The last time I wrote this post I realized that these daily summaries provided a sense of accountability. Each one I write is a public testament about what I do, so I better do something good.
I had planned on each post focusing on the 27th of each month but in October I was playing ultimate frisbee with friends from college. That post would have read; wake up, play frisbee, eat lunch, drive home, play with kids, fall asleep early. It wouldn’t really have answered the question,
What does a stay at home dad do all day?
630 Up with coffee. I wanted to proof some writing for my Fatherhood Book first thing in the morning but never got started with it. Instead I chose to update some notes for work in Evernote. After finishing the notes I thought that the process would be worth sharing so I wrote a blog post about what I had just done. This time in the morning before anyone else is awake is always the best time for me to get work done but none was done for the book.
800 I got our youngest daughter out of bed and began getting ready for school. She does a great job of getting ready in the mornings and we were out the door by 845 and dropping her off at school at 900. My older daughter and I went to the grocery store and public library before coming home to unpack the groceries and have a second breakfast. Second breakfasts are commonplace because the mornings are usually busy and my appetite doesn’t arrive until later in the morning. By 1030 I’ve also swept the kitchen, cleaned the dishes, and gotten our older daughter dressed before playing UpWords with her.
1100 I finish a blog post for 27GoodThings.com. It’s amazing that the site only has three posts a week – by design – yet a few times a year I find myself falling behind on scheduled posts. 1115 we leave to collect the schooled daughter and then return home for lunch which concludes an hour later at 1215.
After lunch my five and three year old usually play nicely with each other and this day is no different. They trot off and I do a load of laundry, clean up the lunch mess, and do some mobile banking. By 100 I’m cleaning our upstairs bathroom and sweeping the floors while waiting for the load of laundry I started to finish. The girls want to see if a neighbor can play so we walk next door only to find out she’s not home. We visit with the older neighborhood kids and return home at 145. We do some crafts at our kitchen table until hungers flair at 220 when we have a snack and by 250 we are downstairs getting ready to go trick-or-treating the next day.
I’m working the next day and so we spend the next half an hour packing what they need to take to the sitters. I don’t work full days often so when I do we are lucky that we can spend the day before getting ready. I was visiting a friend this weekend who only works part-time and she conveyed that their lives are a lot easier and less stressful because she works less than full-time. This is the case for me too, already in the day I made food (some of which will be leftovers, packed the kids for the next day, and cleaned parts of the house). I didn’t need to cram all these chores into the weekend because I needed to return to work on Monday.
From 330 to 400 my kids disappear to play nicely and I’m able to do the proofreading I intended to start the day with.
After they return we head outside to play on a nice fall day. They ask for leaf piles and I happily obliged. I’ve always enjoyed raking leaves. I rake and they jump, I re-rake and they jump again until 545 when their mother gets home from work. The kids get hungry so I warm up leftovers before heading out for a two-mile jog. After my run I return home to requests for an even bigger leaf pile and we head outside around 630 and stay there until 745 when I tell the kids to come inside for the night.
Once inside we have our final food of the day, get ready for bed, and read books on the couch. Reading finishes at 840 and my wife and I tuck the kids into bed. I then take a shower and my wife makes her dinner. We sit on the couch together and talk about our day. I rub her feet while we watch the opening of Jimmy Fallon. None of the streaming options entice my wife so she goes upstairs to read in bed around 1000 and I put Looper in our DVD player. I’ve been watching the public library shelves for this movie and found it there when we stopped earlier in the day. Since becoming a father I’ve accepted watching movies in segments, resolving to turn this one off after an hour. At 1115 I finally give-in even though the story is accelerating and go to bed.
I’ve been trying to be more conscious of moments in the day I can be grateful for. Things like not working full-time, raking the leaves, and have healthy kids who like leaf piles. Grateful that two mile runs are easy for me and that we have a house to clean. Grateful for a public library system and public school system.
That’s what a stay at home dad does all day.