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S.A.H.D.

tired-dad

I wake up this morning at 7:40 AM, just as I have been almost every weekday the last month and a half. It’s straight-up torture waking up that early.

I spend the next fifteen minutes pressing the snooze button, after which I grouchily roll out of bed, sludge to the bathroom, douse my eyes with freezing cold water, and attempt rather unsuccessfully to force my eyes open.
Right on schedule, a loud knock on the door followed by a tiny one. Noah is here.
I grumble and shuffle down the stairs, perform a clumsy 180 around the bottom of the banister, and unlock the deadlock on the front door. In one final attempt to pry open my eyes, I glance over at the mirror next to the front door. Sweat pants. Wrinkled Tee. My hair is a mess. It was the same yesterday. The first thing Noah and my ex-wife get to see of me every morning. Damn, that’s sexy.
I open the door, Noah runs inside, I muster out a thank you, and we start our day. Pancakes for breakfast. Lincoln Logs. Clean Noah’s bedroom together. Check. Check. Check.
Next, we hop in the truck and head out to run errands. Walgreens. The Home Depot. Costco. Walmart. Check. Check. Check. Check.
$80 to fill up my truck with gas. Check.
We head back home. It’s raining. So much for finally doing some of my outdoor chores.
Quesadillas. Yogurt. Pringles. Check. Check. Check.
“Dad, will you take a nap with me today?”
“Maybe tomorrow. I have too much work I need to do while you’re asleep.”
Noah. Pull-up. Check.
“Well Dad, can I sleep in your bed then?”
“Sure.”
Noah. Hug. Kiss. Tuck. Check. Check. Check. So much to do. So much to cram into his nap time.
“Maybe I’ll just lay down by you for a minute.”
“Yeah!”
Two hours later, the phone in my pocket buzzes. I grumble. Dang it. I fell asleep. It’s Noah’s mom, asking if he’s awake yet so that she can come pick him up. No, he’s not.
I look over at Noah. So calm. So peaceful. So much for getting any work done today. Looks like it will be another late night tonight.
Noah eventually stirs and climbs on top of me. Fifteen more minutes of snuggling while he comes back to consciousness. He wakes up. I text Mom to tell her he’s up.
Noah. Cargo pants. Socks. Shoes. Jacket. Check. Check. Check. Check.
A knock on the door.
Noah. Hug. Kiss. Check. Check.
After he’s gone, I sit down at my computer and stare at a blank blog entry, too tired to write much of anything. With his mom and step-dad both working full time day jobs, I’ve officially become a stay at home dad.
Cool.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS. I’d love to hear your comments! Are you a stay-at-home parent? Do you find it to be often overwhelming and completely exhausting? What are your favorite aspects of it? Do you find yourself having to stay up into the wee hours of the morning to get things done?
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229 comments
JenniferHildebrand
JenniferHildebrand

Cherish those moments, even the nasty, frustrated ones. Because they only last so long. <3 The ONE thing I ALWAYS make sure I do as often as possible, is tell and SHOW my kidlets how much I love them, how much they mean to me, and how much they make me smile. :-) Noah is such a cutie... you two are adorable together!! <3

CarolBall
CarolBall

Not only am I the custodial parent, but I'm a full time student. Most weekdays it's up around 7am, even if I was up til 2 doing homework. Get myself ready for school, wake up kids, get them fed and ready for school, sitter comes, I leave. Class all day, pick up kids from school, unless it's dad's day. Homework for them, dinner, time together, bedtime for them, homework for me, and then finally bed for me. Oh and somewhere in there I find time for housework too. I'm a total zombie parent most of the time, but it will all be worth it once I graduate and I can have that career as a vet tech that I've spent time and money on. I need sleep.

