With school beginning again for my wife I embark on my second year as a Stay at Home Dad. I reflect on my first year and recall the bitterness at being thrust into this adventure. If you read any of my previous post I was non-renewed for my teaching position. I loved my job teaching the kids in the county where I went to school.
I was overlooking three very important people when I wasn't fully embracing my new found position, my children.
I have learned I am a minority in the SAHD field, most chose the position rather than being thrust into it by unemployment. Many of the guys feel alone and unsupported.
After a six months of looking I conceded and gave up on the job search and focused on my kids full time. I never looked back.
I guess what I am trying to say is I apologize for saying anything bad for being let go, it has truly been a gift. This last year has been a blessing. My infant twins are now full fledged toddlers.
I have witnessed many things in my first year.
My oldest has become a wonderful big brother to the twins.
Many first for the twins have occurred as well.
First standing up.
First solid food.
First non formula poop.
First Head injury....
Well some more enjoyable than others, but I can say I was there. It was me taking care of my kids. I fed them. I changed them. I comforted them. I put them down for naps. I was there when they woke up. I got them on a schedule.
I have discovered numerous things this year about being the at home parent. People judge you wether you're a man or a woman, people say things. I can be sensitive and I have to remember that they may not mean it to come off as an insult or condescending remark. I have to keep an open mind like I want others to. It's more work in a day than I have ever done. I have held many jobs that I wouldn't consider easy but being the at home parent is hard and nonstop. I've had doctor visits, grocery store trips, trips to take mommy her lunch at work.
Next month I will make the a trip to Denver for the annual At Home Dad Convention. There is even a National At Home Dad Network. I had never heard of them and I am grateful for their existence and support. There are many dads out there in the trenches and we share our successes and failures as well as our frustrations and "Dad Hacks". There is even a small online support group on Facebook. It contains only 600 plus dads.
It has been the best year I have ever experienced. As the second year begins I no longer feel thrust into this position. I am choosing the most fulling, rewarding and noble position of being at home with the kids. I can't wait to see what happens in the years to come.