As a work-at-home-dad (WAHD) I tend to handle the majority of daily kid stuff in our family. I make breakfast, pack lunches, drive the kids to school, and pick them up again. I help with homework, chaperone field trips, visit the library, and attend most appointments, events, and activities. I also do the grocery shopping.
My wife helps out where she can, and we share other duties like cleaning the house, doing laundry, and cooking dinner. We try to spend a couple of hours together as a family every night, and attempt to make our weekends as work-free as possible.
It’s not easy, but for the past six years it has been our life, and aside from the usual stresses of money and time, it is a good one.
Our kids are smart, polite, generally clean, imaginative, and as stylish as they care to be, but above all else, they are loved and they know it. They are a work in progress, and too full of dreams and innocence to understand what that means.
I have a great relationship with many of the parents in our community. I spend time with a group of them daily in the hour between kindergarten dismissal and third grade release. We sit in a park and talk about the things that people tend to talk about, culture, politics, parenting stories, and the various glories of our respective pasts.
Better, when discussed, is applied to individuals, wheelhouses, and the relative skill set. There are no broad brushes with strokes of stereotypes or gender. Some people have talent at this or that, and others get by despite all lack of it. Better is not a matter of awards, but rather the reward of being there. Parenting, as a topic, is not a competition.
Most of the parents that I wait with are moms, but occasionally another dad makes an appearance. There are no secret handshakes in that scenario, no changes in conversation, and no judging of the roles that some are still defining and others have settled into. We are a village raising children, and we have all played the proverbial idiot. Some of us more than others. We are all works in progress, and we know it.
Our seats are concrete benches and soft, green grass, and the children run freely between them. There is not a single pedestal as far as the eye can see.
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).