Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Decision: Becoming a Stay at Home Dad

Reading a book with 
Eloise and Caden.
On April 1st, 2012, I became a full time Stay at Home Dad. Our first born son, Caden was about to turn nine months old. We were lucky that my wife Susan was able to stay home with Caden on maternity leave for the first five months.

In December 2011, I told my employer that I would be quitting my job to stay at home with Caden. I have never quit a job before. Even though it was the right thing to do for Caden and our family, I was still extremely nervous to take the plunge of leaving a good paying job that I was very successful at doing.

Since I was the only employee in the Los Angeles office, I stayed on for four months to help with the transition. We had a nanny for four days and I worked from home one day a week.

In the last two years, this is what I have learned about being a full time stay at home parent:

  • It is extremely difficult and tiring!
  • It is s extremely fun and rewarding!
  • Unlike work, there are no financial rewards, bonuses, feedback, fun happy hours or lunch breaks. 
  • Unlike work, you are not stuck in a cubicle all day, you get to be outside, you get lots of hugs and smiles and you get to see your kids grow up right in front of you.

I am now taking care of two of our children. Caden is now a fun and energetic nearly 3 years old and our daughter Eloise is nearing 9 months. Every day with them is a challenge and yet fun and exciting. Every day I get up excited to take on the day - but end the day exhausted.

Growing up, I never could have imagined staying home with two kids. In high school or college, I did not tell people that I wanted to be a stay at home parent when "I grew up". Even when my wife was pregnant, we were not planning for me to stay home with one kid, let alone two kids!

Now after two very fast years, I know it was the right decision for our family. It has been both a humbling and rewarding experience. Being a stay at home parent, especially a stay at home dad is not for everyone. However, I am glad I got to stay home with my kids during this fun time in their lives.

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