On a purely selfish level, I am delighted. I was doing most of the fetching and depositing, handling the dinner negotiations and logistical drudgery of day-to-day parenting. My deadlines suffered and my resentment grew.
But there’s a broader benefit that’s harder to pinpoint. After nearly a decade with someone, you get to know their quirks and moods. You know when they’re down. The minor muddles of daily life – food spilt, appointments missed, money poorly spent – go from being sources of funny tales to something heavier: an extra weight of parental guilt and the feeling that nothing is being done as well as it might be.
And now, two days into operation self-employment, something has lifted. Those minor muddles are met with giggling instead of despair. The family eats toast together in bed most mornings, at a time when the urchin’s hair is most adorably tangled and her eyes widest about the possibilities of the day. Work still gets done – perhaps even more than before – but at hours that work around bedtime stories and singing in the kitchen. Long may it continue.