My wife and I had our first bundle of joy and we are continuously excited about it. We journeyed through the same stages that every parent goes through with their newborn. The afterglow in the hospital, followed by the awe of purity that you get to take home. The bliss of being at home together as a new family only lasts so long, however. The unfortunate reality is the majority of people eventually go back to their careers. It truly is a shame that the world keeps spinning while newfound parents enjoy a temporary pause in time with their infant.
I work nights on second shift while my wife works days at the local school. We have the luxury to be able to avoid the cost of daycare and establish more bonding time with our daughter on a daily basis. That means I get about eight hours every day to enjoy parenthood before working my own eight hours, and my wife does the same. Every morning, I’m able to catch a glimpse of what it feels like to be a stay-at- home parent, and I’ve grown to respect it so much more.
Despite being a full-time parent, I’m still only a part-time stay-at-home dad. Every morning comes with the chaotic nirvana that comes with taking care of my daughter while also maintaining adulthood. There’s a stigma that staying home with the kids consists of binge-watching Netflix and eating snacks all day. The reality is between the feedings, diaper changes, playtime, reading books, going for walks and crib training, there isn’t a moment available to turn on the TV. That’s even if I’m lucky enough to get all of those activities done in one day.
Caring for my child is only half the job in the morning. The other half comes from taking on all the other responsibilities. The never-ending revolving door of laundry, dishes, vacuuming, mopping and dusting. Splash in bills and groceries to the list to raise the challenge up a notch. Most days while leaving for work I feel like I didn’t accomplish everything I wanted to. It’s a silly mentality, but the fact is there aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all.
Nobody said that parenting was easy. The truth is if I had a choice, I would still take the hardships of being a stay-at-home parent over my professional job. The work is constant and the hours are long, but the reward is much higher than what any career can pay. So, here’s to all the full-time stay-at-home moms! All my regard and respect go out to you who care for your young ones all day. You’re the real MVPs.
Kyle Lohmiller is 29 years old and lives in a small town in Wisconsin with his wife and daughter. He currently works at a steel forgary to pay the bills, but his dream and passion is to become a full-time journalist. He has endless support from his wife and loves being a husband and father.