This week Annie starts back to working at the office four days a week and working from home one day a week…oh the terror.
I’m kidding and not kidding, all at the same time.
This work-from-home-dad thing is still sinking in. I never thought I would be able to do it and to be honest, I never thought I would want to do it. It’s a very different life than what I’ve been use to and I could say the adjustment has been difficult, but it really hasn’t.
You see, a few years back when I started a business where I could work from home when my painting business was slow, really seemed to work out in the grander plan. We did not know we would have a baby back then; I only started that business to supplement my painting business. Now I can work from home most of the time and only go to job sites here and there, which is fine because I have been able to take Sammy with me.
So in a sense I was used to being home more often already…it was that whole “take care of a tiny human life” thing that was a bit daunting. I’m sure most first-time parents feel that way but it’s really interesting to sit back and look at the progress that I (and Annie) have made since Sammy was born. I’ve noticed, and felt, an increase in confidence each day. It’s as if I become more and more convinced each moment that I CAN do this and I AM doing this.
Being a good parent is not some far off goal. It is something that you have an opportunity to be each time you interact with your child. When I realized that my entire outlook changed. I kept wondering if I was doing it right; am I spending enough time with him, would it be better for Annie to be with him most of the time, and so on. The answer was and is yes, I am doing it as right as I can. That’s not to say there isn’t room for growth, I hope to become better every single day for him.
The big issue came when I needed to start balancing my time between working and being a dad. My online business is really a seven day a week job but I really enjoy it. Due to the nature of that work the hours are scattered throughout the day, not all clumped together in an eight hour shift…which works well with being home with the little guy.
It was also nice that Annie started back to work one day per week, then three, and now four. It’s given me time to adjust and see how all of this would work. I usually have one or two hours to work before Sammy wakes up and then I have his 9:00 to 10:30 nap time to work as well as his 2:00 to 3:30 nap time. Annie typically gets home between 4:00 and 5:30 so I usually take a couple of hours at that point to get more work done. If you include the times when Sammy is playing or sitting next to me when I have deadline stuff to do, I am still working 7 to 12 hours per day.
A really important thing I had to go through was really letting go. I feel useless if I am not working or if I feel unproductive…but wait…spending time with your son is very useful and productive! That was the “let it go” moment I had recently. Let it go, meaning, let go of the work and the feelings of being unproductive and be present for Sammy.
I’m really enjoying this fatherhood thing, especially when my brain lets go of the hamster wheel and I can be completely tuned in to my relationship with my son. I feel very fortunate.
Any work at home dads out there?