The Huffington Post recently ran a piece by Zach Rosenberg, co-founder of the popular fatherhood blog 8BitDad.com (the post first appeared on Rosenberg’s site), called “The Year I Was a Stay-At-Home Dad” that reflected upon the period of time in which the author was unemployed and stayed home with his 3-year-old son prior to a return to the workplace. It is, as any parent that has been in that situation can attest, something of a bittersweet experience.
And it hit home.
Like Rosenberg (full transparency, he is a friend) I have also been home with my boys for a good portion of their lives, and like him I haven’t always done the most with the time I have been given, but I have tried my damnedest to make the most of a situation that I fully appreciate. Rosenberg writes:
“Being such an integral part of my son’s life for the last year was an incredible way to put into perspective what being a father is all about, and the importance of being a good teammate with your spouse. I’m not knocking the working fathers — I am one too — but being home allowed me to see things and affect things from a different angle, and I appreciate the opportunity I had to do so.
“The day before I started my new job, I found myself tearing up, thinking about the things I might miss out on while stuck behind a desk at work. Nothing big — I don’t expect my son to write a piano sonata or even learn to spell “sonata.” But I’m going to miss the everything of it, if that makes sense. It’s not like we did terribly much during our days together, but I’m going to miss it all.”
He also touches on something that most of us in the parent blogging community have had to wrestle with: “Do I spend my day talking about being a father? Or do I spend my day being a father?”
I personally face that same conundrum every day, and while I would like to say that “being a father always wins” like Rosenberg was able to, I haven’t always been able to follow my heart as often I would like.
Instead I have chased paychecks from my desktop and let my boys watch TV a little too long, make forts that wreck the living room, and any number of things that I am probably better off not knowing. However, in the big picture, a few hours of writing here, a few more there, is still a small sacrifice for the rewards offered by being home.
Zach Rosenberg knows what I am talking about:
“I’m not here to tell you that it was a perfect world being home with my son day-in and day-out. I’m not here to say that it was easy. But I’m here to tell you that if I could do it again, I would.”
The transition back to working outside of the home cannot be any easier, but it is one that many must make, myself included, and I appreciate those that go before me, like Zach, and I wish him the best of luck.
Read the full post at The Huffington Post.
Read more from Whit Honea at his site Honea Express and the popular group blog DadCentric. You can follow Whit on the Twitter or Pinterest (his opinions are his own and do not reflect those of Babble or most rational people).