My mother-in-law has left three months before, leaving me, my wife, and my son at home. Then, I took a leave as a stay-at-home father, working on child care and housework like cooking.
With the end of July 4 (Independence Day holiday), I am ending this duty and go back to work. My wife will do the same for the next two months. After that, we should be able to get our son to daycare.
Here are the things I find in the last three months.
1. Can Focus on One Thing
Compared to doing work and providing child-care at the same time, my mental health has improved during the leave. I can cook when I cook, feed when I feed. I don’t think about work or rush to the next meeting while parenting.
2. Stronger Bonding
Spent more time with my son, we have developed stronger bonding. He calls me all the time now. We played and drew together. I have taken lots of valuable photos and videos for the moments that never repeat.
3. Lacking Personal Time
My personal time dropped dramatically. I only have it when my son is sleeping. I can do some simple stuff (surfing the internet, read a few pages) but never deep and focused works (writing, coding). I also did much less aerobic exercise.
4. Parenting is Wearying
The tiredness of parenting is different from the tiredness of working. At work, I communicate with typical people and can space out if I am tired. On the other hand, kids always request attention from adults. It drains the mental power of adults. In addition to sleep deprivation and other mundane chores, the adults could become extremely tired and emotional.
I especially like how this mom describes her experience1.