As I sit down to write this, it is 7am and I am downstairs with my daughter Erin. She has been awake since 4am and has only just relented and gone to sleep. My wife is upstairs enjoying a well deserved lie in. It has come to my attention that she is, in fact, Supermum! I wish I could get her a cape.
To say this is a rarity is an understatement. As I work full time, often 6 days a week, I usually leave the house at 7am and don’t return until gone 6pm some days. If Erin is awake before I leave I usually only get the chance to give her a quick nappy change, perhaps a bottle before going to work. When I get home it is nearly Erin’s bedtime so the routine is that I do her bath and then put her to bed with a bottle and sometimes a story, if she stays alert enough.
The rest of the time the care of our daughter falls squarely on Lyndsey’s shoulders. This has not worried me up until now because both Lyndsey and Erin always seem so happy. Erin was ill recently and I saw Lyndsey struggle. I realised that she may be doing too much.
On a normal day Lyndsey looks after Erin while I’m at work. Most days they go out and do something. That might be Baby Yoga, Swimming, Baby Sensory or something else fun. When I get home dinner is normally ready or cooking away. Somehow Lyndsey cleans during the day. When Erin has gone to bed, Lyndsey starts work on other things. The blog is a big part of what Lyndsey does on an evening but she also writes reviews. Then there is the planning for Erin. Lyndsey makes sure that Erin tries new foods, has a well-balanced diet and purees the hell out of everything!
I hadn’t really realised what looking after Erin all day, every day really involves. During my week off work I really wanted Lyndsey to relax or to catch up on things I knew she wanted to get done. God, it was hard to start with. Over the 7 days I was at home she woke up at 3am most nights. One magical morning she stayed asleep until 5. Whenever she woke up my routine was the same . I would go downstairs as quietly as possible, give her a bottle, go to sleep on the sofa with her. It seemed to work well.
I then had Erin with me for most of the day. She eats a lot! I didn’t realise that she eats or has a bottle every couple of hours. In between these times she wants to play… ALL THE TIME! I didn’t realise that Lyndsey and Erin do this every day when they are at home. Sometimes Erin would cry and I didn’t know why. That little girl makes no sense sometimes! Erin is also so used to having naps when it is just Lyndsey at home. She didn’t want to fall asleep on me. There was a lot of crying! Singing helped a bit thankfully.
I have so much respect for any stay at home parent and what they have to do. It is so much harder than going to work. This week off really made me realise that Lyndsey is a Supermum. I’m not sure that I could do what she does all day. I have unwittingly been guilty of not doing my bit when it comes to my daughter or supporting Lyndsey with things at home. I was so focused on working hard to try to improve our situation that I took my eye off the ball. Not any more!