As I have said before, I am finding out quickly that being a stay at home parent is not as easy as it had seemed before I started spending more time at home. There is so much than can happen in the course of one day, and very rarely will a day go the way I hope it will. Sure, we plan out a nice evening walk before bath and bedtime. But we don’t plan the trip off of the curb, the busted knee, the sudden rain, or running from the homeless dog. We plan to have a bed jumping competition, but we don’t plan on the tantrum that ends the competition before it even begins. I plan to get certain things done throughout the day, then I plan on the plans getting ruined, and something even ruins that plan.
Recently, it seems that I have found myself growing more tired and more angry as the days we have had have not lived up to my expectations. Things are rarely getting done on schedule, rarely going anywhere close to the way we planned, and of course, there is the ever present sibling rivalry. Days that I just feel like pulling my beard out and letting out the loudest yell possible are the norm. Discipline doesn’t seem to be working, diversion doesn’t work, and some days, I just want to give up and go back to working full time again.
Then I had a kind of “life changing epiphany”. It wasn’t really an epiphany at all. More of a realization that I already knew about but was ignoring. I won’t go into detail about it here but you can read a little bit about it on my blog. I have a new goal set for myself and a new outlook on life as I move on with the new year. In all the soul searching, mind searching, and the craving for something a little better than the man I am right now, a big realization hit me. Despite the bad days, bad experiences, or what have you, I am the luckiest man alive. The fact that I have life and breath makes me lucky enough. Scratch that, I am blessed to have those things. But I have allowed the bad to blind the good to the point that I have failed to see just how lucky I really am.
I have spent 10 years in the restaurant industry, with a few breaks for working car washes and a factory that made lead/acid batteries for cars, boats, and golf carts. I have worked my ass off, my mind away, and literally gone days without seeing my kids before. Well, not awake at least. They were in bed when I left and asleep when I got home. For so long I have wanted to be the one getting puked on, pooped on, dealing with the fighting, the tantrums, and all that comes with being the at-home parent. Well, okay, that’s a lie. I wanted to be home with my children, playing games, watching TV, doing all that fun stuff you read about so much or see on the television machine. Then the reality of it all set in. I signed up for a lot more than I was really prepared for, or that I really knew about.
Here I went on a selfish binge of only thinking of myself, my stress, my tiredness, me me me me me. And I was blinded to the biggest reality of it all. I am the luckiest man alive. I got to do exactly what I wanted to do and start being home a lot more often. I see my children more, I get to work with the blog more, I get to spend 5 days a week not having to worry about what time I get a break, or who is calling in, or what manager I’m going to piss off. Bartimus Prime knows where I am coming from on that one. I got to finally take a little time out of a stressful job, and be with my family. And I was stupid to think about myself.
With good, there is bad. With greatness, there is weakness. And where there is winning, there is failure. So where do I go from here? I head to the medicine cabinet, take some ibuprophen, take a deep breath, and I get my head out of my rear and get back in the game. This is what I signed up for. This is where I wanted to be. And now, this is where I am. I’ll learn more about taking the bad with a grain of salt and taking the good as memories to treasure. I will put my family ahead of me just as much now as I did as a full-time working parent. I will praise the blessings I am given, and learn to live as the luckiest man on Earth.