I haven’t been blogging much lately, and there’s such a long story behind why. Once it’s all over I might tell you about it. For now, let’s just say I’ve been caught up in what is probably the most stressful time of my life. It’s absolutely a First World problem, but my husband and I are embroiled in real estate turmoil. Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. So, I have had nothing to focus on but that stress. Last week, however, I received a flattering message, asking when my next blog was because they miss my content. So, here I am, writing some new content.
As part of our real estate woes, my husband and I have had cause to reassess our current situation. We have been very fortunate in that, for almost a year now, we have equally shared the parenting responsibilities. We both work four days a week, which still enables us to focus on our careers, while also giving us a day each for one-on-one time with our little girl. It has been wonderful! It was to my shock and amazement that we found ourselves in a position to buy a three-bedroom house on two part-time salaries. We didn’t, however, count on one thing after another going wrong in the process.
Related: I’m a better mum because I work
So, now we find ourselves in a situation where – while not 100 per cent necessary – it makes sense for one of us to go back to work full time, if not in the immediate future, then by the close of the year – 18 months after we commenced the current arrangement.
I admit to being nervous about this. Inequality opens up the window to resentment, jealousy and pity – and it’s both ways. For me, I am very career-focused. Moving back to full time would make sense for me. Plus, it would give me scope to fast-track my career. There’s just one problem: I don’t want to go full-time. I want my day with my girl. Each day I flip-flop from one option to the next, but how to decide what the right decision is? I also think to myself, “I had a year off with her, hubby didn’t. It’s unfair of me to ask him to be the one to go back full time.” And it’s true. It is. Nothing about this situation is fair. He’s in the same boat.
Then there’s the question of a second child. If, indeed, we elect to have a second child (the jury is out on that at the moment) then it makes sense for hubby to be full time so that we have that salary when I’m off having another kid.
Nothing makes this decision easy.
The best part of having an equal arrangement is nobody is missing out. I found things tough when I was on maternity leave. The equal marriage we had always had was suddenly skewed. I resented hubby for being able to go to work. I’m sure he resented the time I got to spend with missy. Now, sure, the balance wouldn’t be so different this time around, but it’s still there.
This blog is not going to end with a conclusion. I have no idea what we will decide to do. Either way, I’m not sure there’s a way to find a fair and equitable arrangement, but we will do what we can. All I can say is that our equal (or 4:4 as I’ve seen it described) parenting method has been amazing. It has strengthened our relationship, and given us time for family time and one-on-one time with our bubbly little girl. To see that come to an end makes me sad, but with it comes new adventures and challenges. In the end, we do it all for out beautiful girl, and I guess that’s all that really matters.
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