Justinas, Liepa Elžbieta and Justinas Kazimieras

Tėtis su trimete dukrele miške, stumia ją dviračio

“My wife and I were really looking forward to meeting our firstborn daughter and our son, born a month ago. The opportunity to have children is a great gift, a privilege, and to this day we appreciate it very much.

I watched closely how many challenges Rūtelė had to go through during pregnancy and childbirth. I have the utmost respect for all mothers.

When raising our little ones, we want them to grow up to be driven, creative, hardworking people, not to become “passive knights of the sofa”. This encourages us to look for the best ways to educate our children.

Naturally, having children in the house significantly changed our daily life. Before children, you are free to do whatever you want in the morning, evening, or during the weekend. It is easy to arrive on time and meet your relatives or friends at the agreed time; after having children, this changes significantly. Children need our help with the simplest of things – food and hygiene, and they need our attention just as much – they like to play together, to experience new things. My wife and I were no party animals, so these changes in no way upset us. On the contrary, even though we face unexpected challenges and worries, the joy of being together or remembering those moments exceeds all our expectations.

My wife and I have hashed out that an active professional life is important to us both. It matters because of the need for self-realization – it’s fun to leave the house and contribute to professional things. It is also a practical calculation: if one of ours’s life ends unexpectedly, the second partner, being active in their profession, will be able to take care of the rest of the family. We try to share responsibilities in such a way that my wife can have a professional life, to the extent that it is not limited by natural circumstances (for example, I can’t breastfeed, or sometimes the children just want to be with their mom rather than me).

It is also important for children to experience both of their parents in different ways, perhaps. Our older daughter is about to turn three. We see how differently she reacts to us. Mom knows how to draw or play music (which I can’t say for myself). But I have more strength to raise my daughter up, to dance with her, or let her ride a balance bike more courageously, running side by her side. Liepa sees our differences and reacts to them.

Having said that, I can share a few concrete examples. When our daughter was one, my wife returned to work, and we found a babysitter to take care of our daughter. In our household, we have agreed that on weekdays, until 7-8 pm, Rūtelė hangs out with the children, and later I join in, taking the load off her a little bit. In the mornings, usually, I am the one to bring my daughter to kindergarten.”