Stay at home dad
Last week I gave my wife a couple days off and sent her away to be alone at a house on the Puget Sound. For those of you that know Christy you know she loves the water and she was in need of a break. It has been a couple busy, stressful and exciting months. On a sunny Sunday afternoon just after her last time with our church family we sent her on her way.
Before she would leave I would get a list of all the times and locations of where the kids needed to go that week and the appropriate medical forms. This being the end of the school you would think I had figured out when and where the kids needed to be, but alas I did not. I of course did not want to admit that this was new information and I took the paper with an air of repulsion and thanks.
“Go out and enjoy yourself” is what I said confidently as she left for her personal vacation. “Don’t worry about us. We will be fine”.
One day passed and I was living the life. The bed was left unmade. The dishes piled quickly on the counter. Our youngest got to wear the same shirt he slept in to school that day. Toilet seat up!
I texted her, “This isn’t that hard. Would you like to get a job so I could stay home with the kids?” She responded with, “What you do is easy. Sitting on a computer all day is not hard.”
Then day two turned into three and I was begging for her to return. I would not admit to her at the time that I was over my head. That would stress her out and drive her to come home early and short circuit her solitude.
Remain calm. Don’t panic. Keep your cool. These were the mantras going through my head.
I was jarred from my state of panic and realized that we would be home soon. I did at this point what every guy does when his wife is gone. I waited until an hour before her arrival back and cleaned and organized with utter hast and diligence. Reminding the kids that it was ok to lie to your mother about how we kept the house clean. Yes we were picked up from school on time. Regular meals were partaken.
Ladies I know you have a built in data chip to handle the life of the home and family, but us guys don’t. It is easy for a short sprint, but if we have to go longer we fall apart. I think that men that stay home with their kids or those that are single dads are amazing. I don’t know how they do it.
I recently meet with my friend Adam Bradley (http://www.stayathomedadadventures.com). He has been staying home with his daughter while his great wife Becky is off teaching in the local school. He sent me some of his writings on his adventure of the stay at home dad recently. What I have tried to do for a couple days Adam did for a couple years. He so eloquently and sometimes comically looks at the life of a stay at home parent. If you are lady and read his stuff you will probably not be impressed. This is just normal to you. The difference here is that he shares through the eyes of the father.
As men we are brought up and taught to leave the cave in the morning, go shoot something and bring is back for our family in the evening. Making sure baths are taken, teeth brushed, and our kids have color coordinated outfits on does not fit into our normal job description. Adam does a masterful job reminding us that men need to have an interactive role in the lives of our kids. He ultimately brings us back to the heart of Father God and His enduring love towards us. I would encourage you to check out his site and sign up to hear more about his adventures.
As we look to move to Wisconsin I am so glad and grateful that we have the opportunity for Christy to be a mom and wife. I am confident that if she didn’t do what she does so well, I wouldn’t be able to do half of what I do. I am glad you got some time away, but really grateful you are back.