We’re into Dan’s second week of paternity leave and I’ve decided that I love being half of a stay-at-home mom. Our relationship and parenting style has come to resemble something like doubles beach ball volleyball minus the teeny bikinis.
I do the breastfeeding and Dan takes over for the belch and diaper change. I sleep in late while he packs the kids’ lunches, gets them dressed, feeds them breakfast, and takes them to school. He takes an afternoon nap while I play a game with Magoo, and then he wakes up in time to get Laylee from the bus stop. He loads the dishwasher and I unload. He sets the table for the food-eaters among us while I feed the baby AGAIN. You get the idea.
Most of the time the division of labor flows seamlessly -- largely because my female equipment makes my baby duties pretty clear. So while my mammaries are being flexed, Dan does whatever else needs to be done.
I’ve spent almost 7 years doing the work of a whole mom and I’m not sure I want to go back to that kind of life. I think all stay-at-home parents should come in twos. One to wash the laundry, one to fold. One to read books of dinosaur facts and the other to assist with piano practice. One to make lunch while the other plans dinner. No one would get worn out. You’d just jump in when you were fresh and the ball was coming your way. “I go. I go,” you’d call as you went in for the dig and then your partner would set you up for a wicked spike.
I guess what I’d really like is for some wealthy benefactor to step in and offer to support Dan and I in this lifestyle for the next 5-10 years. In return, I’d promise to always let the investor win at Candyland and provide her with unlimited homemade cinnamon rolls for life. I’d have time to do things like that because I’d only be half a stay-at-home mom, you see?
The best part of our current arrangement is: I only have to shower every other day. Dan does it the rest of the time.