By Tim, Adoptive Dad -
The stereotype is that women dream of their wedding day starting when they are little girls, well I dreamt of having my own family since I was a little boy. To be exact I wanted 5 kids; 3 boys and 2 girls. I was married at 24 but 11 years would pass until my dream of fatherhood became a reality through the process of adoption. Although my path to fatherhood was not how I imagined it, there is no other way it was meant for me. Today, my wife and I have one child, a girl. It had always been important to both my wife and I that at least during the early years, one of us stays home and it was decided that it would be me who would be the stay-at-home parent. Although it is becoming more common, it is still a little unconventional that I am in this role while my wife works full-time. We are very lucky in this regard as it is not possible for every family to make this happen. We have had to cut back in some areas but we make it work.
Believe me when I say I love being our, “domestic engineer” as we fondly refer to my best job ever. Do I miss work? Yes. Do I really miss it though? No, no I do not. How was the all-important decision made that it would be me to resign and stay home? It came down to two reasons. Firstly, my wife brought home a bigger salary than I. Although this was the main reason, the second is equally important. I was ok with reason #1. To be a stay at home dad you must be ok with not contributing financially and simultaneously ok with joking about this. Jokes centered on you being unemployed will be made and you just have to take it. Being able to laugh at the situation and yourself is key. I left a company I had been with for 10 years and was in a Director role. The hard work and dedication it took to get there is not forgotten, but instead of managing employees and programs, I proudly own that I am now on diaper patrol. I take solace when my daughter is giving me a rough day by reminding myself that my worst day at home is better than my wife’s best day at work. This makes me feel better.
Having a daughter is a dream come true and it feels like I was made for being a stay-at-home dad. Like I said, this is how it feels but does not totally reflect reality. While I do possess traits such as patience, affability and confidence which are positives when childrearing, I lack in other important areas such as observation, memory and a nonchalant attitude. These deficiencies are a constant source of amusement to my wife and I as they are kind of essential in parenting. In postings that follow I hope to provide some levity as I share musings, recollections and views from my standpoint as a stay at home dad. It may still not be the norm, but there is no better job a man can have. While there’s no pay or 401k, the benefits are beyond belief.
Tim, Stay-At-Home Dad