As most of you know, Nathaniel has been on paternity leave for the past three months.
It. has. been. AWESOME!
To tell you the truth, I had quite a few reservations about having my husband home for an extended period of time. I know that sounds bizarre, but I was pregnant, hormonal and emotionally volatile at the time. I was nervous about relinquishing my sphere of influence and nervous about allowing Nathaniel to take ownership of our older girls; not to mention general management of our home. I was also worried about how having another child was going to effect our marriage and our family dynamic. When I tearfully and rather dramatically expressed my fears on a trip to the mainland earlier this summer, he eased my fears by suggesting that we check in one another at the end of each week to discuss what was working and what wasn't. It was a wise and comforting suggestion that has worked well for us. We still have moments when we need a little space from each other, but for the most part it is working out splendidly. When both of the girls are whining and Levi is yelling at the top of his lungs Nathaniel and I find ourselves trying to make the best of it. The other day we took bets on how many more meltdowns would happen before bedtime.
In September he took our girls to Port Hardy for five days and then took them to the mainland via public transport for nearly a week. When he wasn't gallivanting around the province with the girls he was canning, harvesting honey, picking fruit and teaching Claire how to ride her bike without training wheels. He cooks most of our meals, does ninety five percent of the the school drop off and pick ups and takes care of the laundry. Yesterday, I was thoroughly impressed when he de-junked and organized the girls craft cupboard and then re-hung a mountain of clothing that had been dropped on the floor of their bedroom. Who needs romance when you have that kind of awesome stuff going on? Oh and then last night he made the most delicious hearty stew with leftover ham, stewed tomatoes and sprouted beans. So wholesome and satisfying. I don't normally gush about my husband, especially on Facebook, but I am so impressed and thankful for his help. He truly is an amazing father and husband.
I am often sheepish about telling people that my husband has taken paternity leave if the topic happens to surface. Usually, it is because I feel bad that it is not an option for most people and I dread the possibility that they may think I am "high maintenance". I must admit, I was a little nervous to have all three kiddos on my own for eleven days when Nathaniel had to be away for a course, but everything went really well. I really enjoyed having them all to myself.
Ultimately, Nathaniel's paternity leave has been a gift for our family. Not only has it allowed Nathaniel to tackle projects that have been on the back burner for ages, but it has also given us time to grow closer, have adventures and rest. We also get to do things like eat meals together as a family every night of the week, something that has been impossible for the past eleven years. The other day we were sitting around our thanksgiving feast, sharing the things that we were grateful for and I realized that the last time Nathaniel and I had a chunk of time like this together was when we traveled around the world, which coincidentally, was also for nine months. Here we are, nearly six years later, with another chunk of time, but this time around we get to play "house" with our three kiddos.
Nathaniel recently started helping out with children's church and we have enjoyed hearing him play the guitar when he practices.
Hiking in the great outdoors
My handsome bee keeper with a frame full of honey comb
Covering the sandbox and building proper stairs
Spinning out the honey
His hives did really well!
Looking for frogs with the girls
Off to court
He picked nearly 90lbs of blackberries with his grandma this summer.
Collecting ferns for our backyard
Early morning snuggles
He has perfected salmon Eggs Benedict. So freakin GOOD!
At the pumpkin patch
He is good at taking naps with Claire. She fell asleep sitting up while watching her favorite show "The land before time"
Finally building the pergola! Whoot Whoot!