What’s it like to be a stay-at-home dad? Answer 8: Unrelenting

by doodaddy on November 16, 2008

I just stayed up until 3 a.m. watching old Love Boat and Firefly episodes and eating Boobaby’s leftover pasta.

This insomniac habit strikes about twice a week, although the specific mode of time-killing varies and there’s usually cookies involved if I can track ’em down.

I seem to need to get nothing done every once in a while, but as a stay-at-home parent, indolence is not part of the job description. I don’t care. I just gotta get my sloth on.

It’s not that I’m finding the addition of one more body all that hectic — Blueberry’s an easy baby. But no matter how good they are, there are three dependent people in the house whose self-reliance ranges from “none” to “can’t pick things up” to “must drop most food on the ground.” Thus I spend most of my time that’s not already claimed by bathtime and art projects simply walking around the house transporting stuff to stuff boxes, cleaning paint smudges, and refolding the same frikkin’ leotard over and over and over.

And that was a good day, with visitors and a grandma helping out.

I used to take “mental health days” constantly way back when I did office work — I got my work done, so my boss didn’t care. In fact, she recommended them all the time.

“Hey, Doodaddy-to-be, maybe you should go home!”

Come to think of it, I wonder why that boss wanted me gone all the time. Maybe everyone was partying without me. Just because you’re paranoid… But I digress.

Now “days” off are cobbled together from an odd few minutes stolen during naps to check my Facebook or listen to an old Superman radio serial.

Or, in an orgy of self-indulgence, I stay up late. It’s my vacation.

Sadly, as with all splurges, I’ll pay the cost eventually — and hard. The clock is ticking over now to 4 a.m. and I can see that this particular debt will be paid sooner than I’d like, by bone-melting exhaustion about four hours from now.

At least I got the break while it lasted.

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tagged as , in exhaustion,housework,what's it like to be a stay-at-home dad ·

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

David November 17, 2008 at 9:06 am

Grandparents help? What?

My latest guilty pleasure: The Wire on DVD, just because they get to say all the words I don’t get to anymore. 🙂

Here’s to a day of nonstop coffee and hope for regular naps.


doodaddy November 17, 2008 at 9:37 am

@David – I decided around the time Boobaby was born that I was just not able to take on any new television. I watch an occasional Iron Chef because I like cartoons but otherwise only shows I saw 5 or 25 years ago for me…


Arron November 18, 2008 at 7:15 am

Seriously, I was going to post on the same topic yesterday. Sunday night, I stayed up far too late (1:30am — 4am . . . wow, that’s tough) watching a horrible movie on tv while playing some cards online. Mindless crap. I had finished a single bourbon — wasn’t pounding drinks or anything. But I didn’t want to go to bed.

Like you, I do this a couple of times a week AND, like you again, it hurts so bad the next day (or two . . . ). Yesterday, after dropping off Xav and Mar at school, I forced myself through a run and then piddled around the house. I got in a short nap w/ Mar . . . and then sucked it up. I always feel like I have to suck it up — I can’t complain to Doc, b/c I did it to myself, and besides, she’s working too.

And yet sometimes I just want to whine and whine and whine.

Sorry to hijack your post . . . I feel your pain, that’s all I’m saying.


doodaddy November 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm

@Arron – No problem; hijack away! I very consciously don’t drink when I have insomnia (and actually haven’t had much more than an occasional glass of wine for weeks).

One quibble, though: why horrible movies when there’s so much good stuff for free online?


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