I look back at those 4 months that I was able to spend with my son and wonder where that dream of being a stay-at-home-dad has gone? Why don’t I want those same things today?

Three years ago I had grand visions of my life. My wife was going through law school, a year away from graduating and making the big bucks. Those grand ideas involved me staying at home with my son. We would spend our time doing fun projects, going to the park, play-dates, and day runs to Target and Costco.

It might sound that I didn’t have much of a vision in life. And in reality, I did, because I was going to pursue a life as a blogger. I wanted to be able to do this or that with The Rookie Dad much like how I would spend my life as a stay-at-home-dad once my wife graduated.

Then life hit, and I was unexpectedly, and probably a few years sooner than I thought, forced into being a stay-at-home-dad. I was laid off, and with a wife still going through school because I told her that it was not the time to change her direction in life, I was also looking for a job.


It took me 4 months to find a job, and as time went on it became the job of my dreams. I loved what I did and the people I worked with. But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Those four months, while I was searching for a job, I was able to spend with our oldest. We did exactly the stay-at-home-parent things. We went to play-dates, Target, and Costco during the day, went to the playground many times, and watched a bit too much PBS.

I look back at those 4 months that I was able to spend with my son and wonder where that dream of being a stay-at-home-dad has gone? Why don’t I want those same things today?

The thing is, through no fault of my own, I am forced back into the same position I was 3 years ago. Laid-off and looking for work. There is still a trickle of a dream still that maybe this blogging thing will turn into something more than what it is today. That I could support my family through my writing and my influence on social media, but I came to realization 3 years ago that it would never happen.

So why is it different this time that I am so eager and excited to get back to work? My life couldn’t really get any better, I get to spend all day with my 1-year-old. I get to help him learn how to walk, play the drums, go on playdates (with the Kansas City Dads Group) and take naps with him on the couch. But all of that, all of those good things that I get to share with him doesn’t stop that drive, that urge to get back to a job.


But why would I want to get back to working again so quickly and not enjoy this time that I get to spend with him? The answer is simple really because I thought I could hack this stay-at-home-dad thing. Don’t get me wrong, I love staying at home with him and taking care of both of our kids chauffeur them to and from the places that they need to go and keeping our home in some form of organized chaos.

This time though, it feels much like a job. It feels as though from the moment the kids wake up, I have to be on top of my game. I take my eyes off of one, and he is choking on a LEGO. I take my eye off the other, and he has his iPad turned on and spending the day away playing Angry Birds.

I really thought I could hack this. I had training for this job 3 years ago. For some jobs, that’s enough to earn an interview and the job. But for some, it just doesn’t work out. That’s how it is with me, but my bosses are putting up with me until I can find that next job. That next job, that hopefully will be one of my dreams. I know that this time will be short lived and that eventually, I will have to hang up the stay-at-home-dad hat again when I’m offered that job. I need to be able to sit back and enjoy this time with my kids instead of rushing back into a job where I will only be able to see the kids in the morning, evening, and on the weekends.

But until then, I’m going to keep trying to make this stay-at-home-dad thing work because we all know that once I get the hang of this, it will be back to work again.

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  1. InstafatherAndy May 23, 2017 at 10:33 AM

    Appreciate the candor in this, although “a bit too much PBS” is not physically possible. I sometimes wonder on days when I have my kids all day long “Wouldn’t I be better off doing this?” but then I also realize that I A) Don’t get anything else done at all on those days and B) It would wear on me tremendously after a short while. I think the unexpected bonus time with your kids is, at least, a silver lining! And in the meantime, some ideal work arrangement will find its way to you.

    1. The Rookie Dad May 25, 2017 at 6:06 AM

      Agreed. I love being able to spend time with my kids. I know that something is about to come my way that will be better than the job I had prior to this and I just need to enjoy this time with them.


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