MiriamJane
MiriamJane

you know its funny, i wish i was a stay at home parent! i work, a lot! i feel like im missing so much! i get up and get my kiddo ready for school and head to work. my mom brings him to school my dad picks him up.  i get out of work go home, have dinner, check homework, get jammies on, read bed time stories, hugs and kisses, good night, and again in the a.m. 

keeping on
keeping on

I'm a SAHM and I love it. I've learned over the years that scheduling is key to gettin things done. I get up before everyone else, get myself ready for the day, eat, have as much coffee as I can get in me and then get everyone else up. It is hard some mornings to get up at 6 but once I get going it is totally worth the hour of quiet. I just think about how much nicer the morning goes when I am really ready to deal with three boys, two dogs and a cat and a husband all trying to get what they need to face the day. Once the husband and two boys are out the door it's list upon list of things to do and places to go and people to call. I really do love my life. It's gonna be strange next year when my youngest is in school...but I'm hoping that means a little more resting during the day...I doubt it will happen, but I'm hoping.
Thank you Dan for your blog. I really enjoy them, and the things you've posted have either challenged me to be a better person or made me laugh till my sides hurt. Believe me, I need more of both things.

troismommy
troismommy

7:40! The luxury! lol My kids start school at 7:50, so we wake up between 6 and 6:30 (very begrudgingly) and I get to make 3 breakfasts and 3 lunches and do 2 little girls' hair and send them on their way. Then, depending on the day, I work in the classroom (Monday I'm in kindergarten, Wed. & Fri. I'm in 4th grade and Thurs. I'm in 2nd grade). The difference is I don't have to share the parenting with someone who doesn't live with me. I know that I'd feel like a piece of me was leaving each time I handed them over. You're doing a great job. Treasure these moments of snuggling - they grow up far, far too fast!

jodi
jodi

also....love that you are a photgrapher...huge passion of mine.

jodi
jodi

i am an unemployed recently divorced stay at home mom, just went back to school and just moved...so keeping up with my 17 month old, homework, unpacking and all the other fun stuff has had its challenges, let me tell you....BUT, i couldnt imagine life without my daughter. i find myself up til 2-3 a.m. workinng on homework....usually falling asleep with my laptop in my lap and my light on....the other night i fell asleep with peanut butter m&m's in my hand....lets just say that didnt look pretty when i woke up. i am overhwhelmed and exhausted but if i had a break, i would be bored and wanting the busy, crazyness which is now my life. i too, am not a morning person! and wish i would of thought of building a website where people could donate a buck or two to me to help pay the bills....you are on it!!!!

Dawn Miller
Dawn Miller

New SAHM here! Well, I work about 12 hours a week, if that counts. It's unbelievable how exhausted I am at the end of the day when my son is ONLY 5 months old and not even mobile yet. I've got to get my act together before he can outrun me...
My recent post Directly from the Soul

TourDeLens
TourDeLens

Stay at home/home schooling mom...and YES the late night hours seems to be the only time to get things done. I love love love being with my children 24/7. They are the joy of my existence. Still your posts are great reminders not to get lost in the chores and remember this is the only chance we get to watch them grow. Off to bed here too!

Angelina
Angelina

My boyfriend/father of our children is a S.A.H.D. He is awesome. I stayed home with our first son for 2 years and when our second son was born I battled PPD and was so overwhelmed. I worked Part time as did he and we both had plenty of time to enjoy our children :-) Now I work full time and he stays home. We have 1 in preschool that I take in the morning and stay with him in class for the first half hour (love this time with my son) and dad and brother pick him up in the afternoon. I am home for dinner and spend and hour with our youngest playing anything he wants to while dad gets the older settled in for the night. We make it work so I can enjoy time with them one on one because I get jealous of missing precious moments.
Dad gets all the laundry, cooking and cleaning done everyday and I honestly have NO IDEA how he does it.
I love him dearly and am so thankful that he chose to be a SAHD for our family. I salute all stay at home parents!

Jennifer
Jennifer

Haha, I can totally relate..I am a single stay at home mom, photographer and everything else I need to be for my little girl...totally worth it and would never change a thing..To bad my daughter does not take naps anymore, I could sure use one..haha :-))

scotto2
scotto2

My wife has been wonderful enough to stay at home with our own Noah, even though I know she's at her wit's end trying to find ways to keep him entertained during the day. He's has special-needs and is not the easiest two-year-old to work with. I know there are days where she gets completely overwhelmed and gets near the breaking point, but somehow she manages.
Because I'm going to school full time and working full time in the evenings, I'm seldom home while he's awake. Every now and then on a Saturday, she will take off to have some "me" time, and I get a taste of what it means for her to be a SAHM. It makes me love her and respect her even more.
Stay-at-home parents do such an important work as they are there at the "crossroads" with their children. Having that person there is so important to the development of a child, knowing that they have a person to go to.

