A Day in the Life of a Working Dad

Today I offer you a guest post from my friend James Hudyma, creative genius behind Dads Round Table and all around nice guy.  His Twitter bio is as follows: Dad. Husband. Teacher. Minivan. Some hair. Some gut. Strong coffee. Guitars. Songwriter. EduDad. Dads Round Table.  I think he may have left off a few things.  Words like:  Talented.  Supportive.  Funny.  

We see posts all the time about working moms and stay at home moms, so I thought why not try to get the point of view from a working dad.  I knew James was (is) a teacher so I asked him to write something for me as a dad that not only works hard to provide for his family, but works even harder to be involved with his kids.  I was fortunate enough to receive a quick, affirmative response from James and I danced a little jig when this arrived in my email.  I want to thank him profusely for taking the time to write this for me, and I hope you enjoy this little glimpse into the life of a Modern Working Dad.

A Typical Day in the Life of a Modern Working Dad

One of my favorite books is Life of Pi by Yann Martel.  Featured in the book are two very different renditions of the same experience.  One has a tiger. One is more realistic.  In the spirit of this book I am going to tell two tales about A Typical Day in the Life of a Modern Working  Dad.  One is blog life.  One is more realistic.

Ebbs and Flows of Joy and Pain: A Modern Working Dad

Saying good-bye to my children each morning is a dagger in my heart.  As I give them one last hug and kiss I bask in their love and look lovingly into their eyes and I tell them with all my heart they are my reason for living.

As I drive to work my mind lingers on the beautiful faces of my children and I shake my fist at a world where both parents must work.  When I arrive in the parking lot I meditate quietly to clear my mind and focus on how these hours away from my family are financially necessary.

My eyes often wander to my desk where portraits of my family greet me; I smile externally but inside my heart is alight with a bittersweet glow.  Bitter because I pine to be with them at that moment but sweet because they bring me so much joy.

**

I could go on but I’m starting to make myself sick.  I love my kids.  I would die for my kids but the art and poetry these bloggers paint their feelings with only makes me feel like a horrible failure as a parent.  Whenever I think of my kids it makes me feel happy but I don’t think about them all the time.  That would be weird.   Right?

Next is more realistic story.

Wednesday

Morning

It takes forever to get out the door because my wife has to give the kids one more last-hug-and-kiss and then one more last-hug-and-Dancing with Daddykiss.  We tell them we love them and to have a great day.  When we finally leave for work I feel no guilt about leaving the kids in the care of our nanny.  Why would I?  My wife, also a teacher, is guilt ridden even though she was raised by a working mom.  Why is that?

The Commute to Work

On days my wife and I take separate vehicles I just crank the music and rock out until I get to school.  On days we drive together we’ll talk until I drop her off at her school and then the rockin’ begins.  We always talk about the kids.  Mostly we worry.

The Work Day

I teach.  When I see my family pictures on my desk it makes me smile.

The Commute Home

Loud music until I get home or until I pick my wife up from her school.  We talk about the kids.  Mostly we worry.

Afterschool Activities

no-hands

 

I take the kids to their activities.  We sing songs and talk on the way there.   When the activity begins I watch a bit and play on my phone a bit.  The parent not on a phone judges us.  I feel guilty and play on my phone a little less.  On the way home there is more
singing and talking.

Whoever isn’t with me is with mom.   We really believe one on one time is important so even though it would be more efficient, we book our children’s activities on different days.

Family Dinner

My wife cooks with the assistance of whichever kid is home with her.  We always eat dinner together.  It’s a time to connect, practice manners, and talk about our day.  I do the dishes with whichever kid was out with me.  After all is said and done we go outside to play.  If the weather is bad we head downstairs to play.

Bedtime Routine

Bath.  Read books and do homework.  Snack.  Brush teeth.  Tuck in.  We alternate kids so if I tuck in my son tonight, I’ll tuck in my daughter tomorrow night.  I tell stories.  My wife sings songs.

The Kids are Asleep

This is the only time I get to myself.  If I’m going to go out with friends, this is when I go.  If my wife and I take time for each other, whether that time is at home or on a date, this is when we take it. Most nights:

My wife reads.  I write articles for Dads Round Table.  We go to bed.  We talk about the kids. Mostly we worry.

**

Most of my struggles as a working dad are the same as any other parent.  As far as balancing work and home, I will leave you with this:

I’m a dad.  I do my very best to be the best dad I can be.  I’m a teacher.  I do my very best to be the best teacher I can be.  Finding a balance between the two can be difficult but I’ve found I’m happiest when I prioritize family first.  My kids get more of me than my career and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I want thank James from the bottom of my sweet little heart for writing this for me.  It is so nice to not only get the view from a dad, but to have a little help here on the old blog.  Be sure to follow James on his website, on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube

Comments

comments

Comments

  1. Ahhh, sweet honesty. I think I have the better end of the deal staying home. I see my husband’s longing looks when he leaves us. But he likes to pound his chest like a gorilla when the direct deposit hits every two weeks, so there is THAT.
    Kristen Mae at Abandoning Pretense recently posted…Why I’m Thankful to be a Stay-at-Home MomMy Profile

  2. Thanks so much for sharing your site with me. The post is very matter-of-fact and when I look at the post it seems like I don’t really do much but at the end of the week I am so overwhelmed by how busy I am I don’t know where the time goes. Thankfully, I never work weekends and I get all the major holidays off so I can catch up and spend some good, fun, unscheduled time with my family.
    James recently posted…Of Taste and Family: Summer Is HereMy Profile

  3. What a great post! I have figured out a way to both work professionally for part of the day AND stay home with the kids for part of the day. My older sister says I’m crazy (“DUDE. You do one or the other. Not both! That’s HARD!”) but it works for our family. :)
    Shay recently posted…Family PictureMy Profile

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