I remember the first day I returned to the office after having my son. Honestly, going back wasn't difficult — I was pretty excited — it was the coming home that broke me, because I began to think about the parts of my baby's day that I missed. Fortunately I had an amazing partner who understood that dads can help when mom goes back to work. I asked other parents to weigh in on the subject, because moms and dads and all parents in-between need to be cluing each other in and helping one another out.
Now, just to be clear: dads shouldn't "help" with childcare. To classify that kind of work as "help" implies that taking care of a baby (and all associated activities) is the primary responsibility of someone else — usually the mom. This is unfair to everyone involved. Because not only does one parent have all the responsibility dumped on them (on top of their career or job!), there's just no way a parent can appreciate the "highs" of of parenthood unless they're regularly down in the trenches. Moms deserve a full partner, and dads deserve to be one.
Here's what 15 parents had to say about ways dads can step up when their partner goes back to work: