Shortly after M was born, Mac Daddy’s work situation started to go very downhill. To make a long, complicated story short, there was a problem with the company’s finances, and Mac Daddy and his coworkers were being paid infrequently and very late, if at all. This lasted all the way through my maternity leave, and a month after I went back to work full-time, Mac Daddy and the majority of his colleagues were finally laid off.
In some ways it was a relief, because it was getting very frustrating for him to be putting in hours upon hours of work without getting paid, and at least the government’s employment insurance program would pay him on time. But it was also terrifying, because we had already been through a year of my income being reduced by half while on maternity leave in Canada, and now his would be, too.
At the time M was in a home-based daycare, and we talked to the provider about putting her in on a casual basis as needed — unless he was job hunting or found work, Mac Daddy would be a stay at home parent, something we’d never really expected for our family. But, given that I had just gone back to work a month prior, we were used to the stay at home scenario in general; we were just trading places. Mac Daddy and M were going to get a lot of one-on-one time, and he was really excited about that! It also prolonged our time away from having to navigate home daycare while we waited to get off of the waiting list for licensed care.
Of course, this happened right before winter, so Mac Daddy got a bit of a harsh introduction to stay at home parenting. I still remember him ranting to me about how long it takes to get out the door when you need to get your kid dressed in full winter gear! At the time we only had one vehicle and I used it for work unless the two of them had plans, so they often traveled around town with Mac Daddy pulling M in her sled.
It was about six months until Mac Daddy got a new job, and in that time, we all learned a lot. M was thrilled to be at home with her dad. Us parents gained a new perspective, as suddenly I was the one coming home like why is the laundry not done?! and Mac Daddy was responding with you said you’d be here at 5:30 and it’s six and I haven’t talked to an adult all day! We both had the opportunity to be the working-out-of-home parent and the primary caregiving parent, which really helped a lot in terms of empathizing with one other, even now that we’re both back to work.