the first day at work after paternity leave and an essay in Slate

For the short version of this whole blog, you can read this essay I wrote in Slate.

The comments are mostly good, some anti-Swedish junk, but the one I love is this:

uggh, he wore his kid in a sling

And someone else:

I, too, winced at that tidbit of information.

And my response:

Oh, come on. I wasn’t doing it in Brooklyn wearing a trucker hat. I was in the upstate sticks or in Sweden. You try getting to the store in a Swedish winter always pushing a stroller. And Bjorns ruin my back.

Plus, it’s like, you know, good for the kid.

The first commenter then told me that all was forgiven.  Of course, my sling days are over.  I went back to work today – and to argue against some other commenter – my job skills are just fine, thank you.   I did not love leaving my son crying in the daycare yard.  But I did not mind getting a new computer and landing a good desk.  And my new role is a good one – no career suicide here with paternity leave.

There is just one thing.  Today I got to spend a lot of time sitting around and talking and deleting 400 e-mails that built up over the past nine months.

Tomorrow, I have to work.

Now this work is not nearly as hard as taking care of my kids.  Men, especially ones with white collar jobs, do not kid yourself on this.  I’ll take some mangled prose over the exhausted two-kid emergency shopping trip any day.

But it is still work with different pressures and deadlines and ways of thinking.  Part of me just wishes I could make everyone oatmeal and read them some books.

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3 thoughts on “the first day at work after paternity leave and an essay in Slate

  1. Välkommen tillbaka till bloggandet! Du är efterlängtad.

  2. I’m so glad I discovered your blog! And thank you for saying the thing about managed prose being easier to deal with than 2 kid emergency shopping trip. Amen, brother.

    As a refugee from the corporate world, I agree that working was easier than parenting. HOWEVER, combining working and parenting here in the U.S., with the long hours and lack of understanding about sick time, etc., that really, really sucked. Big time. I’m still recovering.

    We need more stories from Sweden to give us a taste of what life could be like.

  3. When I even ponder trying to balance work with parenting in the US, I get the shakes. Of course, everyone manages, I guess, but after realizing that you don’t have to live that life – at least you don’t have to in Sweden – I wonder about my ability to readjust.

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