7 Rewards as a Stay-At-Home Dad
There’s no place like home.
Normally I work out of state 5 days a week while my wife juggles the kids daily schedule. Leaving for work at 4:30am, with luck, I’d get home around 6:00pm to see them for a couple of hours before bed. At that time, our time together was busy with dinner, baths, and getting them to bed by 8pm. Weekends were busy with plans and little downtime. There’s no better feeling than being home to support your wife and kids 24/7. Something I’ve never been able to do until recently. I knew I was missing out, but I had not the slightest clue of all the conversations, routines, growth, and moments I was missing while I was at work. It has made me realize that being a stay-at-home parent is one of hardest and yet most rewarding experience ill ever have.
Having daily conversations with children can be overwhelming and hilarious.
As a father, I try my best to give them great advice when the opportunity arises. There’s nothing wrong with getting nervous about answering your 6-year-old daughter’s random question about where babies come from. I’ve learned to just breathe… gather myself and come up with the best possible distraction any dad could!
No matter what age, kids won’t always agree, but when the topic is hot… ride it out and let them give their thoughts. It’s fun to sit back and listen to them talk and figure it out on their own. Whenever disagreements or arguments arise, I try to turn the conversation in a different direction. If that doesn’t work, I have been doing something out of the ordinary to make them laugh. Laughter is always a good distraction.
It’s not always easy keeping three kids (Ages 10, 6, and 4) all on the same page.
Let’s face it, every child has their own preference. Our oldest would play Xbox all day if we let him. Meanwhile, our daughter would have an all-day dance party and our little man would work on his best incredible hulk impressions when he’s not being a dinosaur. We give them their own alone time, but I feel it’s very important for them to interact with each other, create memories and learning experiences as siblings. Executing this isn’t easy but necessary!
Watching these kids grow faster than my nose hairs is beautiful thing, but it’s hard to not stop and think, “where did the time go?”.
As a kid, I always laughed when family and friends would say, “Wow, look how big you’re getting! What grade are you in?” I’ve always believed time flies when you’re having fun, but I never knew It would fly by faster as a parent. Watching them grow up is the most bittersweet thing in the world. There are a few things that help me when this thought comes to mind:
· Hug and kiss them every time you think it.
· Accept that it won’t last forever.
· Remember how lucky you are to have these awesome moments.
Parenting is tough, but having a supportive partner makes life easier.
I’ve learned a lot about my wife, Janet. As we grow as parents, I know for sure parenting would be much harder without her. We were always very close before we had children, but I must admit parenthood brought us closer than I ever knew possible. I’ve gotten so much encouragement from her and I couldn’t be more thankful.
Jan has shown me a great deal about patience and organization. Keeping things in order always changes the daily game and she’s the best player we’ve got. We found a way to mold an amazing balance of strength and leadership. Every couple steps on each other’s toes, it’s all about knowing your boundaries and respecting one another. Acknowledgement of feelings, accomplishments, and hardships is a good path for success. After a long draining day, while the kids are asleep, we make time to laugh together and talk about the silly moments we had with the kids. I love watching her grow into the mom she is today and busting her chops even more.
My children are growing but so are we.
As time goes by, the kids get older, I find us in new situations and redefining our roles, choices, and wishes as parents. Jan and I continue to trust and respect each other’s parental decisions. There’s no better feeling than knowing your raising your kids together and giving your absolute best team effort. I wouldn’t want to parent with anyone else! Continue open conversations!
Being with my family from the crack of dawn to bedtime is a blessing.
Being home has been a breath of fresh air and I am lucky to be with these four every day. I know these times aren’t going to last forever, but I know for a fact I’ll never forget them. At the end of the day all I can ask for is a healthy and happy home. If they keep saying “I love you dad”, then I’m going to sleep with a smile.