Worth it

The other day, I met a fellow stay at home dad.

This guy was visiting Austin from NYC for the weekend, and we struck up a conversation.  I asked why he came to town, and he told me that he was just visiting a friend.  As we got to talking, and I learned he had a law degree, but was now the main caregiver at home for his 1 and 5 year old boys.

It is so rare for me to find someone who is in the same situation as I.

For the last 5 years, ever since our son was born, I have been the primary care giver at home.  My wife has a good paying job, with even better benefits, and we decided that she would be the breadwinner, and I would begin raising our kid.

Do you know how it feels to be the only dad pushing a stroller down the street in the middle of the morning?

What about sitting alone on a bench at the playground as all the kids run around and the other moms sit together chatting with their Yeti cups filled with who knows what.

Speaking of that, what do moms put in those tumblers?  I’d like to think it is some kind of secret elixir that provides endless amounts of energy while simultaneously removing weight.

In reality it is probably a wine spritzer spiked with Tito’s Vodka.

Sadly, I’m not part of the club that will ever know what they drink. (my Cup has ice water.)

One time, while taking my kid to to the neighborhood pool, I was able to catch a glimpse of a mommy re-filling her stainless steel cup.  Her mommy bag was tucked behind one of the pool lounge chairs, and I was able to see her screw the top off a bottle of white wine, despite her best efforts to hide her actions with a towel. – Gotcha!

But I’m not one to judge.  Whatever gets you through the day, I’ve always said.

New York City, is a much faster paced, intense town, and I can only imagine the pressure this guy felt because he would have been the only dad with 2 kids, among not just rich stay at home moms, but also the nannies that populate the Big Apple.  I’ve read the Nanny Diaries.  I know what it’s like.

His wife is like mine.  Dedicated. Hard working.  Driven.  Great qualities that were what first attracted me to my wife.  Plus she is a great mom.  Always there for our Son when he needs her, taking time off to attend school events and so on.  And when she comes home from work, she is available to give me a break after 10 hours of playing talking Legos with a pre-schooler.

I learned that what gets me through the day, is the same thing that gets my new friend from NYC through the day.  Being the best Dad I can be.  Working hard to be a parent.  Giving endless love to our kids.  Turning adversity into teaching moments.  Kissing scrapped elbows and knees to make them better.  Wiping up pee-pee from the side of the toilet.  Picking up toys 24 hours a day that are strewn EVERYWHERE.  The list goes on and on.

But it is all worth it.