Paternity leave is absolutely necessary.

Everyone who sees/visits us asks us how tired we are. Truth = we aren’t tired at all. I was way more tired when I was pregnant. The reason Tim and I aren’t tired is because we stay up with Clara until she eats her last boob milk of the day (either at 10pm, 11pm, or maybe 12am or 1am) and then we go to bed, and we wake up with her at night, but then we sleep in until we aren’t tired anymore. So Clara may wake up at 6am, but then we all go back to bed until 10am. It is wonderful. We don’t even need to take naps during the day (most days)!

And this flexible schedule is brought to you by… paternity leave!

Today Tim went back to work. For those of you keeping track, this means he was at home with me for the last 4+ weeks.

And honestly, I’m not sure how Clara and I would have survived without him. 

Here’s the thing, our labor and delivery was brutal and our recovery has been awful.

Including my labor, we were in the hospital for 5 days and 4 nights. After we left the hospital, I could barely do more than walk around the house, and I wasn’t able to run any errands for 2 weeks or so. I honestly think that last week was the first week I started feeling like myself and this week I finally feel almost fully mobile. I still feel pain around and on the incision, but I don’t feel as much pain when I bend over to pick up my baby girl, so that’s a win!

I’m not quite sure how I would have taken care of Clara if I had been alone in the house the past few weeks.  Honestly, for days and days and days I would just sit on the couch and breastfeed while Tim…

  • Prepared (or heated up) all meals.
  • Ran the few errands we needed done.
  • Grabbed me water, snacks, etc.
  • Changed Clara’s diapers.
  • Burped Clara.
  • Changed Clara’s outfits.
  • Did the laundry.
  • Gardened (although this one he did under protest and only after nagging)
  • Kept the house organized.
  • Etc.

I have found it extremely frustrating to not be able to move around like my ‘normal’ self, and I find it even more frustrating that there are certain things I just can’t do as easily for my daughter. For example, burping Clara can be very painful (although it’s getting to be less painful each day) because she kicks or puts pressure on my incision and then she’s crying and I’m frustrated and it ends badly. So, Tim has stepped up and taken over that responsibility. 

Thankfully, we have an extremely easy and happy baby who sleeps regularly from 4-6 hours at a time. I cannot even imagine what it would be like if we had a fussy baby! And the thought of recovering from this c-section if there were other children around our house… oh I cannot even fathom what that would be like.

My point is this: If you are having a baby soon, or thinking of having a baby soon, keep the recovery in mind when creating a schedule. I certainly never anticipated a c-section, but we were blessed that Tim had already scheduled a month off of work. That being sad, even vaginal deliveries can have longer recovery times, and you aren’t going to know how much time it will take you to ‘bounce back’ until you have your precious little one at home and start experiencing physical limitations. I’d recommend having your partner or a family member planning on assisting for at least 2 weeks, but longer if you know you’re going to be recovering from a c-section. If you don’t need the help, you can always send them home or just spend time looking at a happy newborn together (this is what Tim and I do). 

My point is also this: Paid maternity leave should be a thing for all women who have children and paid paternity leave should be a thing for all men who have children. I think it is absolutely crazy that our country does not mandate paid maternity/paternity leave. I don’t want to get all political in this post, but in my opinion I think we (as a nation) need to do a better job at supporting families during this crucial and transitional time.

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Wish me luck as I become an ‘official’ stay at home mom while Tim goes back to the office! 

(Although I should probably mention Tim’s office is in our house most days… We’re lucky ladies!)

Cheers!

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