Being the stay-at-home Dad is supposedly accepted in our diverse and accepting culture where role reversal has become quite common. But, the reality is different, as this dad has experienced, especially when introducing a new women, my new wife, into the family. Who does what and what we expect from each other is often murkier in reality than in the latest issue of “O.”
In a nutshell, she goes to work; I stay home with the boys. I take them to school and deal with all their extra-curricular activities. I carry the larger load of discipline issues and I do the majority of the shopping. She takes care of the house and does most of the cooking and cleaning. I’m the biological parent; she’s the step. She teaches them manners; I teach them how to burp louder.
I love that song. Who can’t help but love it? It’s nearing summertime by this dad’s astute intuition and the school calendar, and that tells me it’s summer once again and what are we going to do with the kids? A stay-at-home parent’s life is dictated by driving. Driving his or her kids to and from school, to their various extra-curricular activities, to doctor’s appointments, etc. We live in the car, so summer is actually my break, too.
However, each summer poses a challenge of what to provide to best occupy my boys and possibly add positively to their life experiences. I’ve given up on any sports-oriented activities as they’ve rejected all of them. I signed up to coach a baseball team when Will, my older son, expressed interest in playing ball at around age eight. It ended with me continuing to finish the season as coach while he quit halfway through. Now, we all know that my allowing him to quit was a failure of mine as a parent, but we also know that parenting is an ongoing learning experience and one we might succeed at, finally, with our grandkids. And, that’s only because we can send them home after a while.