It is no secret that when an individual gives up their career to become a full time stay at home parent that they can often "lose themselves". Of course this doesn't happen to everyone and some adapt very well to their entire life being made up of children and homemaking, but for many of US the adjustment is a little more difficult.
I love my job as a stay at home dad. I enjoy being with my toddler all day and all night. I love that he doesn't just want me, he needs me. Typically he falls asleep much better for me than he does mom.
I love being home in the afternoons when my 11 year old comes home. And I love getting him off to school in the mornings(even if we are fighting because he is almost a teenager).
Without a doubt I think the best part of my job is supporting my wife. I get up with her every morning for PT(even though I don't have to) and 19 out of 20 mornings I will have her breakfast ready for her once she gets out of the shower after PT. 17 out of 20 days for lunch I will make whatever she wants when she comes home on lunch break. And if she is going to be gone all day, I am sure to have a well stocked lunch tote ready for her. I tend to think of it like this, if I were the one working full time, I want to be the house husband I would want my wife to be to me. Or as my wife and I like to say, I am "THE HOUSE BITCH!".
I don't want to mislead anyone, I am not "the ultimate house husband". The house is always picked up, but rarely clean. Please don't wear white into my home.
I am ALWAYS with the 2 year old, but we have yet to bake anything or play with paint and colors. Although we have spent a good amount of time hiking down nature trails.
By the time my 11 year old rolls into the house and my wife gets home, I barely have it in me to converse with him let alone do something fun.
I annoy the crap out of my wife. I am constantly following her around like a puppy dog starving for attention.
I am also quite moody. Whether it be my stress level, my depression or the simple fact I am just plain bored, I can make Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde look like Puss n Boots.
This past Friday night my wife gave me the go ahead to go out. She got home early, we were having a light and simple dinner and she could tell I was bored. As I contemplated all the things I could go do NOTHING sounded fun. From my teens to my mid 20's I was a bowler. Not a "let's go have some beers" bowler, a 225 average "bring your paycheck so I can take it" bowler. Once I got custody of my older boy I lost that part of me. I had the chance to sub in a league that Friday night but it didn't appeal to me at all.
There were several movies that came out in the last couple weeks that I desperately want to see but the thought of sitting in a movie theatre for a few hours just wasn't gonna do it.
I thought about going to WalMart, buying a fishing pole and heading to one of the lakes, but man the thought of buying the rod, buying bait, buying tackle and organizing it and then trying to figure out where a decent spot is where I may actually catch something, that all just sounded too daunting.
I swear if I had a gun that night I would have head out into the woods and tracked things down to shoot, kill then eat. I have never been hunting before but the more diapers I change and the more times I use the word "potty" instead of piss, the more I want to get into a bare knuckle brawl with a brown bear.
So you may be wondering what I did Friday night. Well..... I sat around. And if you ask my wife she would probably say I pouted. Whatever you want to call it this is what I know, I spent more time in the last 4 days thinking about how domesticated I have become than I ever have before. Even more than while my wife was deployed. I thought it would get easier when she got home but it hasn't. If anything it has gotten harder. I used to settle for cereal for dinner but now I feel it is my duty to try to make a decent meal(well as decent as I can make which is sometimes a piece of chicken and mac n cheese).
I know a lot of women can relate to this and that is even when my wife gives me the green light to go out, most of the time I can't do it. And even when I can I am unable to check out from being Mr Mom. I am the one worrying if the babysitter is OK with my terror. Or I am the one thinking "we have to get back because he won't go to sleep til late but still be up at regular time and then be cranky." If I leave the boys with her I try not to do it for too long of intervals. Not because she isn't able to parent as good if not better than I, but because it is almost like a reflex. I hear women say all the time how hard it is for them to leave the kids with dad for a few hours without worrying even though they know he is a great dad, so I hope everyone reading this understands what I mean.
There is so much more to this blog that I want to write about. But it all comes back to one thing, I am missing the man in me.
There was a book that changed my life. When I was leading a men's group through my old church we went through a book called "Wild At Heart" by John Eldredge. In it he totally captures everything I am trying to say. He explains why I am bored. Yes, he wrote the book specifically for me. Almost all men want the same thing in life. We want "a beauty to rescue, an adventure to live and a battle to fight". In other words men want that same fairy tale that women want. But we want to be the hero in the story instead of the damsel in distress(not saying women are in distress-so don't go all feminine on me). We want to be valiant and strong and courageous. We want to be Tim "The Toolman" Taylor and letting out MAN GRUNTS!! We want action and adventure. We want to hunt, kill and eat something. We want to be giant boys.
Well at least that's what I want. And maybe I am not articulating well what I am trying to say. I love my job as a parent and a husband, but DAMN IT!!! I want to go hang out with Troy Landry from Swamp People. Or I want to go hang out on the Cornelia Marie in the Pacific Ocean off of Alaska fishing for crabs.
For now.... I would settle for a weekend in a cabin. Just me and another guy or 2. We would have some guns, fishing poles and fire starter.