I work two full-time jobs. One is taking care of my kids each morning and early afternoon. The other one I get paid for — working as a journalist on the night shift at a television station. Here is a day in the life of a part-time stay-at-home dad:
6:27 am: The 3-year-old awakens and is as quiet as a gorilla. Every sound he makes is deafening — coughing, ripping off his diaper, letting the toilet seat crash on the bowl.
6:32 am: He enters our room and asks who’s getting up with him — Mommy or Daddy. I remind him that he’s up before his alarm and that he needs to return to bed. He ignores me.
6:36 am: He offers to “help” me pour his juice. I mistakenly agree and spend the next 10 minutes wiping up a puddle of apple juice from the floor of the kitchen.
6:51 am: My son is covered with his favorite blanket, has juice in hand and cartoons on the tube. I curl up on the couch with visions of a quick nap.
6:54 am: The 2-year-old begins to stir.
6:58 am: The 2-year-old demands his juice. And asks to watch a different show. This creates the first brotherly argument of the morning.
7:03 am: Both boys agree to watch “Frozen” for the 37th time. This week.
7:18 am: Breakfast is requested. Waffles appear to be the choice of the day, as they are every day. I curse myself for not buying stock in Kellogg’s.
7:23 am: Mommy emerges from the bedroom. She is rushing off to work and is grateful that everyone is fed and happy.
7:31: Waffles are buttered but not cut. 2 prefers the waffles whole while 3 wants to cut them himself. I prepare strawberries for 3 and blueberries for 2. Juices are poured. I make a mental note to make a mental note of all their demands.
7:38 am: We eat. Silly noises, goofy faces and laughs emanate from the breakfast table. Best part of the day thus far.
7:46 am: On my hands and knees for the first time in the day, wiping up enough crumbs to feed a dog for a month. Also, there is a massive family reunion of ants occurring underneath the kitchen table.
7:55 am: Kids are in the playroom while daddy cleans up. Screams erupt, cries ring out and shouts of “Daddy, he hit me!” are heard. Someone might be headed to time out.
8:09 am: Dishwasher is unloaded, laundry is going and my dinner is made for work tonight. I have visions of sitting down.
8:11 am. I escape to the bathroom. My first tweet of the day is sent — “I might be a part-time SAHD, but I’m full-time exhausted.”
8:18 am: My wife leaves for work. She gives me the sign of the cross before heading out.
8:29 am: After ironing my clothes for work, it’s play time. Trains, trucks, planes, cars. It’s loud, noisy and fun. Until the boys begin to play with foam swords and someone gets clotheslined. Boo-boo buddies for everyone!
8:41 am: I struggle to not check twitter.
8:53 am: We dress. Surprisingly, the kids’ shirts and shorts match. I, however, look like a cross between a hobo and a middle-aged skate punk.
9:00 am: I pack snacks, drinks, sunblock, diapers, extra clothes and my iPhone for a bike ride to the park.
9:12 am: Boys are loaded onto their bikes. Helmets are on. We begin the journey of making a 15 minute bike ride last nearly an hour.
9:28 am: We stop to gather sticks, rocks and look at bugs.
9:33 am: We stop to pee.
9:45 am: We stop because someone skinned their knee. I really should have brought band-aids.
10:08 am: We arrive at the park. Daddy parks it on the bench while the boys play. It’s twitter-time!
11:18 am: I round up the boys. They are sweaty, tired and I have to promise them another viewing of “Frozen” to get them to ride their bikes back home.
11:53 am: We arrive home. Thank God for air conditioning. I remember that I still have to go to work today.
11:58 am: The boys assume their positions on the couch while Daddy makes lunch. 3 wants PB&J but will only eat it if he can make it himself. 2 wants a smorgasbord of fresh fruit and cheeses. Each wants yogurt, chips and ice water but only if they can put the ice cubes in the water themselves. I need an Excel spreadsheet to keep up with their food demands.
12:13 pm: I wonder what time my wife will get home.
12:22 pm: As the boys chow down, I eat leftover pizza while standing over the sink. Delicious.
12:27 pm: 2 refuses to eat his lunchmeat. I beg. I plead. I bribe. He will be eating a bowl of ice cream after lunch. (Don’t tell my wife.)
12:31 pm: On my knees again. More crumbs. More ants. I consider letting the bugs pig out.
12:34 pm: 3 rips a Hot Wheels car out of 2’s hands. Cries of agony echo through the house. “What happened?” I ask. “This is my special toy,” he tells me. “It’s about to be MY special toy,” I tell him.
12:37 pm: Where the hell is my wife???
12:41 pm: 2 hides under the coffee table to poop. 3 shouts, “Wipe my butt!” from the bathroom. Ah, fatherhood.
12:49 pm: Diaper is changed. Butt is wiped. (That’s a sentence I’ve never typed before.) I remind myself to describe in vivid and gory detail the ginormity of 2’s output.
12:52 pm: My wife walks through the door. Shouts of, “Mommy’s home!” ring out. I wish I’d thrown her a parade.
12:53 pm: I kiss my wife, thank her taking over and run to take a shower before anyone can stop me.
1:07 pm: 3 walks into the shower to tell me about the “greatest episode of Octonuats.”
1:22 pm: 3 is reminded for the 16th time that it’s “quiet time” and we need to read some books. He appears to be practicing for the Preschool Olympics by climbing onto his bookshelf and leaping into his oversized chair repeatedly.
1:46 pm: Books are read, 3 & 2 are tucked in tight and there is something resembling silence in the house.
1:52 pm: 3 emerges from his room to inform us that he “will not napping” today.
2:00 pm: I leave for work. I think to myself, “Soon I will have adult conversation, a peaceful meal and a chance to think.” Work is much easier than parenthood.
11:45 pm: Back at home. Ready to sleep. My 3-year-old alarm clock is set to go off in about 6 hours.
11:57 pm: My favorite time of the day — my wife & boys are sleeping. I steal a look at each of them and enjoy watching them at peace and at rest. I crawl into bed and pray that 3 will miraculously sleep until 8 am.