Q&A Answer #1

So a while back I asked for some of my readers to ask my some questions. I got a few, here’s the answer to one of them (I’ll get to the others this week, I promise!)

Nicci from Changing The Universe asked this:

OOO!! I have a good one. You went back to work very quickly after having Aidan (wasn’t it like 4 weeks or something?) and you are the breadwinner while Mike is a SAHD.

How has that affected you as far as being a mom? Are you still expected to do the things that all working moms are expected to do (working PLUS cooking and cleaning, etc)? What made you decide to go back to work so soon and to have Mike be the one who stayed home?

In other words, can you talk about how the typical gender roles have been reversed in your house 🙂

Yes, I went back to work 2 weeks post partum. When I found out I was pregnant on March 24th, 2009 I was employed full time, working 55 hours a week. Mike was also employed full time working 40 hours a week. Things were looking good, I thought i would be able to stay home a tleast 6 weeks, despite only getting 2 weeks paid vacation time. My thoughts were shattered a mere 3 days after getting those 2 lines on that pregnancy test.

Mike was laid off. Which was strange seeing as the company had just finished a series of jobs for the county and seemed to be doing fine financially. It was only the owner, office manager (Hi Christine!), Shawn (Mike’s brother) and Mike working there at the time. So needless to say I didn’t cut down my hours AT ALL despite being pregnant, I had to work as much as possible to help pay the bills since Mike’s unemployment obviously didn’t 100% make up his lost salary.

I still thought I’d be able to afford to stay home those 6 weeks, but not any more than that. That thought was shattered when I was admitted to the hospital for a week due to gestational diabetes. This didn’t kill our savings completely, but I wasn’t bringing home any income that week and the biggest condition of me getting out of the hospital was that I would be on partial bedrest. It was either I work a maximum of 4 hours a day and spend the rest of the day in bed, or I remain in the hospital on bedrest until I delivered. Which was over a month away. Obviously I took the choice to be out in the world, even if it meant a drastic cut in pay and hours being worked.

After I had Aidan I was home for those 2 weeks. I had a chance to bond with him a bit, and we worked hard to get his nights and days switched so that when I was back to work I wasn’t up all night. I took care of him primarily those first 2 weeks, but if I asked Mike to help he was right there and didn’t hesitate. He was up with me at nights, making bottles, and changing diapers right along with me.

Once I was back to work I still got up with Aidan at night. I handled him primarily when I got home from work, and all throughout the night. Mike slept through the nights (except a few trying nights I had him get up to help) so he could be wide awake and in a good mood to stay with Aidan during the days. The system worked. I was able to sleep enough thanks to bedsharing to be functional at work, and I had extra bonding time with Aidan at 3am when I was feeding him 😉

During the first month or so our house was a wreck. Mike was adjusting to life with a baby during the days, and I was working. In the evenings it was all Aidan all the time for me, since I had been gone all day.

After that first month or so we settled into a comfortable routine. By 6 weeks or so Aidan was basically sleeping through the night and with the less frequent feeding I was able to get some housework done in the evenings. And on the weekends while he napped we both tag teamed the house & got it cleaned up.

These days our routine hasn’t changed much. He takes long naps on the weekends freeing us up to clean and take our time (within reason). And Mike picks up during the days, making it easier. Mike is also working almost full time now. He works at his old job in the foam shop as a machine operator tuesdays and thursdays, 8+ hours each day. And he works at his old job land surveying monday, wednesday, and friday as needed. Those 3 days aren’t full days, sometimes only 2-3 hours, sometimes more. But either way he’s working more so it helps with our income as a family. Mike’s mother watches Aidan while he’s working.

So now our family dynamic is more back to “normal”, whatever that means. I still wish I was able to stay at home. I have plenty of days where the mommy guilt kicks in full time because I didn’t get a full 6-12 weeks to bond, I am not home with him all day, etc. But because of that he is bonded with his father like CRAZY, and he adores his grandmother, too. He’s sharing his love with 2 other worthy people and that makes me happy. Despite all the mommy guilt I feel I know I’d rather feel guilty for working a job I have to work to put food on the table and a roof over our heads than stay at home and not be able to provide him with the things he needs to grow and thrive.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Diana
    May 06, 2010 @ 00:28:21

    Very cool. I think it's neat he was a SAHD. I bet he misses it – being at home is the best.


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