Built-In-Babysitter
Built-In-Babysitter

not a stay at home parent..... but i am the built in stay at home babysitter sister XD lol like my moms says, she had me because she always wanted a girl, plus she knew i'd be useful later on in my years.... im now 18 and i babysit my 2 year old sister all the time while my mom works, its adorable and heart warming when i go to get her up in the morning and the first thing she does is smile and call me either Mummy or Terri, (being her best try at my name....) rubs her eyes before lifting her arms to be picked up from her crib, then orders me to bring every single stuffy in her room down with her to watch t.v while i make her breakfast. (god only knows how many times i've almost tripped down the stairs cause i can't see past Momo (her elmo) or froggy (big green frog stuffy) her two favorite things.) All i can say is that when the time comes for me to be a parent i'll be well equipped with knowledge from helping raise my baby sister....

A. Evans
A. Evans

I totally do think it is beyond exhausting! And to try to take care of yourself in all that is impossible too. I totally completely understand all that you have to go through. Whether it be cleaning, cooking, bathing etc. etc. etc. You are totally not alone!! :)

alysia75
alysia75

I've been a stay at home mom for almost 10 years. The best part is simply the irreplaceable time with my kids. But getting things done is sometimes a challenge, and I do often find myself staying up way too late to get things done or just to have some "me" time to do things I want to do.
My recent post Breakfast With Nutella Plus A Giveaway!

Aleah McDonald
Aleah McDonald

YES! I am a SAHM of two boys 4 and 3yo, I love it and we have made a lot of sacrifices so I can do so. It is exhausting. Some days more then others. My favorite thing is our night time routine. Dinner, Bath, PJs and then we all do something together.
We also love to go for walks :) And both boys are starting to help in the kitchen.
We also do a bit of homeschooling. Matter of fact that's next on my to do list.
No I do not stay up late to get things done. My rule is..... If it isn't done when they go to bed then it isn't done today. The only exception to that is folding laundry.
The reason I do not stay up to do things is frankly with two young boys that is a never ending list! There is always something that needs to be done.

Jo
Jo

Exhausting? Yes.
Often lonely? Yes.
Totally worth it? Absolutely yes.

ERMama15
ERMama15

My stay-at-home-mom made my days magical and now I am thrilled to be doing the same for my daughter. Not only am I making her days magical (or so I hope), but she's creating quite a bit of magic for me, too! I love, love, love being home for so many reasons...
http://greyblogmama.blogspot.com/

Christi Alexander Seidman
Christi Alexander Seidman

Yep, quit my job about a year ago and am now a stay-at-home mom of a 10 year old and a 6 month old. I'm loving every minute of it! I used to think I would never want to be a SAHM. Now I can't imagine ever wanting to go back to work.
My recent post Baby Mullet

Kirsten
Kirsten

You rock as a dad. :)

Jess
Jess

I was a stay at home momma for 3 years until I had to go back to work after my divorce. I absolutely loved every minute of it but it was exhausting. Many times I fell into the nap trap too and had to rush to finish cleaning or cooking or doing laundry that night. I didn't know how I was going to fit 40 hours of working into my already busy schedule. Unfortunately it was all the fun stuff that got cut. Now the pre-school teachers get to take him to the park and snuggle him before nap time so I can work. My evening and weekend hours are the most precious times of my week! The good side is that my very social boy is loving school and the interaction it gives him with other kids.

I know that not many people are blessed with the ability to stay home with thier little ones so I am very grateful for the time I had. I honestly don't think I would have another child if I knew I would have to go back to work right away.

Donnette F
Donnette F

My husband works from home while taking care of our 3rd child, our first son. I know he's got to be exhausted juggling the demanding job and our very hyper, non-sleeping 9 month old. I wish I could be home helping instead of at work... but it is what it is. lol. My hubby is my superman. He seems to be able to do it all... :) Here's to amazing dads!

