Dad Goes to Work; Mom Stays Home

He walked out the door. Just like that, just like so many mornings before. Except this time, of course, I wasn’t with him. We’d woken up early to walk. While he showered, I’d packed the lunch, then he’d made the smoothie. Nothing was different but everything was.

Today is my first day as a ‘stay at home mama’. The baby hasn’t even arrived and yet, what a list of preconceived notions that burdened phrase evokes! I imagine that some days in the not so distant future I’ll be excited to put on a dress and be barefoot in the kitchen when he arrives from work, dinner in the oven, proud of my labour, smiling and pretty. On others, I’m sure there will be sweatpants (or no pants?) and tears. At least I know my beautiful husband will take both in his stride.

“The year after next, you’ll work and I’ll stay home, right?” he’d say. Yeah. Sure. Maybe. But truthfully, who knows? We are on the precipice of a giant leap of faith, jumping hearts first into a brand new lifestyle, a new way of moving through the world, a new set of priorities, a new goal for tolerance and flexibility. I am working to let go of generations of expectations, hoping wholeheartedly I’ll know what to do and be able to learn what I need to know directly from my child. He is working to balance responsibilities inside the home and out, to provide without letting it define him, to nurture and be loved here with us as often as he can. And it’s not like we’re the first to ever do this, far from it; but we are consciously looking for ways to make this journey ours, and not just the way it’s been done before.

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