3 Initial Surprises of a Stay-at-Home Dad

I was really looking forward to getting some big projects done around the house once I was a stay at home dad. I thought I was going to have all this extra free time. That shows you how much I knew going into it. You would think that since my wife had been home for the last 7 years, I would have a pretty good idea how she filled her time. Not a chance. I really had no idea. Here are 3 of my biggest surprises (so far):

  • Time: Or, more accurately, the lack-thereof. I am amazed at how quickly each day goes by, and how little time I actually have to work on projects or do meaningful things (like blogging) that don’t involve my kids.
  • The Mundane: One of the things I loved about youth ministry was the variety. Every day looked different. Staying at home can be that way too, except every day has a lot of the same as well. I am amazed at how much time is taken up by food (either making it or going to the store to buy it) and cleaning. It seems like I do dishes 12 times a day. I was not prepared for this at all. Back when we didn’t have kids, I did a lot of the cleaning around the house. I cleaned the house once a week on my day off. If I did that now, with 3 kids, our home would literally be a disaster.
  • Restlessness: Most of the people I talked to beforehand seemed to think I would be really restless as a stay at home dad. The truth is, I’m not at all. I really enjoy it. I get to spend a lot of amazing time with my kids. Today, for example, I noticed one of my daughters had a bit of a hard time throwing. It was a nice day out, so we grabbed some baseball gloves and headed out to work on her throwing motion. She loved it. In about an hour, she had improved a ton. Usually, it would be hard to focus for that long on just my daughter with my 3 year old son around as well. However, he was fascinated by my ability to throw a football over the house, so I just kept doing that while he ran after it. This allowed my daughter and I to focus on playing catch, while we also got to laugh every time he came back around the house and wanted to do it again.
By the way, is there a better term for this gig than Stay-At-Home ____? The bank called it “Homemaker” when we re-financed our house. I like that even less. Any suggestions? I need to get some business cards soon, so I should get this figured out…

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