Mahmee
Mahmee

the times i took off during maternity leave and when i took 5 months off to take classes between quitting one job and starting another were the greatest of times.

i loved staying at home...

although the conversations that i would have would often times make me wonder if i missed adult interactions :]

but when i have my weekends and i get my son, i just enjoy the heck out of it : ]

we're lucky birds.
My recent post

momof3girlz
momof3girlz

i was a WAHM for a couple years. i watched kids in my own home. i have always wished i could be a 'regular' SAHM, so i could have snuggle moments like you did, or impromptu naps. i work, though, because i am now a single mom who has to feed my girls. but i think it is awesome that noah has you to take care of him. it cements your relationship in a way that would never be possible, otherwise. cherish those moments, even the 'hard to get out of bed' moments. they will be gone so very quickly.
My recent post doing the right thing…

Jim Brown
Jim Brown

dude screw all the work. my 2 oldest are at school all day, all i have left at home is my 4 year old daughter. taking a nap with her every afternoon is pure heaven, soon she wont nap anymore, cherish it whilst you can.....

Renee Oliver
Renee Oliver

Noah is so lucky to be able to spend his day with his dad instead of with a babysitter or Daycare. Great job SAHD!

Marija Mikolajczak
Marija Mikolajczak

Its all about perspective but when I read all you had done in one day I couldn't believe it! Four different stores and a gas station? And time at home to play, cook two meals, and a nap? That would be an extraordinary day in my house!

Trevor
Trevor

I am a single father & sole caregiver of my hearing impaired son. He's now nine and has great speech and listening skills (hearing aids). I've managed to work PT and FT over the past several years and still raise a great little man.
I did take just over a year off when he was 31/2 to be a SAHD. I didn't make much money and my son was a handful in those days. But there were lots of great times. The best times I remember were the walks. We walked everywhere around our small town, especially to the creek in a forested corridor that was just across the street. Many times on the way back I'd have to carry him on my shoulders after a long day of exploring and he'd fall asleep using the top of my head like a pillow. If we stopped at the local grocer, the cashiers would always find a fresh-baked cookie for him, awake or not. Very great times - and yes - the days, they do go fast :)

seac75
seac75

Have been a stay at home mum now for 7 years and at times it has been super tough. The early mornings, disrupted sleep and so on, but if I had my time over again, I would do it all the same. We only get to closely experience a small portion of our children's lives and I wouldn't want to miss a thing. Its important to have good time management skills, communicate and have regular time to just be.
My recent post Something for the ears

Janice
Janice

I am a sah Mom of 3 currently. I did not leave my career of 20 years until 2 years after the birth of my second youngest and only at the pressure of my husband. It took me 6 mnths to get used to the whole lifestyle adjustment and the absence of adults on a day to day basis I wouldn't have it any other way. I chose to be a parent and I am the one that should raise them. Time is not replaceable. Before you know it they are grown up and doing their own thing. My day starts between 4:300a.m.and 7:00am.7 days a week and ends when I fall asleep between 9:30pm. and midnight. I have learned to find JOY in every moment and know that my being at home raising my children is the best thing a parent can do. It is my responsibility and my role in life. I only wish their father had felt the same way.

Mommy2Boys
Mommy2Boys

I am a SAHM and have recently entered the single part of parenthood. I also homeschool my boys (6.5 yrs and 3 yrs). I love it! We get to do cool things together, learn together, cook together and grow together. I do get most of my housework done after they're in bed (folding laundry, washing/putting away dishes, getting school work ready for the next day) and I still try to fit in computer and tv time for me. Gotta have some me time too, right? Enjoy being at home w/Noah. It's SO worth it. And so are the naps!! I miss those!!

Deborah Hall
Deborah Hall

I was a "stay at home" Mom of 4 daughters...........3 of which I had in four years. It could be exhausting at times....& yes, I did stay up late most nights to actually accomplish chores around the house. You just don't always get everything done during the day. You are too busy doing what needs to be done with your children & you are too busy enjoying quality time with them. Those years meant a lot to me........I never in a million years regret staying home. Our children grow up way too fast so I am honoured to say that I was able to & enjoyed my years at home with them.

