Daddy’s Staycation

I’m sitting here at 11:36pm eating a bowl of popcorn and watching TV. Why am I telling you this? Well, usually at this time during a week night my butt would be asleep in bed. After a typical day of waking up just after 5am, driving 80 miles to work (yeah, I said 80), working, 80 miles back, making dinner (I’m the chef in the house), getting the kids ready for bed, and then taking care of stuff I need to do, I’m pooped!

Well for the last week I’ve been on a Staycation! The Boss and I are trying to get our finances in order and I’ve been really itching to spend more time with O and Jake, so I took off! What’s taking a week off from work have to do with saving money? Well, we have a Nanny that comes to the house 4 days a week so that’s a ton of money right there. Then with all the driving I do back and forth to work I’m filling up the car 3 times a week. So, it actually worked out on all fronts!

Just after Jake was born I utilized FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) and PFL (Paid Family Leave) to spend more time with him. In fact, I also did it just after O was born as well. I worked it out that instead of taking six paid weeks off I spread it out over seven months! I took one day a week off for seven months which equated to six straight weeks. I figured this would allow me to extend my time off with the babies over a longer period of time. I loved it!

I got into a routine with them, which was great! We usually wound up going to a Parent/Tots class which was really fun. I was typically the only Dad there and it was funny watching the Moms think I was “special” cause I had an infant and an almost two year old with me. I didn’t think I was “special” at all. I was a parent! Don’t get me wrong it was nice to receive the compliments and the attention but it was a bit insulting in a way too. In other words, in our society it’s common place to see women in their roles as Moms. Nobody says anything to a Mom out shopping with two or even three children.

When I’ve been out with the babies I get tons of comments from people. I remember my wife commenting to me how every time we’re out on Father’s Day with the babies total strangers pass by and wish me a Happy Father’s Day. I guess they think it’s sweet that a guy is spending time with his kids. She’s always bugged cause nobody (a stranger) has ever wished her a Happy Mother’s Day when out in the same situation on her holiday. Again, I think this goes back to how people view Moms and Dads differently. It’s really unfortunate but is really how things are, even in 2011!

So this week staying home with the babies took me on a walk down memory lane. Except now Jake isn’t an infant, he’s fifteen months old and O is two and a half! What they eat has changed, O’s not in diapers anymore, they both sit in front facing seats, and they both walk. One thing that has certainly stayed the same is how much I love, love, love being with them.

No matter what people think a guys role in his children’s lives is. No matter how under appreciated Dads can be in the public light. What I know for sure is that being with O and Jake and being their Dad is the greatest, most fulfilling thing in my life! I might have not gone anywhere on my week off from work (Wifey had to work) but that’s okay by me. I got to be a Stay at home Dad which is the best Staycation ever!

Follow Josh on Twitter @DadStreet and on his blog Dad Street. Come back here next Friday for more Everyday Childhood “Dad Stalking”!

Comments

  1. Kelly says:

    I can totally see your point about how it’s more unusual to see men out with their children alone. BUT… Having two girls 15 months apart always seemed to spark conversation for me. People stop and ask me if they’re twins. They tell me how brave I am for taking them out all alone… etc. It is super awesome tho to see dads out and about with their kids, but you’re right… it’s amazing when any parent can take time out to spend some one on one time doing an activity with their kids. Thanks so much for your perspective this week Josh!

  2. This brings to light the many stereotypes that still exists in today world. I love having time off from work to spend with the kiddos. Whenever my schedule allows for these days, I make sure I do something special with the kids. It can be something as small as taking them to lunch, to the store, or laying on the floor with them building towers out of blocks.

    The smiles and the memories these days create, for both Dad and kids, will last a lifetime.

    Another WONDERFUL post by Josh @DadStreet and thank you @Childhood for our weekly addition of wonderful!

  3. […] I’m guest posting today over at http://www.EverydayChildhood.com. Today I’m talking about the Staycation I’ve had all week with O and Jake. Please hop […]

  4. fiona says:

    was just talking to my sister in law about the amazing daddy’s (for our babies, lol) we have – my hubby is an extraordinary dad and I’m so grateful for them and for me! Your kidlets will always have a special bond because of the time you spend with them