I'm from MA originally. I grew up in northern MA, went to college outside of Boston, and minus a few years spent out in Indianapolis, have lived here my whole life. So you would think I'd be used to the winter and snow.
In the last three weeks, we've been hit with three major snow storms. For the last two, I stayed home with the kids since our nanny couldn't make it in (or rather, we told her not to come for her own driving safety). Since Jason is an 'essential employee', that usually means by default I have to stay home.
But not today. I've been feeling extremely guilty about missing so much work. So we agreed that for the next storm, I could go into work and he would stay home. I stayed home long enough for him to shovel out our driveway and cars and got myself into work. Only two hours late, which isn't bad considering the level of snow outside. I still debated going in: I have a bad cold and don't have anything essential that has to be done today. But I thought it would be more important to show my face and knew that it was going to be a quiet day since about 30% of people were probably going to have to stay home.
As I was deciding whether or not to come into work, Jason told me if I did not to worry about him because 'he would be fine with the kids'. Which leads me to this post:
Of course he would. The thought never entered my mind otherwise. And I think that's something that makes our family a little unusual.
Most of my (girl) friends with kids complain about their husbands. Now, I may complain as well, but my complaints mainly center around his inability to put things away (laundry, the can opener, opened mail that is left sitting around which obviously is just spam, etc). But one thing I never have to complain about is his parenting. He is a very involved father, which I think (even in this day and age) is rather unusual.
Some of it is just a consequence of all the health problems I've had. While on bedrest, I couldn't be a parent: Jason had to take over all the parenting and cooking/cleaning for the three months I was out of commission. After the girls were born, I had to recover from the c-section and the complications of that surgery. That was follwed shortly by my bout of pneumonia, where I spent almost two weeks in bed. And then again when I was in recovery for my surgery last fall and couldn't pick up anything for two months. So of the last year, there was a good five months where I could not physically be a parent to my children.
And someone had to take over. I felt horribly guilty at the time, and I know Jason was completely burnt out. It was definitely not a fun period. But never did I worry about his parenting skills. Because even if I had not been out of commission, I believe it is just part of his personality to be such an active parent. He is, after all, in a caring profession: a nurse practioner. Helping and caring for others is just what he does. Now, we may not make the same parenting decisions, but his way isn't wrong and my way isn't right...they are just 'different'. And the things we differ on are the small things that really don't matter too much anyway.
We probably are a good example of a 50/50 parenting relationship. I do all the meal planning and cooking for the kids. He does laundry (although it may take awhile for it to be put away....see above). We both do discipline...but I think he's better at it than I am. We both do the feeding, although while I was pumping he would do the majority of the girls' feeding. In terms of household, I do the daily cleaning and he does a fair amount of 'major' cleaning when it needs to get done...mopping, scrubbing, etc. He does the shoveling/trash while I do the groceries. I put Zev to bed and he puts the girls to bed...and that seems to change daily on which one of those is the worst (although right now Zev seems to be winning, hands-down).
So when people ask how I do it, I probably should answer: with the help of my husband. I really couldn't do it alone. Perhaps when people ask, they are assuming I do it all alone...or at least 80% of it. I can barely manage the 50% I do, so I have to give a shout out and a thank you to my husband...
Couldn't do it without you. If you die, I'm going to have to kill you.