Danielle Francisco
Danielle Francisco

stay at home-schooling mom of 3 and loving it, we get to do whatever we want when we want and take the COOLEST field trips! plus as I'm typing this my 2 boys are sweeping the floors and washing all of the switch plates!!! :D

Delilah
Delilah

I am a SAHM. I became one when I was laid off from my job two years ago. At first I enjoyed the break from the office and spending time with my daughter. When I became pregnant, it was nice to be home and take pregnancy naps when my daughter went for a nap. I enjoyed making SAHM friends and going on playdates. I enjoyed a clean and tidy house that I took care of during the week so I could relax with my family.

BUT, I missed working. I missed the social interaction of my co-workers. I missed my paycheck. At times a my SAHM routine made me feel lonely and isolated. Yes sweat pants were comfy, but I liked wearing nice clothes every day too.

My oldest is in pre-school every day and I am at home with my youngest. When my oldest was his age, she was in daycare. I missed her, but she thrived there. With my son, I am so exhausted all the time, but I do enjoy the one on one bonding with him.

I think I fall into a strange category. I neither love or hate being a SAHM. Both have their pros and cons. Since my ex-husband walked out I have a need to get back to working again. As hard as I try, I cannot seem to get my foot back in the door. Its as if being a SAHM has me blacklisted (or at least that's how I feel).

Its a bittersweet reality. Needing and wanting to work vs staying at home with my kids.
My recent post 2 Dates

Nancy
Nancy

SAHM here for 3 years. I had an easier time budgeting my time when working then I do spending time at home. I feel like there is not enough hours during the day!

Bekky
Bekky

Ive been a SAHM since I was pregnant with my almost 5 yr old. I don't know what I'll do when our youngest is at school as I really don't want to return to the workforce!
I have a routine that I stick to, and my kids helps me to get chores done around the house.
Helps that we all get up at 5.30am.... Alot more time in the day when you up at that hour!

myk
myk

Stay at home Dad here. My twin girls are 1 year old TODAY! It has been the best and most tiring year of my life. It IS the toughest job I've ever had. I feel absolutely exhausted most of the time, except on days I get to go golfing (After Mom comes home, of course.) Most times I feel like I'll never get caught up on all the things that I need to get done. Fortunately for me, my wife has kinda come along with me on the "no need to clean that up yet" theory of housecleaning. We do what is now becoming known as the "once a week futile clean-up." This is when we put all the toys back in the baskets and the books back on the shelf, for what feels like the millionth time.
AAAAAANNNNND, right on schedule they are stirring in the monitor that I carry clipped to my shirt when they sleep. Gotta run. Thanks for writing! And good luck keeping up! Cheers.

Endang
Endang

Dan, what you experienced was just a natural thing. You know what, we are the housewives who also worked several times also have situation like that, even more severe. Imagine, if a career woman has been married for 30 years. That means already 30 years every single day she did for the house must keep comfortable, the food should always be there, and the office work should completed. Well, the women are indeed the beautiful God creatures and ..........strong (of course)

Amanda S
Amanda S

Every working day I pray I can find a way to be back as a WAHM/SAHM. I was one for the first two years of my sons life and I loved every minute of. I was forced to go back to the working world after I lost my stay at home job due to the economy.

My mom was a SAHM and I want to be that for my children. I loved having her around to help when needed and when I got home from school. I feel having her at home gave me more opportunities than if she were working all day along with my dad. As I work I feel like I'm robbing my son of a lot...The quality time with him to kiss his owies...snuggle during naps and playing with him at any time of day. Having him in daycare from age two to now four, I feel I don't know my son as well anymore. It makes me so sad to think about this.

Working stresses me out and my stresses my son out. As if being a SAHM wasn't enough, coupling that with working makes me insane. I have all the duties of staying at home paired with eliminating 10 hours of my day out working. It's impossible to cram everything in and feel like I'm there for my son. I personally hate myself every day that I have to work because I can't find the quality time to be with him and then I get irate at the situation and eventually get overly emotional and take it out on the world.

So in all, I feel you are incredibly lucky to be able to be at home with your son. They are moments you can never take away (and never get back in my case) and cherish for a lifetime. They are only small once.

