It’s 8pm. The kids are asleep, and I just sat down at my desk to begin my day’s “work.” But I am so physically and mentally exhausted that instead I’m going to write this post and then go to sleep.
Where did my energy go? Well, today I cooked three meals for four people, taught “preschool” for two hours, took the kids for their annual doctor’s checkup, washed and put away two loads of laundry, played kickball in the street with the neighborhood kids, cleaned the kitchen three times, read stories for half the afternoon, bath time, bed time, Lego time, nap time, dinner time…
Being a stay-at-home parent is hard work. I have to actually listen to my kids and stay engaged. I have to put away my phone and interact with them. If I can’t keep up, challenging and stimulating them with new activities and experiences, then they get bored and ask to watch TV.
Today I calmly and quickly diffused a tantrum that, only two months ago, would have probably thrown me for a loop. I might even have gotten mad and raised my voice. Instead, I now have the mental and emotional energy to do better.
Oh, and it’s been several days since the kids have even asked to watch TV.
So what’s my response when asked about my decision to quit my job and become a full-time dad?