Stay At Home Dad: The Best 'Job' Ever
Much like anyone my age (40), you've no doubt held numerous jobs/positions in your lifetime. For me, I was born and reared in a pub and have worked in numerous bars in Dublin, Cork, Longford (my hometown), Athlone and Bray.
I worked for 10 years in a pension brokers office as a Qualified Financial Adviser, five years in a tech start-up and, most recently, started my own business with my wife which (hopefully) should interest any parent. I’m also a Daddy Blogger.
That said, as a full-time Stay At Home Dad (SAHD), I have honestly NEVER worked in a busier and more rewarding job than I do now.
It’s phenomenal and I love it. Want to know exactly how busy? Read this A Day in the Life of a SAHD - which I wrote not long after I became a SAHD which gives you a minute by minute account of my day and you know what, it’s still the same today if not even busier.
So let’s break it down - why am I saying it’s the best ‘job’ ever and even more importantly, why am I saying ‘job’ in ‘inverted commas’?!
Let’s tackle the latter first.
See, just because I don’t get paid cash in my hand for doing what I do does not mean what I do is any less of a ‘job’ compared to a paid one. Hell no. In fact, what I do is so much more rewarding, entertaining, funnier and worthwhile when compared to what normality considers a job to be.
Some people hate what they do. Circumstances dictate they have no other option but to continue in their job despite their loathing of what their role demands. But you know what? We all have choices. We are not shackled to the desk or environment we find ourselves in. We can all decide to alter our situation - albeit frightening to consider - but we can.
My situation was forced upon me due to ill health at an early-ish age. Hereditary heart disease to be precise. At the time, I loved my role in a very cool, hip, up and coming startup. But with the benefit of hindsight, what was I working for? To pay the tax man, to pay for childcare which ensured someone else basically reared our children while myself and my wife played the rat race. Hmmm, balls to that.
My wife is an amazing woman with the drive and passion only a ‘1%er’ has. Due to her drive, we are in a fortunate position that allows one of us to not work. I am lucky I am that person. But even when I was working, my wage was dwarfed by my wife's, so if it was purely a financial decision, the net result would be been the exact same.
The best ‘Job’ but why?
In a nutshell, I’ve focused on 3 main points.
Fun: Spending time with my girls (which I call the ‘Nips’) is pure golden quality. It rocks the S-H-1-T out of my world. They make me laugh, they make me giddy, they show me parts of life that makes me thankful I’m alive. We all have bad days be it in an office or at home with our nippers but a huge percentage of my time - in a role I love - is loaded with fun, laughter and happiness.
Growth: Over the last 3 years of being a SAHD, I’ve literally watched my girls develop, grow and mature right in front of my eyes. It’s such a privileged position to be in from a selfish point of view. I teach them. They teach me. I give out to them. They give me double in return. I make mistakes. So do they. Our bond is amazing. We all grow as a result and we play our socks off in our respective roles. Carlsberg doesn’t do family life - but if they did!!!
Quality Time: If I could bottle it and sell it, I’d never need another red cent. Ha, but I can’t bottle it - no one can. What we can do, though, is be present in the moment and suck every second up like a sponge. Look at it / Live it / Breathe it. As parents, we are learning all the time. We are the ‘boss’ - the voice in charge of these tiny miniature versions of ourselves and they look to us for everything. Do they always listen? Nope. Do we lose the cool from time to time? Yep. Can it be tiring /lonely/frustrating from time to time? Absolutely it can but so too can that ‘job’ others are stuck in who hate what they do. We all have our crosses to carry right?!
But we all have a choice. I know what I choose - family first and always.