Looking Back at My Year as an At-Home Dad

Audrey Zachary Classy Chair

So I got a job.  Yup, starts today.  I’m pretty excited about it too!  But I must admit there’s a significant element of terror involved.  Not just because the role is going to serve as a big challenge for me—which it will—but also because I’ve spent the past year at home, watching the kids and keeping the house from burning down (albeit just barely).  Needless to say, this week is going to be a monumental adjustment for this at-home dad.

But before taking the plunge, I afforded myself one final chance to look back on the past year of my life; the goods, the bads, and all the other lessons learned during my time alone with the kids.  Let’s take a look, shall we?

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So I Interviewed My Young Daughter About Santa Claus…

Audrey-Candy Cane

My 3-year-old daughter has never fully understood Christmas.  Sure, Audrey enjoyed the presents, treats, and lights in the past, but there was no real anticipation for her.  All the fun just happened, and that was enough.  Now that she’s three however, a strong sense of excitement has set in.  She knows Christmas is coming.  She knows she will get presents.  She knows she will get candy and treats.  And she knows Santa Claus is coming.  It’s fun!  But it also got me wondering…

How much about Santa Claus does she really understand?  I sat down with her yesterday to find out.

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I Am a Big Antisocial Weirdo Around Other Parents

Audrey-Window

An at-home parent typically has one choice every day:  leave the house or stay at home?  Staying is nice because you can go without pants all day and watch The Price is Right.  Going out is nice as well because, you know, nature.  But while going out often involves diaper bags, strollers, and frantic store aisle chases, those unpleasantries aren’t the worst things about leaving the house.

It’s the fact I’ll have to speak with other parents.

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The Cable is Gone. Now What Do I Do?

Cable Box

When I began my journey as an at-home father I knew sacrifices would need to be made.  Going from two incomes to one was not an easy one, after all. It was also abundantly clear that one of the most obvious means of cutting back on costs was getting rid of cable, along with its delicious lineup of succulent programming.  Well, friends, that time has come.  The cable is gone.

It’s been a difficult transition thus far, I’m slightly embarrassed to say.  Oh, I’m not curled up in a ball sobbing in the shower or anything.  But I’ve become so used to the TV always being on that it’s been strange dealing with the sudden quiet that has settled over my house.

But that’s just it, isn’t it?  Live television had become merely background noise.  I didn’t care much about what was coming through the cable.  Most of the shows I enjoy I can get via other methods.  Cable TV had become a distraction, nothing more.  Well, that distraction is gone now.  Silence is king.  What time I have is mine.

So what the hell do I do with it?

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Muddy Hands, Baby Butts & Paul Revere: A Trip to Battle Road

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Spring was in the air yesterday.  It was a whopping 48 degrees outside–48!–and most of the snow had melted.  I needed to get outside.  And so did Audrey.

After much heated discussion, the two of us decided to pay a visit to Battle Road, part of the Minuteman National Historical Park.  “The Shot Heard Round the World” hails from this pristine locale, along with Paul Revere’s ride.  It’s also a nice place for a walk.  There are no cars, the scenery is more than pleasant, and the people are attractive and friendly.  Less poops to dodge too.  Battle Road is about 5 miles long, so round trip it takes about 10 to complete.  I’ve walked it a number of times and was anxious to get another one underway.  So we went!

And made it three-tenths of a mile in 2 hours.

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The Downside to Being a Stay at Home Dad

Sad Dad

Earlier this week I touched upon the positives of being out of work and raising a 2-year-old.  Now it’s time for the negatives.  So, if you will, please follow me on a trip toward the Dark Side.

Let’s get started.

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