Am I doing enough as a dad?
Hi relatively new to fatherhood, Archie is 16 months old and the question that keeps ringing in my head constantly is, am I doing enough as a father and do I need to be more flexible/change my lifestyle to suit this new chapter in my life.
My partner was a primary school teacher before Archie arrived and had no desire to go back into teaching. So my partner looks after Archie Monday to Friday and i work as a freelancer 9-5 in central London and i try and get home for around 6:30pm to bath Archie and put him to bed. When he was first born i took 2 weeks off and also worked from home most days until he was 1 (since the beginning of this year). I finished my last placement in January 23 took 3 months off to have quality time with the family and only started my current placement this March where unfortunately there is no working from home and i get back later. Again its no issue to me as all i can do is follow where the work is and accept there will be some projects which will be better than others. My partner on the other hand feels i should leave later in the mornings and be back around 5/5:30pm which just doesn't work. So my first question is should i be more flexible with my hours to accommodate my family's needs? My partner feels i should quit work and find something that is more flexible. In my line of work i cant be too picky and i go where the work is, as my main priority is the bills and making sure we have a roof over our heads!
I also give my partner £1000 a month as an income, which excludes all her bills, maintenance towards her car/fuel etc and all of the household bills as I pay for it all. My counter argument to her is £1000 a month seems a little excessive especially as everything else is covered, which she doesn't agree.
As it stands Archie goes to nursery every Monday and to my parents on a Thursday and this August he will go every Wednesday. So I've said if that's the case that should mean the £1,000 a month should go down if the money is supposed to go towards him on days you have him? Its not my main focus point its probably more to channel her thoughts to not get too comfortable that she wont not have the desire to never work.
To sum it up, im being told i dont do enough even though im hands on as soon as i get home from work. Weekends i let her lie-in, I do Archie's breakfast and become more hands on throughout the weekend to make up for during the week.
I don't want to slander my partner as it probably seems it in this post. She's an amazing mum does everything for him, as well as keeping the house clean and organised. I just need to know if its me that's being unjust/not flexible as a new father?
I think with early parenthood, life gets very very busy and its pretty common for both partners to fall into the trap of feeling that they are doing way more than their partner and it can quickly lead to resentment which is of course, not good for anybody.
From hearing your side of the story though, it does sound to me like you are being very accommodating already. If she wants you to be available more, surely some compromises need to be made? I don't know how possible it is for you to actually reduce your hours, but if you are going to earn less money then either less needs to be spent each month or she will probably need to do a little bit to earn the difference. This can be a really difficult conversation as she is probably exhausted from doing all the amazing things that full time mums do! My instinct would also be to look at the £1,000 a month, that does seem a bit excessive but everybody's lifestyles are different.
Best of luck with everything.