My youngest daughter has reached a point where she is much more self-aware and increasingly understands the world around her. This has manifested itself in a way that breaks my heart and makes me feel a little guilty as a non working parent.
This is a topsy-turvy family. My wife, Gill, works full time while I run the household and do most of the childcare. This means that each morning, if they’re awake, the kids wave mummy out the door as she heads off to the office.
The toddler has taken to getting up in the mornings, pointing off into the middle distance and saying “mummy, work.” It happens every day.
This is the bit that causes me pain. I know they want to see their mother but reality dictates one of us must work and provide for the family and Mrs Adams is best placed to fulfil that role.
When Mrs Adams gets back in the evening, Elizabeth is increasingly telling me to “go away.” She wants time exclusively with her mum, which is quite understandable. This doesn’t upset me, I expect it from a toddler of her age and I think it’s only right for me to back off so that mother and daughter get some quality time together.
As for Helen, my eldest daughter, she takes this more in her stride but occasionally tells me she wants to see more of mummy. In most families I’m sure kids pine for their dads. The reverse is true for us.
Just yesterday I had a chat with Helen. I explained to her that she came from a “special, cool” family because daddy stayed at home while mummy worked (just to clarify, it’s not that I don’t do any work, simply that these days it is all home based and fits around the kids). Interestingly, she has never once queried why I always pick her up from school and, prior to that, why I collected her from pre-school.
It’s tough but I guess this is a situation that all us stay at home parents face. I can’t do a huge amount about it, other than make sure the children do get quality time with their mother.
How do you deal with this? Do you kids pine after the working parent, be it mum or dad? Does it cause major issues in your family or is it easily dealt with?
Pic credit: Cecilio M. Ricardo Jr. File is in the public domain courtesy of the US Federal Government.