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Diaries of a stay at home dad

September 18, 2012

I have actually found some spare time to reboot my blog.  Ironically, when I sat down 20 minutes ago, my mouse would not work so I had to reboot my computer, click on the “connect button” and swear at the gald-dern computer several times before it laughed at me and began to work as designed.  Personally I think the government is attempting to suppress my right to free speech, as they must know that I am up to 5 followers, not to mention all my adoring fan(s).

I have bumped into several (three) people recently who have asked me if I have given up on the blog.  Tee hee hee…no, of course not.  It’s the blog that has given up on me.  I thought that I would have exponentially more time to memorialize the daily exploits of my sons (and my wife) attempting to drive me insane, now that the boys are in school.  Wrong again.  come to think of it, I have not been correct since I left my job.  When you go from working with adults (and I use that word loosely when considering some of the people I worked with (and they read this blog too, so now they are trying to figure out if I am talking about them or someone else, haha)) to “working” with your children, you quickly realize that while you may be right in your decision-making, relative to common sense, the kids have this magical way of over powering you.  Actually they have many ways: Nagging, ignoring, blatantly defying, delaying, filibustering, begging, crying, screaming, kicking, and did I mention nagging?

I remember when I announced that I was leaving my job.  Women congratulated me and said something like “that’s great Phil.  You will really enjoy having that time with your kids, but its hard work.” Conversely, most of the guys said “wow, I am so jealous.  I would love to stay at home with my kids.  It would be a nice break from the stress and craziness here at work.”

L-OH-FRIGGEN-L.  For all of you guys out there attempting to convince their wives to stay at home with their kids, make sure you consider your options carefully.  I did not have any preconceived notions that this would be something like sitting on my couch playing my PS3 while the kids played nicely upstairs.  No sir.  But I will tell you that there are certain options in the professional world that I wish I still had the opportunity to take advantage of:

1. Cancelling meetings, or simply not showing up due to some “emergency” – Unless I was running a meeting, or meeting with a person who had an acronym behind their name.  I didn’t do this a lot, as it drove me crazy when I organized a meeting, people would accept, and then not show.  Now this is not an option.  You see, if I decide not to take the kids to school, the school will freak out and i will waste money spent on tuition.  If I don’t pick them up, well let’s just say that child services would eventually find me, not to mention Sarah would not be very happy with me.  Its amazing, in a sense, I must be more responsible in my role now, than before when I was working for a large publicly traded company, pulling a salary.  Scary.

2.  Getting some “fresh air” when I become frustrated, or mad – hahahahahahahahahahaha…yea right.  Back at the jobby job, I would go for a walk in Tower city, or actually around the city if the weather was nice.  I could vent to other adults, who would tell me that everyone is crazy, and I was right to be upset, blah blah blah.  But now, I am out of timeouts, in fact, I never got any time outs at the beginning of the game.  I can’t just go for a walk on my own if I get frustrated (uh oh, there’s those child services people…again).  I often wonder how people take care of multiple kids in apartments, or locations where they can’t, or choose not to, get out of the house easily.  Dont misunderstand me, I think my kids are great.  They play together great and play independently just as good, and I still find myself pulling my hair out at least once a week.  Case in point:  I was tending to Keagan a week or so ago, and it was a hot day.  I told the boys they could play with the hose to cool off.  I am inside for about 15 minutes, and when I come outside to check on the dynamic duo I find that they have used the hoses to make a water slide on the swing set.  Now, at first it looked pretty cool, and I was impressed.  Then I watched them go down this slide.  Holy toledo, this has multiple compound fractures written all over it.  Both of their football careers could be destroyed before they are ever started.  So I told them “no more.”  They cry and moan, but reluctantly take the hoses down.  Now the yard is a mess, and all muddy, so I tell them to turn off the hoses and clean up for dinner.  I forget who it was, but as I turned my back I was on the receiving end of a water ambush…not nice, and I had no place to go to vent my frustration.  Thank God for Sarah.  She walks in the door and I usually, immediately get her up to speed on the happenings of the day.  She laughs, pats me on the back and tells me to make myself a drink…don’t mind if I do.

3.  Calling in sick – I never called in sick unless I was truly sick.  Funny story:  My ex-boss once told me and one of my co-workers (I’ll call the co-worker “McLovin” to protect his identity) that calling in sick was for sissy’s and that he never calls in sick.  I stated that was rather silly, as the risk of getting the whole office sick was much more important that showing everyone you could work through an illness.  A couple of weeks after that exchange, he got sick but came into work anyway and got half the office sick.  We got behind in our work as a result.  He then asked me why we were behind?  Awesome.  Now I have not gotten sick yet during the new gig, but I dread the day I do, because I know I have no alternatives, aside of Sarah staying home to care for me.  Probably worse though is the fear of waking up with a hangover and having to take care of the kids.  Now, I didn’t drink a lot during the week (do you like how I left that open to interpretation??) when I was working full-time, but there was a couple of times I called in sick due to a hang over, during my younger days.  Not anymore.  And as any parent who partakes in a drink now and then will tell you, attempting to care for children while nursing a hangover may be the closest thing to capital punishment without actually committing a crime.  In fact, if scientist could somehow duplicate the effects of a hangover, which then could be given to prisoners on death row, while forcing them to care for children (I’ll have to think about how that would work), I think crime would go way down.

4.  Long lunch – I wish.  Sometimes I would take a 2 hour lunch if work was slow, maybe have a “working lunch” with other people from work at a nice eating establishment, discussing happenings at work, strategies for completing our current tasks, or simply gossiping.  Now-a-days, I spend my lunch discussing how Fireman Sam, yet again, saved Norman Price from some crazy situation in the small Welsh town of Pontypandy.  Who comes up with this stuff?  And why do my kids love it?  Well, its got to be better than the stuff I watched as kids, content-wise as least.  I mean Voltron and Transformers are still awesome, but they do not have redeeming qualities of “Fireman Sam,” considering the boys are asking me to confirm that the smoke alarm batteries have been tested properly, and we have plenty of fire extinguishers around the house, especially in the kitchen.  You never know when you might burn a porkchop sandwich (inside joke, kinda).

5. Lastly, complain about my boss or other people I worked with – considering I am the boss (when Sarah’s not here, then I am the co-boss), and I would never complain about my kids because they are little angels, this option is not possible.  It’s not like I have an outlet for my frustrations that would allow me to memorialize the trials and tribulations of being a Mr. Mom, while allowing other people to follow my new career via the world wide web.  By the way, I hate when people call me Mr. Mom.  Please stop calling me that.  Michael Keaton is Mr. Mom.  You can call me Phil, or Philly, or Philbert, or one of the several other derivations of my name, but please don’t call me Mr. Mom.

With all that being said above, I wouldn’t change a thing.  I mean, look at all the stories I have formalized in the stupid blog, in only four months.  And I have been absent for the last month.  I gotta find more time to write these blogs consistently.  Eventually I am want to turn this thing into a book.  I have ways to go though, so I guess I will have to stick with this stay a home thing.

Wow, that was therapeutic.

Don’t worry Sarah, I still love staying home with the boys.  I need to go make banana bread now…never did that in my last job!


From → new career

  1. Always nice hearing from a fellow stay-at-home dad. I look forward to reading more.

  2. Shana O'Patry Hughes permalink

    Smiled, smirked and snickered any numbers of times; excellent reading. Cheers

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