A father only lives in Daddyland for a short while – a couple weeks to maybe a year. But the impact of that sojourn echoes through the ensuing years of parenthood.
For example, E threw out her back this weekend. Badly.
And we all did fine. There was no dread. No, “Oh my god, Daddy is in charge, what will become of us!?!?” fear in the children. And apartment is no more of a wreck than it usually is after a weekend, the kids did not live on old food dropped under the table.
Now, I am on paternity leave now. So this would be expected, as I am the one at home. But it will be the same next year or the year after, when I am back at work, when E is back at work.
I have proven myself to everyone. I have built up a homemaking, stay at home dad competence.
So Mommy can go away. Mommy can get hurt. And the world will not end.
I would like to think this would have been true if I had never spent time in Daddyland. I had full faith in my capabilities when I was a “normal” working Dad, both in the U.S. and in Sweden.
But it is different. Then it was potential or spot duty. There is an adjustment. Now there is not.
That said, do I hope her back gets better by next weekend …