You might have noticed I've been rather absent. Just a few token book reviews of late. Dh has been on paternity leave for the past two months. On Monday, Dh's paternity leave is officially over. He took off a week right when the baby was born in mid-April, then took off 7 weeks starting in late May. It's been great.
It has also sucked like a mutha.
I'll try not to make this a big complaining session. But I think you should understand. When I tell my friends, or people at church that Dh took paternity leave, the universal response is "Oh, how wonderful." But consider if you will, the reality of paternity leave in the Superhero household.
Good: Dh takes care of Miss E in the morning (breakfast, diaper change <- inevitably a big stinky poo).
Bad: Thinks I am sleeping in while in actuality I am taking care of this second child we now have.
Good: Dh helps clean up the house.
Bad: Dh is by far the messiest person in our family. This completely cancels out the good. The house has been incredibly messy while he's been home.
Good: Dh loves playing with Miss E and takes her places to keep them both entertained.
Bad: Dh has confused paternity leave with personal vacation and complains about lack of fishing trips.
Bad: We have both been getting on each other's nerves like crazy and have been bickering a lot.
And there's just not really a good to balance out that last bad. This past week Dh left for a few days to visit his friend in eastern Washington. He went on his motorcycle and had a great time. And frankly, so did I. The kids were well-behaved. I slept reasonably well. I had a few friends over one night and we stayed up much too late chatting and laughing our heads off (they left my house at 1:20 a.m., to be precise). And when Dh got back, we were both so refreshed from our break from each other, that we have been getting along well ever since.
Paternity leave is a double-edged sword. I am really glad Dh can take time off. He is quite helpful, and made the transition much easier for me. I liked it especially at the beginning, when I was still so nervous about caring for two children. And Miss E was acting out and needed extra attention. But now? I just want him to go back to work, so I can get myself and the kids on a schedule. And the house clean again. So Dh and I can get back to our normal relationship of fun and love.
I suppose you might be just fine during extended paternity leave if you and your husband normally spend everywakingmoment together. But we do not. Apparently that is for a reason. My husband and I have different spheres of activity. And now I know exactly why.