I survived my first full week as a stay at home dad, and I've got to tell you--It's the most awesomest thing ever!! All I do everyday is hang out with my kids. I feed them and watch cartoons, and sometimes we cuddle. It's the greatest. The other day I wanted to take a bath, and my 9 month old daughter just stood at the edge of the tub the entire time smiling at me. I had to keep giving her toys to bang around and drop in my bath, but that's not REAL work. After so much time at work under pressure and under stress and paying the high cost of daycare, I couldn't believe how happy such a simple joy could make me. I would rather be here doing this than anything else right now.
However as an ad student I am still working toward my eventual career. I did find that I don't really have much time to write with these kids bandying about, but I find that I don't care. I can write when their mother gets home. I am as a whole so much better suited to do this than anything I have ever done, however temporary it may be.
This week we brought Christmas into our home. Kirk and I had plenty of fun just setting up and decorating our tree. Then I built him a toy boat out of a tin can, a cork, a pencil, and a twig we found outside. He loves it.
The greatest thing was when I learned I could join the YMCA and get up to two hours of free daycare while I work out. This is good for daddy, and the kids get to socialize with other children. They love Mr. Mom at the Y, and I can have some time to myself to think about advertising ideas while I exercise and relax in a hot tub. The Y is cheap and I get a discount through our health insurance, which is paid for by breadwinner mama Belsum's salary.
I am looking for other daily activities for the kids, and plan to set up playdates with some parents I know. I am also working with Kirk to get him ready for kindergarten by teaching him to read and write, and to count to 100. Everytime he asks for a big boy thing, like being able to play with sharp knives, I tell him he can't until he can learns new things. It's working pretty good so far.
After a fun day of play and naps and learning I get supper ready for when mama comes home. Sometimes the kids help me cook. I take extra care to make sure the house is neat and tidy before she comes home, so when I leave for school she won't have to worry about those things. So far this has been the best job I have ever had, and with the daycare savings, it is far from the lowest paid job I've had.
My next step is to start organizing this house I live in. I have time, and I'm sure the kids will help in between being fed and snuggled. My mother was right, being a stay at home dad really is a full time job, but I never knew how much I would love it.