He shared his personal regrets and reflections following the birth of his first child, emphasizing the need for a more balanced approach to parenting.
Society has created some imposing rules when it comes to parenting. As per conventions, fathers should be focused on their professional lives to bring money into the household, while mothers should concentrate on domestic responsibilities. This setup is unhealthy, especially in today's time and age and leads to both overwork and emotional fulfillment. Caleb—who goes by @ustheremingtons on TikTok—discussed this issue in a video, where he reflected on the regret he experienced after the birth of his first child, because of the unfair distribution of responsibilities.
During the couple's first go around, they had no idea how complicated parenting could become and followed social cues to get through the process. Now with maturity, they have understood that they need their own system and are doing things their way, after welcoming their second child. The video begins with the father informing his audience that his paternity leave is soon going to end. He made a joke about it being 'maternity' leave because in every way his wife was the 'man' of the house.
In his leave, he realized how much his wife had on the plate, and how marvelously she had been managing all of it single-handedly. Even though he is sad that he is no longer going to be as present as he was in the last few weeks he finds his present situation much better. He shares, “To be honest, I am super bummed that this time is ending. But I am acknowledging my privilege because, with our first, I didn't have a single day of paternity leave. This time around, they gave me four weeks and I took an extra three weeks of PTO. And part of me feels guilty that I didn't do that with our first”.
The father adds that he regrets the way he did things when his first child came around. He believes that apart from not being able to help his partner, he also lost some precious family moments which he will never get back due to being busy with work. In his leave, he understood how enjoying simple things like watching ants in the crosswalk can enhance family bonding. He believes he did not have the chance to deepen his bonds with his children, because he had to be away from them because of work.
Throughout, the video he is seen cleaning the house and reveals the reason for doing so later on. He explained how his wife was getting bothered about how 'messy' the house had become and therefore he wanted to help her sort out the place. The father has understood that sharing domestic responsibilities is where he mostly messed up the previous time around, leaving his wife completely isolated and overworked. He doesn't want to repeat his mistake. In the voiceover, he appreciated his wife by saying, "These past seven weeks opened up my eyes on how the household is actually run, and 110% of that is because of my wife."
This time around the father wants to be a better version of himself. He knows that his presence is necessary on the home front and he cannot put all the pressure of it on his wife, or it would take a toll on their relationship. “It has taken multiple conversations—and many ongoing ones—to truly master how to take on more of the mental load of raising children, growing our marriage, and taking care of our investments like our home” he added.
In the video, the father explained how the birth of their first child took a toll on his relationship with his wife. They had some heated conversations in which both failed to understand each other's positions. This was primarily because he could not strike a healthy balance between personal and professional life. This time around he wants to change that, and be more present in everything for both his wife as well as himself so that he does not lose out on his children growing up.
The comment section appreciated the father and his willingness to change the way he was operating in the relationship. @fallforyou7 loved to see him put work into his relationship, "You may not know it, but you are saving your marriage. It really is the little things." @taco_twat shared her own experience, "My husband did the family leave for our 2nd and 3rd and it opened his eyes and he was so upset also about the 1st. Family leave is a blessing."