My Shadow

Brian has been laid off since before Christmas.

This was a blessing in disguise because it allowed him to stay home with our daughter when we lost our spot in daycare until April, and our subsidy was cut.

Since then Brian and our little girl  have been spending every day together, crafting, exploring, joining a toddler group at the Early Years Centre, and becoming the best of friends.

If I said that I wasn’t jealous I would be lying.

I know that the father/daughter relationship is an important one, and the bond that they are building is one that will last forever. I’m grateful that they have this time together, that Brian is a hands on dad, and that our little girl gets structure, rules, and fun when she’s with him.

But I am feeling left out and Brian is feeling resentful, and overworked.

Before leaving for work everyday I give my daughter a big hug and kiss, tell her that I love her, and remind her that she’s going to go on many adventures.

And before I’ve finished my hug she’s pulling away, eager to get back to her daddy’s side.

They share so many of the same characteristics, mannerisms, and interests.

While I’m at work he is experiencing what I did while I was off on maternity leave for the year; running after a toddler, cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, and enforcing the rules.

And when I come home he needs a break.

I want to give him that break. I run in, sweep my daughter up into my arms, kiss her face, ask her about her day, and squeeze her tight.

But before my squeezes are done she’s pulling away and wants her daddy.

He’s her buddy.

He’s a wonderful man who has picked up the slack while I battle lack of energy, med trials, working full time, and depression.

And he has a shadow who refuses to leave his side.

A shadow I used to have….


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34 Responses to My Shadow
  1. Alison@Mama Wants This
    February 17, 2012 | 6:47 am

    Aw, it’s kinda bittersweet isn’t it?

    My toddler is his father’s shadow when we go out together as a family. When we’re home, he’s mine. 🙂

    • multitaskingmumma
      February 18, 2012 | 7:26 pm

      You’re lucky to have that happy balance.
      Mine just wants daddy all the time, everywhere.
      Brian says that’s not true and that she asks for me when I’m at work… I hope he’s not just saying that.

  2. Not a Perfect Mom
    February 17, 2012 | 8:18 am

    oooh, Alison has the right word…bittersweet….
    But still, I would love for my kids to have that time with their dad, even if only for a few months….she’s very lucky to be building that extra special bond with her daddy

    • multitaskingmumma
      February 18, 2012 | 7:25 pm

      It’s true!
      They do have a very special bond and are buddies.

  3. Jordan
    February 17, 2012 | 8:27 am

    Great post! I absolutely LOVE the picture of them both with shaving cream, her face is priceless!!! When I was off that year I wanted the break too, I remember my husband would come home and I would be crying for a break and he would claim he needed some down time after work and before taking on the baby. I was so pissed, however I didn’t know what it was like at that time to work all day and come home to a baby b/c I hadnt been back to work yet. Now that I am, I don’t get what the hell he was talking about “news flash we had a baby, that’s our life now” You don’t get to come home and lounge in the lazy boy for 10mins. Being at home ALL day with a baby/toddler is WAY harder than and job!! So hat’s off to you for coming in and sweeping her up and giving Brian a rest:) I really vented there….and now Im re-mad at my husband. lol

    • multitaskingmumma
      February 18, 2012 | 7:15 pm

      I remember feeling like I couldn’t wait for Brian to come home when I was on Mat leave. I felt like I was trapped at the house and I needed to get out! I needed someone to talk to.
      But now she’s a toddler and she’s talking and being cute and funny and they are buddies.
      It’s a different stage.
      But he’s also exhausted by the end of the day.
      I get both sides.
      I do.
      Doesn’t mean I’m not jealous.

  4. Amber
    February 17, 2012 | 9:18 am

    I love the last photo. It’s precious. It’s nice how during such a hard ship you were able to find the silver lining. It’s so beautiful that they are creating this special bond between them. I’m all tearing up over here.

  5. Karin @Mommy's Paradise
    February 17, 2012 | 12:17 pm

    That first picture with both of them brushing their teeth is out of a ad for toothpaste, right? It’s perfect.
    I know how Brian feels from myself and the way you feel from the things my Hubs told me. We had many, many days when my Hubs saw ‘Timan’ only when he was sleeping. He didn’t want this situation but his job required it. Sometimes you have to clench you teeth and wait for better times to come. They will come, don’t worry. Now the tot is a little older, very attached to his dad, he adores his his preschool teacher, is more open to the outside world, and at home he’s only my shadow when the Hubs is not here, like most of the time. LOL

  6. Kindred Adventures
    February 17, 2012 | 1:06 pm

    This just what I had hoped and fingered crossed it would turn out. I am so happy for your husband and daughter but I TOTALLY TOTALLY would feel the same exact way you do. We just can not help it. We know they are happy but we want to have the shadow!!!

    On a different note this was a BEAUTIFUL post. YOu should print it and keep it for your daughter for later. You really captured a moment! Beautiful!!!

    Oh and I already voted a while back…. Do I get Leighann brownie points! 🙂 -LV

  7. katery
    February 17, 2012 | 2:19 pm

    aw, i’m sorry you feel like you’re missing out 🙁

    • multitaskingmumma
      February 18, 2012 | 7:07 pm

      Thanks 🙁

  8. Kimberly
    February 17, 2012 | 3:11 pm

    Ok, first of all…those pictures? Adorable. Love.
    And I know.
    I had to go back to work 6 months postpartum (thanks asshole America)Anyways, Shawn took a paternity leave. Those 2 were like super buddies. And it made me so jealous.
    Like whoa.
    But the tables turned eventually.
    What to say?


