In describing our adventures, I’ve realized that one aspect of our daily lives is quite non-traditional. I often forget this, because this situation has been the norm for us for so long, that it doesn’t seem unusual to us at all.
That situation is our work arrangement.
I work outside of the home, and Rob stays at home with the Bean.
We had planned on doing this since we first got married, when Rob was working full time and I was going to school and substitute teaching. I had always wanted to be a special ed teacher, but we had also always wanted someone to stay at home with our child, when we had one. I loved teaching and despised all domestic chores (except for cooking!), and Rob cleans, sews, AND repairs the cars. Having me work and Rob stay at home seemed like a no-brainer.
There were, of course, a lot of wrinkles to iron out. Division of labor was the first one. Our situation is not a complete role-reversal. I do the cooking and clean the kitchen after dinner. Rob does repairs around the house, vacuums, and sews. The Bean is usually with me when I am home, because I miss her so much when I am at work. In the summer it’s more split (and more family activities), but I still spend the majority of the time with her. Rob takes the Bean to therapy and implements the majority of her sensory diet. I use personal days to go to her IEP’s, etc. because I am QUITE familiar with the process!
The second hurdle we encountered was discipline. I would often come home and unknowingly undermine Rob’s efforts. Communication has been key, and if I don’t know how he usually handles a particular behavior, I ask him before I deal with it. We tend to be on the same page, but it is very important that we are consistent with the details.
Lastly, we have learned that Rob must have a life outside of our house. He repairs cameras at home, goes to moped rallies in the summer, and gets together with friends. When the Bean starts preschool (or at least when she starts kindergarten and is gone all day), Rob plans to take some classes.
Throughout our adventures, we have learned that there is no set way that a family has to be set up.