Monday, 15 March 2010

Would you take the back seat?

I saw a friend today who's heading back to work in a couple of months after having her gorgeous baby boy . She's throwing herself back into the big, scary, grown-up world of full-time employment, and her enthusiastic husband-to-be is taking over the reigns to become a stay-at-home dad. This got my brain ticking - would I be so prepared to relinquish control? My honest answer? I think not..

I am, it has to be said, somewhat of a control freak. I like to be the one in charge, the one with the all the answers. I think it's what makes me good at my job, albeit sometimes to my own detriment as I'm not a natural delegator. I'm also not good at being given criticism, or advice, so the thought of Young Daddy saying 'Oh no, Miss E likes it done this way' sends my hackles rising. Which makes me admire my friend all the more for being happy to take a step back and let her partner take over.

For all my struggles with my new role as a mum, the loss of freedom, the monotony of my days sometimes, and my crisis of identity, I don't think I'd switch places and be the one at work right now. I like the importance of being the primary carer, and the sense of value and authority this gives me.

What about you? Would you happily trade places with your other half? If they were staying at home instead of you, would you feel resentful of their bond with your baby/ies? Our current paternity leave laws means that it is generally the mother that, at least initially, stays at home with their baby/ies. But what if this weren't the case? What if financial concerns weren't an issue? Who would you have chosen to stay at home for those first few months?
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