our new normal

The dust seems to be settling and we are in the process of figuring out our new “normal.”  After 18 months of staying at home with Evelyn, Michael is back at work now and the past several months have been pretty tumultuous as we have had to figure out how everything works and fits together.  For his new job, Michael had to attend training out of town for 8 weeks.  So, Evelyn went from having her daddy around 24/7 to almost not at all.  He came home on weekends, but I think that she didn’t know how to feel or react.  She wanted nothing to do with him.  Then, when she finally started to warm up to him again, it was time for him to leave to go back to work.  The time that Michael was away was challenging for me.  Evelyn and I both got sick and I was suffering with severe sciatic pain for several weeks.  There were a few days when I came close to breaking down.

On top of all this, we started Evelyn in daycare.  We actually started her on a part-time basis for a few weeks to ease her into it before Michael had to leave.  It took some time, but she has adjusted well.  She talks about her friends and teachers all the time.

Now that Michael is back home and actually doing the job he’s been trained to do, things are settling down and we’re figuring out our new routines.  I can tell Evelyn is so happy that we are all together again.  She wanders around saying, mommy and daddy and Evelyn over and over.  I catch her whispering it to herself in the early morning hours when I am listening to her on the baby monitor.  It’s nice to have my love back at home.  He’s working 4 days and then gets 2 days off, so we’re sharing the household and parenting responsibilities once again.

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I get a little nostalgic looking back on the time he spent at home with Evelyn.  Even though I got a little frustrated with the situation from time to time, I know it was a blessing for our family and I miss coming home to the two of them everyday.

But, I’m excited about where this new chapter of our lives might be taking us (more about that later) and I’m ready to take on whatever life has to throw at us!

open letter to a stay-at-home-dad

Memorial Day (25)

Dear Michael,

I know we didn’t plan for this, but life is messy and plans don’t always work out.  God knows, what we plan for ourselves is usually far less grand than what He has planned for us.  What do we know anyway?  Who knew that you’d be at home with our little girl…her constant, her steady, her rock.   As a brand-new, first-time, huge-ball-of-nerves mom, I was nervous to leave my sweet, new baby at home with you (and I admit, a little jealous too.) I kept reminding myself, He loves her just as much as I do. He won’t let anything happen to her.  I had my doubts about whether you would be able to handle it.  I pictured a poor, screaming baby and a frustrated, exhausted Daddy.  I imagined every worst-case scenario and every potential disaster, but those things never happened.  You took on this new role, this role you hadn’t planned for, and you owned it.  From feedings and cloth diapers to doctor visits and sing-alongs, you’ve handled it all, and without a single complaint.

January 2012 (15)

I know the past 16 months haven’t been easy for you, even if you’ve made them look that way.  I know that you’ve been frustrated and stir-crazy at times.  And even though you might not have noticed it through the monotony of the day to day, this experienced has changed you.  It has been such a joy to watch the two of you grow together.  Every milestone, every triumph has been yours as much as it’s been hers.

May 2012 (12)

You probably have no idea but, you’ve taught me so much about being a mom.  You’ve taught me how to let go.  You’ve helped me cast away many of my new-mom anxieties. You might not do things the  way I would do them, but you do them like only you could.  The way you read her stories with silly voices, fling her up on your shoulders when she’s getting antsy, and sing her through her daily routines.  You are so very patient with her and she adores you. It’s said that God knows the desires of our hearts and even though I sometimes wish that I could be at home with our girl, He knows how very much I’ve always wanted my babies to have a Daddy like you.  I am so very grateful for everything you do and for the way you’ve shaped Evelyn into the amazing little girl that she is.  Thank you.

With all my love and much gratitude,

Happy Father’s Day!

Love,

Me ❤