Being a stay-at-home dad is a privilege and a joy. I would not trade places with anyone if it meant not being able to parent my kids on a full-time basis. I am absolutely, perfectly content.
Well, most of the time.
I think most stay-at-home parents have those moments when they feel a bit envious of those who command respect and authority through their jobs. At home, our authority is always in question by belligerent children, while respect is… well, mostly non-existent.
I have a friend who is a well-known TV news anchor. He gets to interview politicians, celebrities, and business leaders. Viewers trust and admire him. From the outside, his career seems exciting and challenging. It’s the kind of life I had once envisioned, before the children came along. I’ve had those moments, when talking with my friend, where I wished I could trade places with him and experience some of the prestige and energy of a job like his.
So it came as kind of a shock when my friend sent me an email expressing his desire to trade places with me! He wrote: “I work hours you would puke at. I’m known around the company as the Devil Who Wears Prada. Everyone’s scared of me around here. It’s all about BS on the air and stroking egos. I envy your life, you’re my living example of Adam@home. You’re doing well, my friend.”
Maybe he was just telling me what I wanted to hear. Or maybe he was having one of those moments where the grass looks greener on the other side.
Or perhaps he’s realizing that when his kids are grown, he’s going to wish he’d spent more time with them instead of at the office where friends are few and memories are trivial at best.
There’s nothing about my life as a stay-at-home dad that I would trade away. Even in those fleeting moments of “what if” I never forget the value of my experiences with my kids. Hands down, it beats anything a career can deliver.