If we lived in Sweden, I wouldn't be going back to work for a long time. This past week NPR ran a story about maternity leave around the word, (a map can be found here) and if we were to reside in Stockholm, we would be entitled to benefits that can cover up to 480 calendar days. Two months are reserved for the father. Not bad.
I have been having a lot of conversations about the division of labor when there is a newborn at home and everyone seems to agree: Moms have to to the bulk of the work where baby is concerned. The pregnancy part, the delivery, the breastfeeding part, it just seems to work out this way. This naturally leaves some new dads wondering where they fit in, but things are about to change, thanks to one Tom F, husband of one of my oldest friends.
Mr. F. is father to two beautiful kids, both under age 5. He was quick to pick up on the fact that caring for a newborn is very mom-centered and watched as his wife carried their kiddos around in an baby sling. I can do that, he thought and strapped on the baby carrier and quickly renamed it: the DUDE-terus! Figuring this was the closest he would come to knowing what carrying an infant is like Mr. F. happily wore both of his children.
Hearing this, Rob strapped on Desmond this weekend and quickly realized what I had known for weeks already: its really hard to sit down to a meal and not drop food on the baby's head. That is why the baby gets a bath before bed, so we can get the salad dressing out of his hair and the crumbs from behind his ears.
And the carrier we use, why, its called a Baby Bjorn, and comes from of all places, Sweden.