I operate two small businesses from our tiny Cottage. While I do so, my husband Adam is (very) busy caring for our son all day. Our schedules overlap and our responsibilities intersect, but there's no confusion as to who handles what on a day-to-day basis. As such, I thought it would be helpful for Adam to share some general information on how he handles caring for a toddler in a small space!
1. What inspired you to leave your job in advertising in order to care for West full-time?
This wasn't a difficult choice to make. Given my work schedule and Whitney's growing business, we would have had to hire a full-time nanny to take care of West. After researching several options, the smartest and best solution for our family was for me to leave my job. It didn't make sense to me for us to pay someone else to raise my son, when I could easily take on that role without financially burdening our family.
2. What have you found to be the greatest advantage of caring for a toddler in a small space?
Our home allows me to easily keep track of a very mobile toddler, as well as contain the explosion of his toys, books, etc. Additionally, a lot of the furniture is built in, which provides greater stability during his climbing endeavors.
3. What is the most challenging aspect of caring for a toddler in a small space?
Finding a semblance of peace and quiet for his nap time can be tough. We have two beagle rescues, who have a tendency to be bark right when I'm getting West to nap. He's fairly used to their barking, but it can be frustrating when he's almost asleep and the dogs disrupt the process. (Before we had the front house on the property, another challenge was trying not to distract Whitney while she worked.)
4. What are the primary tools that enable you to teach, entertain, and tend to a toddler in compact quarters?
I think the key is to have all the books, toys, musical devices, and wipes/diapers as accessible as possible. West is so curious and his attention span wanes quickly, so it's important to be able to mix things up with ease. We keep most of his items in baskets and in a corner dresser with large, thatched drawers that are easily removed. The contents are always readily accessible, and the containers are all lightweight enough that West is able to carry them around wherever he’d like.
5. What have you experienced by caring for West full-time that you didn’t anticipate?
How fortunate I am to be able to be his full-time caregiver. I know that stay-at-home parenting is not an option for everyone, and recognize how lucky I am that my wife's business has allowed us to be home with our son. Within our circle of friends, I'm one of several fathers who are the full-time caregivers, while the mothers work. I truly appreciate that we're able to challenge gender stereotypes and redefine parenthood together.