Since leaving my old job last year, I have spent the last eight months as a stay-at-home dad. This month, I will finally return to work.
I’m excited by this. The job is with a new company that pays a lot better than my previous role. But I’m also a little sad that I will no longer be a full-time father.
This time has been absolutely precious to me. I have never taken for granted how lucky I’ve been to spend such a large amount of time with family instead of working.
I was able to support my wife during the final stages of pregnancy. I was present for the birth and I was home for the first six months of my daughter’s life… which is far more than most working fathers get.
Which isn’t to say it’s all been fun and games, of course. If anyone tells you being a stay-at-home parent is a tough job… believe them.
It is hard work and it can be as stressful as any job at times. The only difference is that people generally don’t judge you for saying your job is stressful, but they can judge you for saying that parenthood is.
I never want to create the impression that my wonderful children are a burden to me. I love them with all my heart and they are absolutely worth the effort. But naturally it is very difficult. Things that used to be relaxing are suddenly stressful… such as having a friend over for coffee or simply cooking and eating dinner.
I don’t believe that saying parenthood is stressful suddenly makes you a bad parent. I think it’s healthy for parents to express this… particularly in light of how many people are blissfully unaware of the many challenges (like the managers at my old company).
Nevertheless, these last eight months with my family have been a wonderful gift. I will always be grateful for this opportunity and I’m certain that I will look back on this period of my life with great fondness.
Here’s to what 2020 will bring…
Thanks for reading, folks!