Why am I blogging? I became a stay at home dad two years ago. My wife has always been the bread winner. I have been an art educator for the past 9 years of my life so we both knew when it came time for someone to stay at home, it would be me. Not to mention that I have the most patience for stay at home activities.
Not only did I become a stay at home dad which was new at the time but we also moved from the Chicago area to the Rochester area. I have lived in the Chicago area all of my illustrious 33 years before moving to Pittsford so starting out was a little more daunting to begin with. What I found was that staying at home is a tough job and maybe one of the most challenging ones I have had.
I mean, people prepared me for it but you really have no idea. It’s kind of like when you decide to have kids. You can go to all the birthing classes they offer, you can diaper all the dolls you want, you can even practice swaddling that doll you brought to the class. And you think. MAN, I GOT THIS! The next thing you know, you just tried to bottle feed the cat at 4 am when you thought the baby was crying, your son pees in your face for the first time while changing his diaper, and you can’t figure out how to get those baby arms through the arm holes in these tiny, tiny clothes.
The thing I found was that at least in Rochester, stay at home dad groups do not exist. Sure, you can create a Meetup group on their site but you also have to pay for it. Not to mention that I wanted to hang with guys that I found myself and not on some twisted version of Match.com. Us guys, we hang back…we observe. Ladies, you just go for it. You have something wired that makes conversation easy. Meanwhile, we just nod to each other or do the head bob. Thing is, we aren’t ready to high five or fist bump from the get go…we have to see what we are dealing with before we start a…GULP!..friendship with another guy.
Being the outsider made it even harder. I didn’t know where anything was, what I was going to do with these kids from 7am to 7pm. The first couple of weeks while moving stuff in, my son fell out of a chair at the breakfast bar and broke his collarbone. I didn’t know where the hospital was, I didn’t know my wife’s work number, my in-laws weren’t home and she wasn’t answering her cell. Luckily my little brother had given me his old GPS while driving from Chicago with me with the cats. Hospital…Nearest…Calculating Route…Sling for a toddler for a few months and limit his activity…GULP!
So, here I am two years later and I say…we must organize. We must support each other and not in a way that is going to make us regret bringing it up to our wives because the truth is you will have to figure some stuff out by yourself. Your wives will give you great suggestions and they will be supportive (I know mine always is) in any way they can. They trust you with our kids and you are not going to let them down. So, this Blog is for any guy who needs support, is looking for answers from a guy’s perspective, and on those days when you just need a laugh you can read some stories about my kids and my experiences as a stay at home dad.