I've been working for over two weeks now and we are settling in with this shift in our family's dynamic. What I didn't mention before is that Nick has been trying his hand at being a stay at home dad so this is not just a huge change for me. But no, Nick didn't quit his job (or get fired). He's just cashing in some of the bazillions of vacation hours he accumulated while we were up north. Since he works shift work and has 4 days off at a time it was pretty easy for him to work out being home during the day. This avoids the need, at least for the time being, to pay for childcare which as you all know is a huge expense.
I will be the first to admit that when he came up with this idea I thought he was crazy. I kind of left it alone so he could think about for a while. I thought he'd change his mind when he realised what he'd suggested. I secretly started looking for daycare on my own so I had a back up plan. Then he actually got the time off. I was surprised but still thought that this was going to be a very short lived solution because I honestly figured he's last a week tops. I said as much to several people in a not so joking manner. I would have bet the farm in Vegas against him.
Just to clarify, Nick's a really good Dad. I would say he's a better dad than I am a mom in more areas than I'd like to admit. It's not that I don't think he could do it. I just figured he'd very quickly be done with the day to day tedium and frustrations of dealing with kids. We're also talking about someone who has spent a full day with the kids.... maybe 5 times? And I think that could be generous estimation when I really think about it. I've just always been there and Nick was no stranger to using work as an escape from whining, pooping, crying and general not listening when he'd had enough.
I'm pleasantly surprised to announce that after more than two weeks at home, the kids are happy, fed and dressed everyday. Dressed was a big shocker Nick is famous for all day PJ wearing. He's taken them out, done errands, cleaned, done laundry, yard work and has even made supper for me a couple of times. He says he's enjoying having the time to get things done around the house that he hasn't when he's been working full time. He's getting to see the kids do first hand all those cute things that I used to tell him about at the supper table. Nick has even admitted that he didn't realise how much work it is to get 2 kids up and out at any given time....and he hasn't even had to deal with snowsuits and boots! It's nice to get that little bit of validation for what I've been doing for so long.
As much as I'm really glad that things are going well at home it's been a little strange for me. I'm relinquishing control of so many things which is hard. It took about a week but I'm no longer calling several times a day to check to make sure this was done, and that was taken care of. I have to admit I'm loving being out of the house everyday and having regular adult conversations. Getting up and out of the house before the rest of them are even awake isn't fun since I'm not a morning person but over all, work is working for me. The best part? Coming home at the end of the day to Isaac yelling MUM!!! and doing his best to get down the stairs as quick has he can to hug me. I barely get a hello from Oliver but Isaac's enthusiasm makes up for it.
This arrangement isn't going to last forever but I'm happy that Nick's getting the special time with the kids that he hasn't in the past. I can already see how they are deferring to him more and doing things his way. I don't always like that since the control freak in me wants everything done my way but I guess I'm the one that needs to adapt. As I've said before, Times they are a-changing, but the changes are good.