My baby managed his first real crawl last night. I wasn’t here to see it.
I returned to my paid job, after parental leave, on Monday. Our family’s caring arrangement is that I handle the mornings, so my husband can go into work as early as he likes. In return, he handles the afternoons, so I can stay at the office after business hours.
I’ve commented before on a Harvard Business Review article that touched on the different expectations bosses have for new parents: it seems as though mums may be expected to want to spend more time at home, and dads may be expected to want to spend more time at work to shoulder their assumedly increased breadwinning responsibilities.
I can’t speak for all mums, or all dads, only our family. We both want to be at the workplace, and we also both want to spend time with the kids.
Because of our arrangement, my husband has primary care of the kids in the evenings when I spend the day at the office. That arrangement is an obstacle to his falling into the (possibly) expected male role of working harder and longer once the kids arrive. In other words, when I miss time at home, he has time at home.
So while I missed the first crawl, he was right there for it. In another time, or under different gender roles, he might not have been.
That’s the upside.