Skip to main content

Stay at home Dad

How's this for a dream day: Big Daddy gets Sweet Boy out of bed and on the potty while I go on an early-morning walk with my friend, then they play and read books in bed until I get home and jump into bed with them. Then Big Daddy dresses the boy while I shower and feeds him breakfast while I get dressed. We all drive to preschool together and I wait in the car while the boys saunter into the classroom, stopping occasionally to chat with the mommies he met at the birthday part on Sunday. Big Daddy and I then go out for a cup of coffee and a bagel and sit together reading the paper in the coffee shop for a few minutes like a contended old married couple. Bellies full, he drops me off at home so I can get to work while he runs around town finishing errands. He picks up Sweet Boy from preschool and takes him to lunch. They bring me lunch back to the house and I don't even have to leave my desk, and Big Daddy gets Sweet Boy ready for his nap. He then turns his attention to some small household projects that we've both neglected for lack of time (or interest) on the weekends. I continue to work, on a bit of a high after some really positive feedback on my current project. After the napping and working is done, the happy threesome travels to Bucks County to watch our nephew's football game in the warm autumn sun.

This is too amazing a day to even dream of...but it really happened. Today. And it was wonderful. Big Daddy stayed home from work -- mental health day -- and took care of me and Sweet Boy all day long. I seriously could get used to this.

There was a time early in Sweet Boy's life that we discussed Big Daddy becoming a full-time stay-at-home dad. We were disgusted by our childcare options, and hated leaving our baby with a stranger all day. I had the higher salary, more stable job, and better benefits. And we both know he would be great at it, really. He has infinitely more patience than I do, still has more child-like instincts than I do (which makes him a better play-pal) but has more disciplinary instincts as well. And he doesn't mind housework or cooking when he has time to do it; he also loves running errands. He could very well raise our child and manage our household if that was his full-time job. Turns out my job responsibilities shifted and I was able to do this wacky three-day-a-week telecommuting dream schedule, so I've been able to balance both the working and the parenting and the household-running while Big Daddy has kept his job in the big city, as well. But today I'm thinking about what might have been.

Truth be told, I would suck at stay-at-home parenting. I love my child, of course, but I also really love my job. I love working. Maybe not the aggravation of the 9-to-5 routine and hustle, but I love the interaction and challenge of my work. (I also love to go to the bathroom by myself, but that's just a bonus.) During the three months that I stayed home with the newborn love of my life, I was bored and miserable. Granted he was a blob of screaming, eating, pooping baby at that time. It might be much more interesting and exciting to me these days to be home with him every day, now that we can enjoy playgrounds and libraries and eating ice cream together. But I still really love going in to my office a couple times a week. I have a huge amount of respect for SAHMs because they have the hardest, most important job in the world. I just don't know that I'm cut out for it.

But my husband is. Maybe someday, if I can get off my creative butt and finally write that bestseller so we no longer are swamped with debt and bills, we can give it a try -- me the sole breadwinner, him the childrearer. Of course by that point the baby will be grown and out of the house...but one can dream.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Grace happens

Today Honey's roommate in room 364 at Maine Medical Center was discharged. Some other day I'll tell you about why Honey is in the hospital again, but this story is about the roommate because it's way more interesting. Let's call him Elton, because all I really know about him is he plays guitar in an Elton John tribute band and he's originally from the very northern part of England, bordering Scotland. (Or as Honey described it, "that place in England where the Roman Empire decided, nope, those Celts are crazy, and put up a wall.")

Elton was in room 364 before Honey arrived, and what struck me immediately, besides his delightful accent and soothing Liam-Neeson-esque voice, was his gentle, good-natured manner. He was going through heck from a botched surgery and compartment syndrome - pain and gore and fear of losing the use of his dominant hand - yet he spoke kindly and softly to every person who came into his room. Every time a nurse walked in, Elton gree…

Math lessons

I was really great at school as a kid...but I'm really lousy at school as a parent. And I was reminded once again of this while sitting at my son's conference yesterday.

Seventh grade has been hard on all of us. Beyond the obvious physical changes -- Happy has grown at least 5" since this summer and now looks me in the eye (yeah, remember I'm super tall!), his voice is weird, he can't get out of his own way -- we're all trying to navigate his ever-changing need for independence. His teachers want him to take more responsibility for his learning, which in theory sounds like a great plan for all kids at this age; they have to not only learn how to learn but also learn how to advocate for their learning.

In reality, though, when you're the world's most laid-back 12-almost-13-year-old who really only wants to listen to music, play drums, video games, and action figures, taking responsibility and advocating for your learning is not highest priority. In fact…

Happy curls?

I dreaded the passing of the peace each Sunday when I was a little girl. Every week the old church ladies would comment about my hair...
    "Shirley Temple curls!" they cooed; I didn't know who Shirley Temple was.
    "So soft!" they petted; I didn't want their wrinkly, gnarled fingers on my head.
    "I pay a lot of money to have hair like yours!" they exclaimed; I couldn't figure out why anyone would pay money for frizzy, fluffy, brillo-pad hair.

I hated my curls. I felt embarrassed by my hair -- it was short, kinky, cut badly -- quite different from the long straight hair my friends all wore at the time in my life when I just wanted to fit in. Oh, how I wanted a ponytail! Or a braid...to braid my hair on a Sunday morning with ribbons hanging down, that was a dream.

Today during the passing of the peace, I found myself next to one of the older ladies in our church. Every week I marvel at her elegance, the way the dresses, the slow and grace…