Mothers have the practical skills that put them ahead! It dawned on me during 18 weeks where I tried to do the same

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Photo by MD Duran on Unsplash

Stay at home mothers do not get the credit and recognition they deserve. Not even close. I think its part of the reason gender gaps exist, whether it is in terms of pay, social status or many other metrics. I would like to propose that they should be granted honorary project management degrees for what they do. A small gesture, but well earned.

For a few short months, I have been privileged to be the primary caregiver to my two boys, one 9 months old and the other 4 years old. My wife has returned to full-time work, and I am walking in her shoes. …


In a distant galaxy, Cador’s resolve remains strong even after his clumsiness.

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View from the battle station as it hurtles through space. Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

Thwack! A sharp audible thud filled the air as the helmet made contact with the metal door frame. The sound was amplified, reverberating off the multitude of cold, flat metallic surfaces making up the space station.

It took a moment for Cador to register what had just happened. The sharp pain intensifying the alcohol-induced headache already paralyzing his senses. The ringing in his ears was loud enough to drown out any comms from the firmly embedded earpieces.

He gave his head a shake. As if to clear things up. Years of mental torture at the hands of drill instructors could be for nothing. …


From a dad that’s walked in his wife’s shoes, telling you there is a silver lining

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The parenting journey ahead seems hard when you are yet to take the first step. Photo by yang miao on Unsplash

My wife and I are both career-driven people, but not the kind where our kids are a burden. The decision for either of us to take long baby leave was not easy. For our first child, we were very stereotypical. My wife just took as much leave as she could. No questions asked. That’s mums for you!

When our second baby came, my wife’s career experience was very formative in my decision to take leave. She noticed subtle things that happened when she took a year off for the first boy, and then 8 months for the second. I can best summarize them as subtle and slightly negative overall. Nothing overt, but just opportunities missed or delayed. I think it comes from a subconscious bias that everyone has. …


No pressure, but coach is about to put me in the game to replace the star quarterback!

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Image curtesy of Dusko Mack

As the day drew nearer, more friends asked me about how I felt. “Are you looking forward to it?”, some would ask. “You look excited, getting close now!”, others would announce. At this stage, several months had gone by since I announced to my work colleagues, friends and family about our decision for me to take over (temporarily, 18 weeks) as the stay at home parent for our two boys. Hence, my answers were still laced with excitement but also felt quite rehearsed and repetitive. What I imagine a rookie sports star, the number one draft pick, at their 20th interview of the day for their upcoming first professional game. Very excited about the prospect, but well and truly weary of the same questions. …


Hard times eroded my bond with my second baby boy, being there full time will help me rebuild them

I struggled to bond with my second baby boy in the first few months after birth. A story that was not uncommon for working dads I know and have chatted with. At least for the few that were comfortable to admit to it. I wanted to change this, and it was a big reason why I decided to take on the challenge of being Mr Mum for 18 weeks.

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Image curtesy of Dusko Mack

Our second boy had some feeding related complications culminating in what’s classified as an inability to thrive. On the typical growth chart for newborns, he was dropping lower and lower. Lower than the 5th percentile. They are supposed to go up, not down. For at least 6 weeks from birth, there was not a single night where he would go to sleep without being comforted, rocked, shushed or other magic trick a desperate and exhausted parent invents at 2 am, then at 3 am, and then at 4 am. And I’m not talking about a 5 minute pat or lullaby. In our case, it needed to be done for a long time, seemed like hours at a time. …


A practical approach to get you away from the office and living more of your life

If you work in an office environment, I’m sure you can recall often saying to yourself that you will finish work on time today. An hour or more later you’re still at work! There is always that little bit extra that needs doing, or time just runs away from you. In most cases its self-inflicted, so please read on. But in those that are not, my advice won’t help you. Probably time to get another job.

Like many of you self-inflict-ees, I was guilty of this and desperately wanted to beat this pattern of behavior. I was missing out on family time. I was convinced there were hours in a work day that could be better used and eventually realized that the problem required a bit of a brain-hack. Oh, and it had to be sustainable for the long haul. I eventually landed on an approach that was all about re-framing in my mind how I think about a very specific concept. That of running late or being late. …


Thinking of putting your career on hold to be primary care giver of your kids? There is a lot to consider, but if you can, just do it!

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Image curtesy of Dusko Mack

Can I whole heartedly answer that right now? This story is the start of my journey, it’s the lead up to day zero, the first day of the 18 weeks leave from work to be primary care giver of my 2 boys. An 8 month old and a 4 and 1/2 year old that are just the best! (biased much?). So, what I am saying is that I can’t answer just yet, but what I can do is give you some of my perspective and thoughts that you might consider in your journey.

My story is also based on what I have observed in my wife’s career and how she feels about it, observations of friends, family and the world in general. …


The story of my decision journey to be the primary care giver of our 2 boys

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The joy of being a dad, doesn't get better than this. Image by Dusko Mack

Leading up to my paternity leave, work colleagues and friends would readily say, “so… how long till your holiday starts, hey?” followed by something like, “you lucky so and so...”.

It took a bit of effort to stop from rolling my eyes. My eldest was 4 years old and the newborn was 7 months at that stage, both raised in a classical way by their mum being the primary care giver (working mum, I will add), with me playing the stereotypical sensitive, supportive new age dad, at least I thought anyway. I had seen enough to know that it is in no way a ‘holiday’, or ‘time off’, or ‘easy’. …

About

Dusko Mack

a husband and dad of two boys | car guy, engineer, project manager | coffee lover | a closet writer @dulechino

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