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August 07, 2006

Mr. Mom

Toddi Gutner

Two months ago I went back to work full-time after five years of working three days a week. The timing couldn’t have been better. My husband, Neil, had just resigned from his job and had managed to secure another position that didn’t start until after Labor Day. That meant he was home for the summer. As far as my two kids were concerned, they just traded daddy for mommy when it came to getting them off to camp and having at least one parent around a few afternoons at the end of the day.

One of the best parts about this transition for me is having a wife at home--or as Neil and I call it, a Manny (a man nanny). Over the past few weeks, Neil has grumbled a bit about his long To Do lists, repair men not showing up on time, and ineffective cleaning ladies. He even admitted he scheduled a run to the grocery store between the loads of laundry. For my part, I come home on Friday night from a long week at work and I’m beat—parked on the couch with a glass of wine and not willing to move. Indeed, it has been quite a role reversal.

But perhaps even more eye-opening, has been the appreciation my husband and I have had for each others’ roles. Neil has really begun to understand what it takes to run a household in a way he didn’t quite get before. And I had forgotten about the stresses of full time employment that he has experienced.

Neil returns to work in another month. While I am a bit anxious about the responsibility of running the house by myself while working fulltime, Neil has assured me that we will continue to share the burden. We’ll see what happens--and I'm sure I'll let you know. But one thing is for sure: we have both “walked a mile in each others’ shoes” and that is likely to go a long way in being able to ask for help and/or time off when we both need it.

04:34 PM

Work/Life

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