I took three-weeks childcare leave to support my wife. She gave birth to a baby boy, our second son on 12th of May, 2011.
My days off had been already declared to my boss and he had approved it in March. So my work was so busy in April to manage my duties and for my co-workers to take over my routines. Anyway, I was able to experience househusband work. It was cooking meals for wife and our first child who is four years old, laundry doing, cleaning, shopping, playing with him and taking him to and from his kindergarten, all house duties except caring for our second child. The purpose of my days off was to help my wife concentrate on caring for the second child.
During the first week, it was quite harder than I had expected. There was no time for myself. I didn't get used to all of the work, in particular, cooking. I am a novice cooker - sometimes I forgot to put oil in the saucepan to fry something - so it took much time to cook everything. What's more, our first son and I had to go to the maternity hospital everyday. I felt pain on the bottom of my feet because I stood up much more than my office work.
After the second week and when my wife and our second child come home, my work was getting easier and easier. Thanks to my wife, who could watch our first child, it became easier to go shopping. I don't have to leave home with our older child. It made my everyday schedule flexible. I realized some basic ways to do housework effectively. My feet also got used to my housework, so I began feeling no pain. I could even enjoy my work.
I learned many lessons from my experience. At first, I realized that housework is physically hard. I imagined how hard it would be, but the reality of it is harder than I had thought.
Second, housework brings me delight directly. My office work is to negotiate my clients, to manage twelve call centers and to maintain clients' satisfaction and company profits. Such work brings me abstract delight - it shows on a PC display only. On the contrary, housework bears clear fruits - tasty foods, clean rooms and the smiles of family members.
Third, housework is easier than my office work on the mental side. I had no stress on my mind throughout my time off.
Fourth, our everyday life is supported by my earnings. I couldn't imagine such a simple thing, but I realized it because of my shopping for many things every day I was home.
My experience made me understand that both my office work and housework are important and fundamental to our families' life. Of course I already knew that but I learn it deeply through this precious opportunity.