“What would you like to do for Father’s day?” my wife asked.
It was a simple enough question, but why was it so hard for me to answer?
Maybe catch a ball game, have some day-beers and slide into a nap on the recliner, right? I mean, it sounds pretty textbook to me, but then again, nothing thus far has been textbook.
You see, I’m a full-time stay-at-home dad for two toddlers and have been for a little over three years. While I’m sure that there are other parents with much more on their plate, Ava (3½) and Charlie (2) have certainly kept me on my toes.
I never expected to be the primary caregiver for our children. I always pictured myself in an office, banging away at a lucrative career that paid big financial dividends. But the balloon that held my fantasies of being a modern day Don Draper – complete with perfectly coifed hair and a cute secretary, closing deals over martinis, had quickly deflated.
Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I’m not grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given – I’m lucky that we’re in a position where I can stay at home to care for our children, to be involved in their lives from the ground up.
It’s just not what I expected.
I had gone from being a successful Hollywood executive to spending my days in an old bathing suit and Jockey t-shirt stained with breast milk… making an effort to communicate with my infant daughter, who couldn’t respond back. I kept ‘forgetting’ to shave and an army of pressed collared shirts were pushed into the depths of my closet, waiting to be called up for their next mission.
But that mission never came.
As the emails and phone calls from my previous life began to dry up, I contemplated my self-worth and grew increasingly depressed.
By the time my first Father’s Day came around, I’d turned a corner. It took me a few months to recognize that I was doing one of the MOST important jobs there is – raising children.
And here I am, with a renewed vigor and overall outlook on life.
I think about how lucky I am to be able to do this and how important it is for a father to get involved in their kids lives. This is time I’ll never get back. I love being able to watch them grow – laugh and have fun. I have to hold myself back while I watch their creativity and personalities blossom…
To find out what I really want for Father’s Day, please continue reading at Whattoexpect.com…