What’s one piece of advice you would give to another stay-at-home parent? Well, I’m glad you asked.
There are many important things to know about being a stay-at-home parent, for example, don’t make the initial decision to stay home or not to stay home all about money. Remember when you thought you would wait to have kids until you could afford to have them? Funny right. If everyone waited until they could afford it to have kids, there would be no kids. Same with staying home, if everyone waited until they were financially secure enough to stay home with their kids, the kids would be grown adults before it finally happened. Money. It’s important, but it’s not of MOST importance to staying home.
Something else essential to being a stay-at-home parent is scheduling. You’d better have your calendar synced with your spouse’s. You are the one in charge of keeping the family’s schedule rolling smoothly, so don’t mess it up. If your kid is sent to school on picture day with breakfast still stuck to his face, hair uncombed and his lime green “I AM THE HYPE” shirt on because you didn’t know when picture day was, it’s on you. You must keep on top of the family calendar.
But, the most important piece of advice for another stay-at-home parent isn’t money and it isn’t schedules, it’s actually something fairly simple, waking up each morning BEFORE your kids..
The other night I fell asleep on the couch. As I groggily woke up from the couch around midnight and headed for bed, I forgot to set my alarm for the next morning. Fast forward to 6:45am where I’m awakened by my two oldest, “Dad. you’re ALWAYS up by now, wake up.” “Can I play on the computer?” “I’m hungry.”
Holy Shit. This is NO WAY to start a day. I was one step behind them for the rest of the morning. They were demanding specific breakfast items while I was trying to pour my first cup of coffee. I was attempting to pack lunches, remind my kids they needed to brush their teeth (Did I remember to brush my own teeth?), get them dressed, get myself dressed, and doing everything in my power to keep First Born from missing the bus. Taking a shower was definitely out of the question now too and shaving, forget about it. Well, at least I took a shower yesterday…I think.
So please remember, the most important part of being a stay-at-home dad isn’t finances, it isn’t scheduling, it’s waking up before your kids…unless of course you want to go through life as an unclean, unshaven, fuzzy-teethed over-sleeper.