Endang
Endang

Dan, what you experienced was just a natural thing. You know what, we are the housewives who also worked several times also have situation like that, even more severe. Imagine, if a career woman has been married for 30 years. That means already 30 years every single day she did for the house must keep comfortable, the food should always be there, and the office work should completed. Well, the women are indeed the beautiful God creatures and ..........strong (of course)

Evelyn Curtis
Evelyn Curtis

I do end up staying up late most nights. It is easier for me to think after 4 pm. I tend to be a night owl. Being a stay at home parent is tough, and exhausting. I think it is physically exhausting and mentally exhausting. So much to do, and most of the time it doesn't get done. :) Hang in there. There are also plenty of rewards to staying home. You get to see a side of your child(ren) that not every one else gets to see.

Michelle
Michelle

As a working couple with two small children, we are often overwhelmed by the need to do basics. Laundry, dishes, sleep, etc.
BUT - I have learned to let go of some things in order to focus on the REAL Basics - snuggle time, book-reading time, prayer time, dress-up time, time spent sitting on the floor in my daughter's room as she just plays around me, using me as a prop in her imaginary world.............
So - I try to balance between a house that is kept in livable condition and a HOME that is in happy condition :)

Jenae Boyer
Jenae Boyer

I am a stay at home mom of three kids. It gets a little easier as they get older, still have to get up early. They move a little faster. However there is the make up, breakfast ect, they tend to take a little longer to get out the door. In the end it is worth it everything just have some time with then.

Kim
Kim

I stay at home with my 10month old. My days starts at 4 am when she wakes up. Then I go and toss and turn until she wakes up again at 7-7:30 am. I love my days with her... But I often think of checking into a hotel and sleeping for 24 hours straight.

yvonne
yvonne

I am not a stay at home mom... but although I totally respect stay at home parents I too have no time.... we wake up and out the door by 515am so I can take her to the sitter and then I am off to work 8-10 hours then I go pick her up run any errands ... then home dinner housework spending time with her and def up till wee hours of the morning trying to get things done..... since she doesn't see her "daddy" i have her full time ... with the occasionally stay at my fathers house once every 3 or 4 months for one night.... and when she was a baby... teething midnight feedings all that on top of working.... I think as parents stay at home or not ..if you do it right we are all tired as hell lol

Esther
Esther

Yes, I am a stay at home mom and I must admit, it is the hardest job I have ever taken on. Before I was a SAHM I thought it would be great, you would have time to do everything, etc. NOPE! Not even close! I do have classes three days a week, I work part-time at home for my sister and I do ALL of the household work. I must say it is exhausting! I am usually up late trying to finish homework, or housework or just simply taking a shower. My husband works long hours and every third week he is on call so those are long weeks. However, it is truly all worth it! I believe when you have a child it is your responsibility to make sacrifices to give that child the best things in life, and one of those things is to have a stay at home parent. I am one of six children and my mother was a stay at home mom. I know now how much she did and sacrificed for us, and it is a huge sacrifice but one that I believe is worth it.

Mixa2
Mixa2

I'm not single anymore I am married to a deployed soldier. We have four children (he adopted my oldest) I was a single mom for 4 years. I'm a SAHM and feel like a single parent. I find myself waiting for nap time and bed time to get things done. There are times that I don't climb into bed until 4 or 5am then the alarm goes off at 6:30am just to do everything all over again. There are days that I get frustrated and cry but I wouldn't change it for the world! Being a SAHM is what I was destined to be I've been to college, graduated, and have no desire to put my education to use. It is an amazing job just to stay home with your kids.....

Sarah
Sarah

I'm a stay at home mom! I have a 5 yr old and 2 step kiddos who are here every other weekend and extended breaks (Spring break, summer, Thanksgiving... The usual plus some). My 5 yr old doesn't nap anymore and won't go to school until August. Then I'll cry. I love being a stay at home mom and am a little afraid to re-enter the work force even if it's only going to be part time... I'm trying to find something I can do from home. ANYWAY- Yes it can be overwhelming, yes it can be exhausting, yes it can be frustrating and YES it's worth every moment!!! I've enjoyed the luxury of sleeping in with them, traveling on a whim with them and playing when we want to . Today is a lazy day for us and we're hanging out and doing what sounds fun. Today it's playing old school Super Mario Brothers, making lunch together and probably riding bikes later. I love the potential each day holds...

fiveft2eyzblue
fiveft2eyzblue

@Dawn Miller Evidence-based fact: there is no harder work than being a mother. Women in earlier times died as much from exhaustion during childbirth as much as the labor & delivery.