Today is Friday. TGIF . . . I guess. Actually, my wife is taking some time off. Wednesday was her last day of work for the week. So, Wednesday was my Friday. But it doesn’t really matter anyway, because every day is the same when you are a stay-at-home parent.
Weekends don’t matter as much when you’re at home every day. The days just kind of meld together in a litany of chores and errands. Or you could take it the other way, and say every day is Friday. Then why not just drink every night, stay up late and play video games? That brings up another whole round of problems. So either way, every day is the same and you have to deal with it.
At my old job, they used to say, “Don’t take work home with you.” I suppose they meant to not mentally take your job worries home and fuss over them. However, being a stay-at-home parent means never getting away from your job. There are always dishes to clean or loads of laundry to be done. It never ends. And you’re always at work, so to speak.
Even when you leave your home, you take your kid with you—so you’re always at work. Always.
It’s also frustrating, because it seems that there is no personal or professional growth. My wife, for instance, works all day during the week. So, she is basically working on her career and professional development all day every day. When you’re doing the dishes all day every day, you don’t get that same fulfillment. I suppose, as in all things, you get out of it what you put into it. My personal growth is subtle, yet there all the same. I am learning self-discipline, perseverance, and patience in droves. You have to in this job, or it will get you. And you can’t let it get you, there’s too much at stake. Although this job is difficult, at least I can take heart in knowing that this is making me a better person and building my character for the future.
If you’re a stay-at-home parent, what do you take away from your experience?
Since my divorce several years ago I’ve realized that there is a better way to raise kids: 1 week with 1 parent, 1 week with the other. Back and forth between 2 nearby houses. I believe it is entirely possible that this is the single best method for raising kids even if you aren’t divorced. With this approach, I have an entire week to myself twice a month. Then when the kids return to my place, they’re excited to see me. We don’t get tired of each other. I learned that in some Native American tribes, marriage did not equate to living together. I think they were on to something. On the weeks where I’m alone, I can have buddies over to goof around, I can leave town at the drop of a dime, I can do house projects, or I can just do nothing in a silent house. It is ideal.
It’s making you a better person by staying at home? In that case I hope your wife has had or will have the chance to stay at home. Because I’m sure you want her to be a better person too. I wonder why so few women stay at home these days? I guess they don’t know what they’re missing. Right?
Neither my wife and I have the luxury at this point to stay at home but my wife wants to. Terribly so. Every day may be the same as far as what you do, but kids make it enjoyable, right?
Oh, it’s enjoyable. It’s just easier to write about the difficulties sometimes, I guess. I’ve been doing this for three years now, so I wouldn’t have made it this far if I wasn’t really enjoying it underneath it all.