Earlier this year before we had our second daughter my husband became the primary caregiver in our household. I thought that this would be a hard adjustment for all of us. I was becoming the primary breadwinner, he would be at home all day with the girls and my baby girl now no longer going to my mothers and staying all day with her dad. The transition was not as difficult as I would have thought but the feelings that came with it were very much a surprise. I now found myself dare I say jealous of my husband. His relationship with my daughter is the textbook definition of daddy’s girl. You look at my daughter and you can see that she feels the sun rises and sets on her father. Though I love to see him interact with her, I feel left out. I feel like the third wheel at times. All you hear in my house is “daddy, daddy”, what about mommy I am here too, I can make your bottle, I can play tea party; I can do the BOMBA dance (a dance they made up). Never thought I would be playing second fiddle to my husband.
Now you may think that I am crazy for feeling this way or that I am exaggerating, but my daughter wants to do everything with her father, if he goes to the store, to walk the dog, to move the car, she even wants him to change her diaper, “no mommy let daddy do it”. What let daddy do it, let daddy do it… I was 12 hours in labor with your little behind and now you are pushing me to the side and saying let daddy do it. Recently my husband had to run a few errands and as he proceeded to get ready, my daughter followed his every move, “daddy whatcha doing, where you going, I wanna walk the dog too” He would reply I am not going to walk the dog, I will be back soon. “No daddy you can’t go”. I tried to tell her that she was going to stay with me but she was not having it. The moment had arrived, he walks out the door closing it behind him and leaves her there heartbroken and crying, crying out for her daddy. After a few minutes I go to her to console her and she turns to me puts her little hand in the air and says “I need a minute mommy” I turn and walk away, and tried my hardest not to laugh and cry, my two year old daughter just told me to give her a minute, a minute to compose herself, to come to the realization that she was left with me.
I know this is a struggle many working moms face, regardless of who is the primary caregiver for your child. How do you balance your work and your children? How do share moments with them? How can you make sure your making a lasting impression on them? I have come to the realization that my daughter will thank me in the long run, knowing her mom did everything she could to provide for her, I know that I will be her example, what she will look at when it’s her turn to balance life and career. I have also learned that it’s not the quantity of time you spend with your children but the quality of time.
Just this morning, I was getting ready to go to work, she wakes up and starts watching TV in the “weaving room”, as I sit down next to her I tell her “baby girl I love you”, she turns to me “I love you too mommy”. I ask “how much do you love me baby girl”, she replies “fourteen dollars”. Well I did ask how much. Moments like this are irreplaceable and totally cherished. I maybe a bit jealous of my husband but I know my daughter loves me at least fourteen dollars worth.