She looked at me like I was kidding and said "Oh yeah? How do you feel about that?"
I said "I think I want to do it. It's a great opportunity to share what stay at home dads go through everyday and you know with me, it will be real"
"Yeah, she said, I'l like to see what happens during the day, I'd watch that"
The emails followed from the producer of the segment, Josh Weiner, who told me that he wanted to follow me for a day and record what goes on with my life as a stay at home dad. I agreed, and found out quickly through my network of dads, that two other guys were also going to be followed including Pat Jacobs of JustADad247 and Mike Heenan of AtHomeDadMatters and Frank Lowe of Gay At Home Dad . The segment, which aired Thursday, June 12th at 830am was part of the TODAY Show's Modern Dads series the week leading up to Father's Day.
I told my kids what was going on, as much as you can explain to a three and six year old about what is about to happen. "We're going to be on TV AGAIN?" is what Sarah (6) said. I had appeared on the local news about a consignment sale that the Philly Dads Group was participating in and was interviewed while they circled my legs. Kids, as we all know, say whatever is on their minds so we didn't know just how ready NBC was for our kids but we wanted to share just what it meant for SAHDs to be Modern Dads.
Josh was slated to arrive at 8am but because of traffic through Philadelphia, arrived in our neighborhood at 8:23 as we were headed to the bus stop to drop off my oldest son, Adam.
"Are you the camera guy who is supposed to be recording us today?" she asked.
"Yes I am. It is very nice to meet you." he replied.
"You're late." she fired back.
Welcome to a glimpse into the stay at home dad life, TODAY show!
We started the day dropping Adam off on the bus and Josh shadowed us the whole time. We started the day off by heading to The Play Cafe, a local indoor play place for kids 0-5 years old. They usually aren't open on Mondays but my friend and owner, Lauren Ainsworth opened it up just for Philly Dads Group. We had a great playgroup that morning and we had ten dads and their kids show up that day. One member even drove in from Jersey to hang with us!
After the playgroup, we headed home getting shots of us coming out, then a shot of us walking to the car. Sarah kept asking "Why do we have to stand here? Why can't we just go?" and then the unscripted awesomeness of tired kids in the backseat ready for some lunch.
Running late from the playgroup, I had planned ahead and made the girls' lunch just in case. But running behind lead to an impromptu picnic in the back of the minivan.
After lunch, we dropped off Sarah at school and he captured the goodbye. We headed home with just Heidi and I and did our normal daytime routine, play, play, and more play. After she got tired of Barbies, we worked on prepping dinner for the night which is something I do to get the kids involved.
The producer, Josh as we sat on the couch said "Wow, you really don't get much downtime do you?"
After school was the usual schedule, helping kids with their homework and reminding them of their chores before mom came home and we ate dinner together.
Though I was mentally and physically exhausted at the end of the day, I felt it was really important to get the word out about how much as changed with dads and their roles as caregivers in society today. With 2 million stay at home dads out there and this number rising, I felt we needed to be represented in a positive light so that the rest of society can catch up.
Thank you to the TODAY Show and the CityDads organizers, Lance Somerfeld and Matt Schneider who helped make it all possible. We hope you enjoy our story of the Modern Stay At Home Dad.
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|Thanks to Josh for his work on this video and for spending time with me and my family.|