Full Time

Photo: my daughter who, that morning, picked out her own outfit

February 25, 2013

What I am learning now that I have a blog is that you don’t write and re-write your first blog entry. You write and post and then move on to the next one.

I have moved on from my first post but I’d like to clarify a few things.

I meant to explain my decision to accept, as a full-time job, the responsibility to take care of the kids, the house and the household finances. Many years ago this was the exclusive domain of the “housewife” while the husband dutifully worked a 9-5 job at the nearest blue-chip company. These days there is a dearth of those blue-chips and more and more women are thriving in the workplace. Where did all the guys go?

What I have learned from working from home in my video production business is that there is no real difference between “real” work and housework. This is something that housewives have been saying for decades and I agree with them. I also learned that it is very hard to do both “real” work and housework at the same time. It is the worst kind of multi-tasking.

Housework is more than a full-time job and it usually must be done between the hours of 8am and 3pm when the kids are at school. And when the kids arrive home a whole new shift begins. Snacks. Clean-up. Homework. Clean-up. Oh, spouse is home! Dinner. Clean-up. Bed prep. Clean-up. Sleep. Repeat.

When the kids were younger, my wife and I both worked full-time. The kids were in day care and every day was tightly scheduled with lots of clock watching and running around. Picking up. Dropping off. It was a struggle; but, it worked. We were blessed with a great day care provider.

Now that the kids are older, they are growing up even faster and the demands on our time is greater. Plus they eat more and make bigger messes.

So, I’ve decided to shut down my small business and accept this new position. My wife is supportive, I think. She does her fair share of the housework but she has a lot of real, real work that pays the bills and I want her to be able to focus on that as much as possible with some energy left over for the family.

I plan to take this job very seriously. I go food shopping armed with a clipboard, coupons and re-usable bags. I do laundry everyday. Cook. Clean. Organize. Track spending and manage accounts. Landscape and grounds-keep. Sounds like a real job to me. Uh oh. I hear the school bus.

The one thing I am struggling with, and which should make some interesting future posts, is owning up to this position in public. What do I say when people, especially guys, ask me what I am doing for work?

I don’t know which will be considered more of a “real” job: writer or stay-at-home dad.

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