In the face of tantrums, grown-up relationships, and trying to balance a career with kids, John Taylor wonders if he’s strong enough for his role as primary at-home parent.
What if I just wasn’t cut out for the at-home parent role?
This is something I have been asking of myself the last few weeks. Surely those of you who have gone from being a full time worker to full time parent have asked the same thing, right? I don’t know if it is the kids, misbehaving, or my stress tolerance level, or something completely unknown. Recently though, I have started to question whether or not this was, in fact, the best choice for our family.
Let me break it down a bit for you.
With the last month or so bringing so many different unexpected variables to our lives, one thing after another just seems to be breaking me more and more. Like long, sleepless nights. Never ending restless days. Toddler attitudes at whole new levels on the national security scale.
Sometimes, I can’t help bit to think that my children are slowly losing their confidence in my role as primary caregiver. They say they miss me during my long work weekends. But do they really? Or is it just because the usual routine is broken on the weekends? At least I get an “I love you” at the end of the day. That definitely has to count for something.
Then there is this whole other part of my life that has to be handled that is mostly separate from the kids. There is my relationship with my wife, my job, and my own mental well being. Parenting and living as an actual adult are nothing like I thought they would be way back in the day. There actually has to be a lot of work put into it. It can get tiring. Very tiring.
There are days that I just want to rip my beard off. Days where I would rather be having a root canal. And I don’t even know what that feels like. There are days that I wish I was back to working full time and the wife was at home. Truth be told, things seemed a lot more stable back then. I don’t want to be sounding like a Debbie Downer, but that’s just the way it is. That’s how it feels.
I don’t hate my life. I am blessed with breath, with new mornings and aging nights. I am blessed with family, with friends, and with love. I have this amazing opportunity to watch my kids grow up right in front of me. For all of the things I missed in their early lives because I was always out of the home, I now get to make up for. That’s really effin cool in my opinion. I know there are choices, and changes, and attitudes that can change. I guess I just don’t know where to begin. And I am trying my best to have all the strength I need.
I just figured, maybe I am not alone in this. Is it possible another parent has felt this way at some point? Sure there is. It comes with the territory. Right?