27 Jun 2022

Parenting with the Stented papa #10: Being a stay at home dad is the best job of the lot

File Photo

File Photo

Much like anyone my age (41), you’ve more than likely held numerous jobs/positions in your lifetime. For me, I was born and reared in my Dad Norman’s pub - ‘The Precedent’ for those of you who remember it and have worked in numerous bars in Dublin, Cork, Longford, Athlone, Bray & Wexford.

I worked for 10 years in a Pension Brokers office as a Qualified Financial Adviser while also working in a pub, 5 years in a Tech Start-up and most recently started my own business called Booky Wooky with my wife which (hopefully) should interest any parent looking to create a beautiful personalised book. I’m also the founder of The Stented Papa (my Daddy Blog) while I write for The Longford Leader as well as being the Resident Daddy Blogger for Family Friendly HQ.

That said - as a full time Stay at Home Dad (SAHD) - I have honestly NEVER worked in a busier & more rewarding job than I do now. It’s phenomenal and I love it. Want to know exactly how busy? Read this A Day in the Life of a SAHD - which I wrote not long after I became a SAHD in 2016 which gives you a minute by minute account of my day and you know what, it’s still the same today if not even busier.

So let’s break it down - why am I saying it’s the best ‘job’ ever and even more importantly, why am I saying ‘job’ in ‘inverted commas’?!

Also read: The Stented Papa #9: Stuff for Christmas, in September?

Let’s tackle the latter first.

See just because I don’t get paid cash in my hand for doing what I do does not mean what I do is any less of a ‘job’ compared to a paid one. Hell no. In fact, what I do is so much more rewarding, entertaining, funnier & worthwhile when compared to what normality considers a job to be.

Some people hate what they do even though they get cash for it. Circumstances dictate they have no other option but to continue in their job despite their loathing of what their role demands. But you know what? We all have choices. We are not shackled to the desk or environment we find ourselves in. We can all decide to alter our situation - albeit frightening to consider - but we can.

The change in my situation (from paid employment to being at home) was highly influenced due to ill health as an early-ish age. Hereditary heart disease to be precise. At the time, I loved my role in a very cool, hip up & coming start up in Cork. But with the benefit of hindsight, what was I working for? To pay the tax man, to pay for childcare which ensured someone else basically reared our children while myself & my wife played the rat race.

My wife is an amazing woman with the drive & passion only a ‘1%er’ has. Due to her drive we are in a fortunate position that allows one of us not to work. I am lucky I am that person. But even when I was working (in the start up), my wage was dwarfed by my wife's, so if it was purely a financial decision, the result would have been the exact same either way.

The best ‘Job’ but why?

Also read - Parenting with The Stented Papa #8: Back to school, after school activities & life

In a nutshell, I’ve focused on 3 main points.
1) Fun: Spending time with my girls (aka ‘The Nips’) is pure golden quality. It rocks my world.

They make me laugh, they make me giddy, they show me parts of life that makes me thankful I’m alive. We all have bad days, be it in an office or at home with our nippers but a huge percentage of my time - in a role I love - is loaded with fun, laughter & happiness.

2) Growth: Over the last 3 years of being a SAHD, I’ve literally watched my girls develop, grow & mature right in front of my eyes.

It’s such a privileged position to be in from a selfish point of view. I teach them. They teach me. I give out to them. They give me double in return. I make mistakes. So do they. Our bond is amazing. We all grow as a result and we play our socks off in our respective roles. Carlsberg don’t do family life - but if they did!!!

3)Quality Time: If I could bottle it & sell it, I’d never need another red cent. Ha, but I can’t bottle it - no one can.

What we can do though, is be present in the moment and suck every second up like a sponge. Look at it / Live it / Breath it. As parents, we are learning all the time. We are the ‘boss’ - the voice in charge of these tiny miniature versions of ourselves and they look to us for everything. Do they always listen? Nope. Do I lose the cool from time to time? Yep. Can it be tiring / lonely / frustrating from time to time? Of course it can but so too can that ‘job’ others are stuck in who hate what they do. We all have our crosses to carry right?!

But we all have a choice. Everyone does. I know what I choose - family first & always.

Chat next week folks,
Ross - The Stented Papa

Also read - Parenting with the Stented Papa #7: Fussy Eaters

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