Submitted by Modern Cynical Dad
"Full-time Mummy/Daddy" is a term that irks both my wife and me because it is usually used in the context of a career choice. The distaste for the term is not aimed at the individual who chooses to use it, nor the choice that person makes. It bothers us because parenting is not, in any way, a career.
Use of the term suggests that those of us who pursue careers (by choice or not) are less committed as parents. Of course, I am not naïve. I don’t really believe that other parents mean to imply that, but sometimes it is interpreted that way.
My wife and I both have full-time careers. She is an Advisor for a well-known optometrist and runs her own business. I am an Area Manager for an equally well-known retailer in the UK.
Our daughter is now three years old, and we couldn’t be more proud of her. My wife and I discussed at length whether or not she wanted to return to work after her pregnancy. She decided she wanted to set an example for our daughter as she grew up by going back to work once she felt ready. I was careful not to pressure her either way on this point, as I felt it was important that the decision was made on her terms.
Once our daughter arrived, it was several months before my wife decided she was ready to return to work. Even then, there were moments when she wavered.
Looking back now I am glad that she decided to balance a career with parenting. It has allowed us to expand our daughter's horizons. Our daughter spends time with family and in nursery (which she adores) and is, as we’re often told at the end of the day, one of their best behaved children.
For us, planning was key. We planned my wife’s return to work. We planned where our daughter would go while we were at work. We planned when she would be with others and for how long. We have had a lot of support from family, which has resulted in many, many hours of travelling, but I wouldn’t change that. Our daughter is happy, healthy, outgoing, and so full of love for everyone because she’s had that extra interaction with other people.
We spend a lot of time with our daughter. We talk to her about anything and everything. We teach her, and we play with her. Any work to be done at home is completed after she's in bed. We manage to balance our careers (including my wife’s business) and our family time. It's hard work, but our little girl is always so excited to see us when we get home, so it makes the challenge worthwhile.
My wife and I are both full-time parents. We make choices about how our daughter spends her time when we're with her, and where she spends her time when we're away. Because we work, she understands that nothing comes for free and appreciates what she does have all the more. We're full-time parents too; even when we're at work.
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