    • multitaskingmumma
      February 18, 2012 | 7:03 pm

      OMG I never even thought about that!
      You are Canadian but you had to go back to work early!
      That’s insane in the membrane.
      Not okay dude.
      I’m pretty sure it’s the peen too.

  9. Leigh Ann
    February 17, 2012 | 5:37 pm

    I know that telling you it won’t always be this way won’t help much. But it will change. You will ALWAYS be her mom, and no matter what, she sees the source of love and comfort that you are. She’s just wrapped up in the change of scenery, and that’s good for her AND B. He’s an amazing dad. I mean, I don’t even remember to brush my kids’ teeth. 😉 Love you.

    • multitaskingmumma
      February 18, 2012 | 7:01 pm

      Thank you!
      He really is wonderful and he has way more energy that I could ever hope to have. She’s lucky to have this time with him, I know it.
      I just can’t help the jealousy.
      They are such good buddies.
      Love you too! xo

  10. Robbie
    February 17, 2012 | 5:50 pm

    Pictures are adorable! I can totally relate as we have had similiar situations. Hubs and I worked opposite shifts and when I went back to work after maternity leaves he was home with our kiddos. He has been laid off twice in the last 3 years and was home with them as well. It’s impossible NOT to be jealous. I would fantasize about what I would do if I were at home even though I loved my job.

    • multitaskingmumma
      February 18, 2012 | 7:00 pm

      It’s so nice to hear that someone else was/is in a similar situation.
      I am really struggling with not being jealous.
      Thank you so much. xo

  11. Galit Breen
    February 18, 2012 | 12:26 am

    Oh, do I ever get this.

    (I know I already told you that we were in a similar situation years ago.)

    This doesn’t help right now, but I promise that it goes in waves.

    And I have to stumble through this part of my comment, but while it hurts to watch the connection right there in front of me, but without me, it’s a relief some days when I just – can’t.

    (I know that you understand, so I’ll stop explaining.)

    So very much love to you.


    • multitaskingmumma
      February 18, 2012 | 6:57 pm

      Thank you Galit.
      Your comment helps so very much.

  12. Sweaty
    February 18, 2012 | 6:01 am

    Oh sweetie, I wish I could give you a big hug right now… Hang in there, ok? These tings have a funny way of working themselves out at the end. I really believe that.

    Sending you thoughts of love, friendship, and peace.

    • multitaskingmumma
      February 18, 2012 | 6:54 pm

      Thank noodle xo

  13. Life As Wife
    February 18, 2012 | 8:22 pm

    Your shadow will find its way back, magically appear whe you’re not expecting it.

    • multitaskingmumma
      February 24, 2012 | 4:23 pm

      That is so sweet! Thank you.

  14. Cathy
    February 18, 2012 | 8:51 pm

    My dad was always the one to take us places and do thing with us, and did all the fun things. Brian is very much like him. Although I loved them both equally, it was Mom who I needed the most. Never doubt the bond between you Peanut. It’s there and it’s unbrakeable. xoxox

    • multitaskingmumma
      February 24, 2012 | 4:22 pm

      That made me weepy.
      thank you for sharing it Cathy xoxoxoxo

  15. Lindsay
    February 19, 2012 | 4:36 am

    I hear you, girl. My boys were big-time mommas boys – until they got to the point that they realized Daddy had 4-wheelers and drove a Tractor.
    For a while it was all about him… everything was “Daddy-this and Daddy-that”
    It’s equalized now, but it does take some time. It doesn’t mean she loves you any less. You’re a great Mom.

    • multitaskingmumma
      February 24, 2012 | 4:19 pm

      Daddy is pretty awesome over here!
      He does everything and nothing is too hard.
      He’s fun and exciting.
      Mommy makes the rules and enforces them.. boring.

  16. Bruna
    February 19, 2012 | 7:22 pm

    Your little girl is so very lucky to have this time with dad but I feel for you. It would be hard for me too 🙁 Know that she loves you regardless of how much she loves playing with Dad. The same thing goes on here. Daddy is way more fun than mommy:P

    • multitaskingmumma
      February 24, 2012 | 4:19 pm

      Her daddy is great! He plays with her and gets down on the floor, and in the play house. There’s nothing he won’t do.
      She’s really lucky.

  17. Rach (DonutsMama)
    February 20, 2012 | 4:34 pm

    Oh I know that’s hard because she was once a mama’s girl, but know that she has an awesome relationship with her dad and that is beyond priceless. You know, it’s so hard to be either parent–whether you work or stay home. Each has it’s own challenges. I love being home, but yeah, it’s hard and I’m drained and feel like I work 24/7. We actually just had a big talk about this at our house. I keep telling myself that it’s just a season and to try and enjoy it.

    • multitaskingmumma
      February 24, 2012 | 4:10 pm

      I remember mat leave and how exhausted I was. I couldn’t wait for Brian to come home.
      Now I’m on the other end of it.
      It’s going to change as she grows and we all just have to adjust

  18. Robin @ Farewell, Stranger
    February 28, 2012 | 9:29 pm

    Aw. That must be tough. Mine spends the days with his dad too, but when I come home he’s all about mama. He’s been rejecting dad lately and I think poor Rich is sad about that.

    Hopefully it’s just a phase.

    • multitaskingmumma
      March 1, 2012 | 11:06 am

      It’s hard when they start to prefer one parent over the other, but I’ve come to accept that it’s a phase and will happen a lot over her lifetime.

  19. […] We’ve been through this before. […]

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