I’ve been quiet for some time. When I finished my last blog post (please hold while I go back and look what it was), life was grand! I was on a spiritual journey and Parker and I were in a rhythm. My mind wasn’t cluttered with extra noise — unless you count the fact that “The Ants Go Marching 2 x 2” was on constant repeat. I was enjoying my time at home. While it was the hardest work I’ve ever known, it also didn’t feel like work. It was just me and Parker. I understood his language, I was in awe watching him develop, and I found time during the week to enjoy a daytime IPA (or two). Then, as often is the case, life took a hard left.
We were suddenly faced with a big decision. Unexpectedly, things changed at my company. The part-time gig was up. I was presented with a great opportunity, but had to decide if I was ready to go back to work full time. Dammit!
Immediately, my head was spinning. I’m a total introvert, and I don’t like to talk about these kinds of things. This makes Travis (the talker) very happy. But, we’ll save that for another time. The noise in my head went from ambient and peaceful to dangerously out of control. Nothing was making sense all of the sudden. Before Parker, work and career decisions were relatively simple for me. I trusted my gut and my heart. While I wasn’t always right, I never struggled. Not like this. Holy hell. I couldn’t make a decision. I’m still not sure that I have. Hence, why I haven’t written a blog post in awhile. I have no clue what I’m doing, should be doing, could be doing, will be doing.
Sh*t just got real, as they say! Here’s what I do know.
1) I love my lil’ dude more than words can describe. The week before I was faced with “the decision,” we were on one of our daily walks. He grabbed my hand and took me over to this cat statue in a neighbors yard. He said, “Papa, pet kitty.” Then, he knelt down and starting saying, “Sweet kitty.” C’mon! That’s perfection. For the past nine months that I’ve stayed home with Parker, life has been perfection.
2) I also miss work. I like work. I like the chaos, meetings, travel and unexpected twists and turns. I like learning different things and feeling like I’m contributing something in this world, even if it is a tiny bit. I take after my dad. Work is a big part of my identity, and I enjoy what I get out of my job.
The tension is horrible. The push and pull. Which side is the grass greener? Will others judge me? Will I judge myself? How will this impact Parker?
If I could, I would stop time, and turn my life into Groundhog Day. I would just relive our Mondays, every day. A music class, the park, a long leisurely walk, lunch (with maybe a beer) and some good friends, a three hour nap, and time snuggled on the couch reading books. That’s all that I want in this life. However, since I’m not Bill Murray . . . or God, I guess I have to recognize that things change.
He’s going to go to school (he just got accepted into a little Spanish school — so cute!!). He’s going to grow up and have friends. He’s going to have to adapt and figure out some things by himself. He won’t stay my little dependent toddler. So, while the timing bites, I can’t stay home forever. Or, could I? No. No. No, I can’t. Just kidding Travis!
My biggest worry has been that my decision will have a negative effect on Parker. So, I’ve been researching the impact on kids of having working parents vs stay-at-home parents. I’m drowning in information. At the end of the day, what I realize is that there is no right answer. The only answer is, kids need love. They need to know that they are safe, secure and cared for. That’s it.
So, I think it’s time to head back to work full time, and move on to the next phase in our life. Man. Being a responsible adult sucks.
However, I’ll keep writing this blog, being a Papa and doing the best I can. I’ll still find time to go on rambling walks, play hide-n-seek in the park, take long naps, and go to lunch. It just won’t be every day. But, I’ll make time. I'll continue my spiritual journey, and I'll still have the occasional day time IPA. It's still all about Parker. Always will be.
Side note: As I was researching, I ran across this article on global parenting styles. It states, “Argentine parents let their kids stay up until all hours; Japanese parents let 7-year-olds ride the subway by themselves; and Danish parents leave their kids sleeping in a stroller on the curb while they go inside to shop or eat.”
This helicopter Papa could never live in any of those countries! I would lose my mind. Here I am worried about Parker spending more time with his adoring nanny. At least I don’t have to worry about him taking the subway to his little Spanish preschool — by himself!?!
However, no judgement! I guess we all make the best decisions we can as parents. Let’s just support and cheer each other on. Because, there’s no right answer.