So S.A.H.D.

January 2, 2007

Monday, June 12, 2006

So S.A.H.D.

The following is a message I posted on a message board in response to
a debate/argument some people were having about stay-home parents and
kids and all kinds of touchy subjects. It got a pretty good reaction over there, so
I thought I might share it over here. Feel free to let me know what you think, even if
you hate it.
:0)

I’m a stay-at-home-dad (SAHD – and I don’t like that acronym one bit).
I freely admit that I’ve lost my mind. Actually, I turned my mind over to
the authorities when we made the decision that I was to quit my job and
spend all my time with pre-schoolers. I thought my mind was possibly
defective and wanted to get it fixed.

no luck. out of warranty.

So, I mindlessly trudged on. I truly do appreciate that I get to have a hug
from my kids when they wake up, hear them say, “Good morning, Daddy”
and then tell them to go back upstairs and brush their teeth. I don’t look
back wistfully at my former job and wonder what it would be like if I
hadn’t given it up. I do sometimes think of the boat I could buy with all
that extra money, but otherwise it’s best if I just realize how lucky I am
to be in this situation.

It can be hard and some days it takes quite a bit of effort to stay grounded
and centered and not get frustrated. I mean, just because I chose to be
a stay-home parent, that doesn’t mean my kids have suddenly become
the Brady kids, forming singing groups and performing in talent shows
wearing matching outfits. They’re still kids. I’ve been doing this for
five years now and I STILL have days where I wander the halls in
confusion muttering, “What the hell is going on around here? Where am
I?”

Bored? Sure they get bored. I have a 13 year old who can not sit still
for the TWO MINUTES between the time she’s ready for the bus and
the time the bus actually arrives. She fills those two minutes telling anyone
within earshot how bored she is. That back to school commercial with the
guy in Staples – I’ve done that. I re-enacted that commercial in the
Staples store. It went really well until I crashed my shopping cart into
another guy doing the SAME EXACT THING.

Being a stay-home parent is truly a blessing, but it is still really hard to
spend your entire day, seven days a week, with kids. Parents have to
find a way to be grown-ups from time to time. A supportive spouse makes
it much, much easier to handle. I am in awe of those single parents who
are taking care of everything solo. I don’t know how they do it and they
have my respect.

Some stay-home parents miss the working world and feel like they’ve
sabotaged their career and maybe they have. But the other day, my
son brought home from school a paper about what he wants to be when
he grows up. The paper said, “Fireman”. I asked him, “So, you really want
to be a fireman, huh? That’s pretty cool.”
He said, “Not really. They made me pick from a list.”
I asked, “Well, what do you really want to be?”

“A regular dad, like you”, he said.

That’s enough for me.

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2 Responses to “So S.A.H.D.”

  1. Lynn said

    what is the debate/argument you are getting back? Seems clear to me.

  2. It started with someone saying that his/her kids were driving them nuts over the summer. Some people took it as a complaint that started a whole big thing. I wrote this in order to provide some perspective from a stay-home dad who complains and loves it at the same time.

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