Diaries are an ongoing series of regular contributions by women working in different creative mediums. They may explore themes of motherhood, womanhood, or just life.
My husband became the primary caretaker for our kids when were both laid off from our jobs around the same time. I found out I was expecting our third child very shortly after. We'd made plans for my husband to start a new program at school, so the logical choice was for me to look for work and for him to stay home with the boys and finish school part-time.
The best part of our set-up has been knowing my kids are cared for every day by someone who has their best interests in mind. The hardest part has been giving up control. I think motherhood, or womanhood for that matter, comes with a control freak setting, and mine's always set to high. Learning to ease up on my expectations of how the house should run, what the schedule should be, has been hard. But it's rewarding because it means I don't have to do everything. I'm coming to terms with the fact that just because it's being done a different way than I would do it, doesn't mean it's not getting done.
Sometimes I feel guilty, like I should be doing more. Most days I feel blessed that my children have a present father at home and that they have this time to spend with him, since I know it won't be forever. My boys get so much from his presence. They are growing up in a world that will fear them the older they get. The lessons that my husband is teaching them, his mere existence in their lives, goes against the stereotypes placed on black families. It's our act of resistance.
Having my husband as the primary caretaker for our family has required us to both do learning about where we fit in. To be honest, we share a lot of the traditional roles. We try to keep communication open, but sometimes that can slip through the cracks. We both try to be as supportive of each other as possible. We both have other things going on outside of parenting. I know it's hard having three kids at home, while you try to juggle schoolwork, and he is aware that it can be taxing on my energy to work all day and then jump straight into mothering when I get home. I think it helps us both to know that this a temporary part of our lives. We can have a more positive outlook about the situation because we know what lies ahead.