Today is hubby’s first day back at work, he had his paternity leave and a bit of annual leave and this morning I was suddenly wholly responsible for two under two.
It started well – feed Ben his breakfast (1 weetabix, 1 slice of toast) while Ciaran sleeps after another breast feed at 7am. Get me and Ben washed and dressed, then Ciaran woke up hungry again, so feed the baby while trying to amuse Ben – put Ciaran back to bed upstairs and play with Ben and put laundry on, play some more, stick on CBeebies and try to order an online shop; then it all broke down. Ciaran woke up, again, needing to be fed and covered in snot (he has a minging cold).
Eventually I called my Mum and begged for help – I hadn’t drunk water since 6:00am Ciaran wasnt washed yet and it was past 10:30. I tried to reach the box of tea bags in the high up shelf of the cupboard and knocked over Chris’s ground coffee – so posh coffee is all over the kitchen floor, the dishwasher hasnt been emptied yet so the sink is full as well! Mum came to the rescue – she watched Ben while I cleaned Ciaran and knocked back some paracetamol, bought me some more skimmed milk and kindly took Ben to her house for lunch and a nap. I’m torn between making my lunch, tidying the kitchen or just sleeping upstairs.
Little sis comes home today to visit so when she gets to my parents I’ll go over there with Ciaran and then after a catch up will be back home with two under two. I’m starting to feel the full horror of looking after two very young children, when Ben was a baby I could sleep when he slept or get housework done; if one child is sleeping I feel I should spend time with the other and am getting into a state.
Why can’t we use the Swedish models of leave where parents are supported by the state rather than penalised – i.e. 50% pay for your maternity leave, 6 months leave for the mother followed by 6 months of leave for the father. Instead we get paid a pittance after 6 weeks and the Dads are allowed a paltry 2 weeks leave. Hubby works with people who feel strongly that he should focus on work and leave me to focus on the house and family so he is unlikely to get much sympathy if I ask him to leave early.
Despite the fact that in the last 12 months I have equalled his earnings if you combine my part-time salary (same grade as his but I don’t get a bonus as I dont work for a trendy council like him!) and the consultancy money, I am back to being at home simply because I am a woman – sadly he is much happier and better at looking after the kids than I am and in the ideal world he would be the part time worker / stay at home parent.
Things can only get better right?