It probably goes without saying, that since I’ve been on bed rest, Chris has become the primary caregiver around here. It’s been a bit of a transition for us both. It was particularly difficult for him when he was working during the day, then taking care of all of Jayce’s needs in the evening (playing, feeding, bath, bedtime, stories, snuggles, etc.), in addition to taking care of me, and taking care of all of the household things: meals, picking up daily toys and clutter, laundry, etc. This was all under the pressures of, “hurry and get this done because the baby might come at any time now.” He did great, but was understandably exhausted.
It was really hard for me at first because I just wanted to jump in and help. I think we both realized just how much of a team mentality that we’ve always had, because for the last month we haven’t been able to do it. We typically share responsibilities in the evening: once of us cooks and the other cleans up dinner, one of us cleans up the house while the other takes Jayce for bath time and then we trade again for story time and snuggles. In the times when Jayce is being particularly difficult and one of us is stressed or has run out of patience, it’s so great to be able to just switch. There have been plenty of occasions in these past few weeks where I can tell that Jayce is really trying Chris’ patience, and particularly when I was on complete bed rest, there wasn’t much that I could do to help, and that really frustrated me.
But Chris has been amazing. To say that he rose to the occasion is putting it lightly. I would swear that he has actually been getting more and more patient with each passing day, and Jayce has become almost permanently glued to the side of his favorite playmate. Chris and Jayce have always had a wide variety of “when dad gets home” activities: wrestling, shooting basketball, dancing, hide from mom/get chased by mom, swinging and wagon rides, among others. But there are so many new ones now.
This has been so fun for me to watch. I imagine that some moms might feel jealous or bitter, but there is little that I love more than watching my 2 boys playing and laughing together. It is honestly just as enjoyable for me as if I was the one chasing and tickling as well. I typically shift to where ever they are playing so I can get in on the jokes and the fun as best as I can. And I can steal a few pictures whenever I remember to grab my camera.
I mentioned before how wonderfully the potty training has been coming along, and I know that it is largely due to Chris. Some people had mentioned that their boys were trained more easily by their dads and that has been completely true in this case. Jayce often follows Chris around so that he can do whatever his dad is doing, so Chris has a seemingly constant little partner. Jayce helps with dinner, helped mulch the mulch beds, wash dishes, water flowers, get the mail, etc. But then Jayce will suddenly remember that his dad is not just the person he wants to imitate in every way, but the person that he wants to play with, right now! It’s so common for Chis to be doing something normal, like checking his email or folding laundry, and Jayce will suddenly come charging in, push him and run away giggling, as he knows that he has just initiated “dad come chase/tickle/wrestle me.” It’s such a fun balance.
I had been a little worried that Jayce would have some problems with jealousy when the new baby arrived, mostly because it has always been just he and I, all day every day. But I’m hoping that all of this guy bonding time will help us ease into the transition a bit better. I’m so thankful to have these two, and I just can’t wait for our newest family member to arrive.