Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: a not so-bad year after all

The thing that has been so amazing about the last 2 months is how much time we have had to sit around our house together and do nothing.

When Ben frst quit his job, I was freaking the freak out, and one of the ways I dealt with my extreme anxiety was to go to work 5 days a week for long, long days, something I have never done. For a few weeks, I got to see what it would be like to be a dad, and I have to tell you, it was pretty great. I didn't do any of the day-to-day kid stuff like pack lunches and hunt for matching mittens and drop them off at school. I didn't think twice about who was watching my kids when I was at the office because I knew they were home safe with a parent. I also didn't worry when they got sick because I knew they had a parent at home to take care of them, and went on my merry way to work. Every day. It was pretty bad ass.

Ben, though, wasn't totally happy at home, no matter how much I wanted him to be and how much he wanted to be, and I totally understand that. I am not happy at home full time, either. I have to tell you, even though I was looking forward to being a 2-income family in terms of the useless shit I like to purchase everyday, I was not looking forward to long hours for him and a return to the working mom scramble for me on the days I go to campus.

When he got a professorship, though, it was like a dream I never thought about dreaming coming true. We are truly 50/50 in terms of work and kids, and it's such a liberating and soothing idea. Our schedules match up really nicely (even though he gets 2 kid-free days at home every week, and the kids and I stay home from school on the same days). We've always been a team in terms of house and kid work, but the balance has never been totally equal due to the nature of our jobs. Now, though, it's a much clearer division of labor, and so far, I think we're both a lot more content.

The best part has been our amazing winter break-- 2 weeks of spending everyday in our jammies, taking turns sleeping in, watching movies, playing with all the new Christmas toys. And the best part? We get to do this every year. And every summer.

I'm really proud of Ben. He's been so positive and motivated through this whole thing, and you know what? He was right when he assured me fifty billion times that things would work out.


  1. Anonymous10:19 AM

    happy new year to a most wonderful little family..we love and treasure you all...Bomma

  2. Sounds perfect!!

  3. Anonymous2:48 PM

    Congratulations! Wow, this is a really inspiring story for me. I struggle with this very issue - work/life balance and creating a family-friendly career - with my husband. We have one little boy who is five and I work part time to full time on campus and he works in the corporate world and his hours are long, he gets very little vacation, and his benefits are pretty cruddy. I find that I have to cover most of the sick days, doctor appointments, and school shut-downs. I often feel like a single parent and that I'm on this parenting adventure alone. Of course, working for the UW is great. Very family friendly. But it's hard balancing things with a second job like my husband's. There is never any down time. Ever. I feel like the past five years of parenthood have been just go, go, go and busy at a hectic pace with no break.

    My husband didn't even take a paternity leave. It's a major factor in why we have only one child.

    Your post was so inspiring that I read it to my husband out loud and read your husband's post from earlier in December too.

    I've probably asked my husband a million times to look for something more family friendly but he isn't one to embrace change or risk. He's very much in to his routine and he'll probably never change.

    But you gave me a glimpse of hope today.

    Thank you.

    Be thankful your husband wants the same things and you have mutual family goals. Such a blessing.

  4. That picture of the fireman delicately drinking his drink is hilarious.

    I'm so happy that it's all worked out for you both. I love love loved it when Evan was in law school and I was teaching and we had breaks at the same time. It's so nice to actually see each other all the time besides getting to share parenting and grown-up duties.

  5. that's so fantastic!!! I'm so happy that things worked out the way they did! Happy new year!