Quick note:This is being cross-posted on the NYC Dads Group blog, http://www.nycdadsgroup.com/, the official blog of the New York City Dads Group. The group, founded by Lance Somerfield, has been one of the primary reasons I have been successful at my new role. Check them out.
As of last week, I’ve been home with the kids for a year.
For an entire year, my only customers have been my kids and my wife.
For an entire year, I’ve never had to eat lunch at my desk. (This is not completely true, but only because I was watching a movie during a naptime).
For an entire year, the only “organic growth” I had to worry about was on the inside of a size three Pampers.
For an entire year, I’ve finally felt like I had an impact at the end of the day.
Rewind a little. I have a master’s degree. I have worked 100-hour 7-day weeks for months before. I am not someone trying to shirk work. At some point, however, it becomes clear that the type of work matters a lot less than the type of life you have.
Living in NYC, this decision was not just about lifestyle, but finances. Childcare is expensive, and we could have chosen for me to find a new job working 50-60 hour a week and pay for childcare to break even. It didn’t make any sense though. I’d much rather spend 100 hours a week, 7-days a week, making sure my kids get the attention, education, and fun they deserve.
As Father’s day recently approached, there were countless articles about dads, filled with comment after comment about the feminization and “de-cavemanning” of the modern father. In particular, this is aimed at Stay-at-Home-Dads. While there is a societal shift coming, potentially (fingers-crossed) making the single-income households more common, there are certainly some people, mostly men, who find this an opportunity to mock a lifestyle that has worked fantastically for us, and many others.
If sitting at your desk looking at Excel all day is what defines a man for you, so be it. If knowing that tomorrow you might get fired, or might have to fire someone gets your blood going, have fun. If you need to put on dress shoes and leave early in the morning to put hair on your chest, have at it. If that’s what makes you feel manly, I’m good with that.
For an entire year, at home with my kids, I’ve never felt more like a man.