I’m going to be travelling next week to attend a conference. This is my first time away from the kids for longer than overnight. I’m looking forward to the chance to focus on work and the research I’ve worked on for the last few years. But, I’m also worried about being so far away from the kids for so long. I’m sure the novelty of not having to worry about potty visits, snacks and cleaning up toys will wear off fairly quickly, and I’ll miss them a lot.
But, before I can even get away for the conference, there’s a lot of organizing I need to do. It seems like it will take a dozen people to look after the kids while I’m gone. Between family, friends, our nanny and my husband, I know everything will be looked after and the kids will be cared for. But the logistics are quite complicated. I know my husband can look after his own children, but I want to make it as easy for him as possible since he’ll be looking after all the parenting responsibilities.
The need to put down things down on paper has reinforced how many things I do intuitively and naturally as part of my daily routine. Despite my attempts to include my husband in parenting decisions and my expectation that he does his share when he isn’t at work, there are things he rarely has to deal with. For example, I realized that I have all the health insurance cards and birth certificates in my wallet. I have the nanny and doctor’s phone numbers on my computer and in my cell phone. And, I know which cream is for regular diaper rash, which is for more serious diaper rash, which is for dry skin and which is for S’s rash on her foot.
My husband is definitely the expert on baths. He is able to get three kids clean and ready for bed, and they all enjoy the process completely. I, on the other hand, usually end up wet, frustrated and wondering what I’m going to do with these slippery bodies trying to escape my grasp.
What aspects of parenting are “yours” and “your partner’s”? Do you try to balance the responsibilities and make sure both parents are involved in childcare, or do you each have your own specialities?