I’m guessing that most families with two working parents settle into some sort of a routine. It took us a pretty long time of floundering, but I think we’ve finally found our groove.
Dave goes to work really early in the morning – like, crazy early. I think he leaves around 6 a.m.? Maybe earlier? I don’t really know because I’m always asleep. He gives me a kiss goodbye – on the forehead, because I’m usually sleeping with my mouth open, such a sexy little minx am I. And I try to wake up and say a proper goodbye, but it usually comes out like this:
Mmmrrph? Bye, haff a good d… *honk* *pshew*…
What can I say? I’m a heavy sleeper.
Anyway, Dave likes going to work early because he’s the first one there and he can get at least a solid couple hours’ worth of work done before everybody else gets there. Honestly, the extra productivity wouldn’t be worth the early wake-up call for me, but I’ve never been an early bird type.
Meanwhile, Catie and I usually get up around 7:30 on average. We snuggle on the couch and watch cartoons for a little while, then I get her dressed and we set off for daycare. I usually get her there around 9:15 a.m. Then I come back home and get to work.
The perk of Dave heading in so early, is that he can leave work around 3:30 or 4:00 in the afternoon, and pick Catie up from daycare on his way home. He helps me out with the childcare stuff in the evenings (dinner, bathtime), but then he goes to bed around 8 p.m. so he can get up early the next day. Catie doesn’t go to bed until about 9:00 p.m., so I usually handle bedtime on my own. I suppose this means that overall, I do more of the childcare “work” than he does (getting her dressed in the morning, the bedtime routine at night), but he makes up for it by getting up with her on the weekends and letting me sleep in, so that trade-off is fine with me. There was a point, sometime when Catie was 2 years old, that I thought I would never be able to sleep past 9 a.m. again, ever, for the rest of my life. I now often sleep until at least 10 on Saturdays. Which, for the record, is freaking awesome.
I suppose it wouldn’t work for some people – the fact that we all have different bedtimes and wake-up times – but it’s fine for us. Yes, I’m a little jealous of the people whose kids go to bed at 7 p.m. and sleep peacefully all night, and who get to hang out watching prime-time TV with their spouses. But that’s just not how we roll. And that’s ok, we make this work for us.
Still, there are some mornings when Catie wakes up, and she wants her Daddy. And I tell her that sorry babe, he’s already gone to work. She looks out the front window into the driveway, sees that his car is gone, and then she cries that she wants her Daddy. Talk about heart-breaking.
Dave had some insomnia last night so he slept late this morning. Catie was so excited that he was still here when she woke up, she climbed into our bed between us and snuggled up next to him with her head on his pillow. It was so sweet.
Dave got up to shower and get dressed for work, and I told Catie that if she wanted Daddy to take her to school instead of Mommy, she was going to have to hurry and get dressed in the next 5 minutes, or else Daddy was going to have to leave without her. And my normally sleepy-headed child who takes forever to get ready in the morning was dressed with her sneakers on and pigtails up in a heartbeat.
She went to daycare over an hour earlier than usual, and she was delighted to do so, because her Daddy was the one taking her. She kissed me good-bye, and with a “Love you, Mommy, have a good day!”, she was off. The house was completely empty and quiet by 8:00 a.m. That never happens. I actually got to exercise before starting work for the day. That’s a pretty rare occurrence too.
Since Dave was later than usual getting to work, he’s going to have to stay later this afternoon, so I’m going to be picking Catie up from daycare. I already can’t wait to see her. Sometimes a little change in the routine is just what we need.