most?) of the house chores.  But I just don't think he realizes how much work it really is to be home with the two kids.  This will be a great chance for both of us to appreciate the other a little bit more.

I know I'm not the only one who feels sometimes like he just doesn't get how much work it really is to be with the babies.  Have you dealt with this?  What did you do to help it be clearer to your partner that you're not just sitting at home, eating bon bons?  Let me know in the comments!


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