Welcome to my website! I’d like to open the blog with a bit of backstory, which I’m going to call “Prologue” simply because it sounds more impressive and writerly. (Or at least more pretentious.) Don’t worry, I’ll be quick.
For the last six years I was gainfully employed in financial marketing. (That’s every child’s dream, right?
Doting Parent: Billy, what do you want to be when you grow up? An astronaut? A baseball player? A fireman?
Billy: I want to write marketing collateral about fiduciary liability as it pertains to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended.
Doting Parent: … Let me take your temperature.
End parenthical funnies.)
For three years prior to that, I worked in product management for a manufacturing company. Prior to that, I was in television advertising. Et cetera. The point is, since graduating college I built what I thought was a solid, serious, mortgage-paying career.
Now I’ve taken the plunge into full-time, voluntary non-employment: I’m a stay-at-home dad.
I know, me too.
I’m thrilled to be able to do this for my daughter. This an opportunity not every parent gets. But in the spirit of perfect honesty:
I must admit, it feels bizarre.
When you’re a twenty-something college guy in a fraternity, going to football games and playing poker with your buddies, you never expect that in less than ten years you’ll be spending your days changing diapers and reading Dr. Suess. My self-concept was always business job / suit and tie / corporate office and coffee. Watching my wife be the one to go hard-charging into that world instead, while I’m home with milk bottle and nappytime?
When I first considered the proposition, my inner conservative Republican had a great many comments on this role reversal.
So why did I? It’s not a matter of family being more important than career – that’s a nonsense argument. Everyone’s family is more important than their work. Nor did Alicia twist my arm about it. Truth be told, she’s more than a little disappointed to miss out on our baby’s milestones: first words, first steps, first existential philosophy debates.
There are several reasons I decided to join the ranks of full-time fathers.
First, I have the opportunity to watch my daughter grow up in ways that some parents would kill for. My own parents went the traditional route – my dad going to work, my mom staying home – until their divorce when I was little. I don’t have a ton of memories of my dad from before they split (again, I was young), and afterward I saw my dad on the every-other-weekend arrangement that unfortunately comes with
divorced parents. That I could be a dad daily involved with my child sounds awesome.
Second, I have the opportunity to give my wife an incredible gift. She is ten times the marketer I am, and there aren’t numbers big enough to describe how great is the positive impact she makes on people’s lives. Such a wonderful and talented individual should not have to choose between her ideal career and her ideal family arrangement.
Finally, I have the opportunity to pursue other projects that full-time employment has otherwise hampered. A handful of these include writing fiction, art, and of course, this website.
What should you expect from this blog? Many different things.
I have several goals for the website, and it will be more the blog “of” a parent than purely “about” parenting.
- I’d like to catalog the experiences of a full-time father. There are over 2 million stay-at-home dads in the United States, and I’m interested in our shared experiences, the effect on our children, and the effect on our relationships with significant others. All signs I’ve read indicate it’s positive for both children and partners, but we’ll cover that soon.
- I also want to talk about the process of writing fiction. Despite publishing a few different pieces already, much of the world of fiction writing is still a black box to me without any formal training or experience. I’ve had the benefit of connecting with some interesting and talented writers early. I hope to use this site to share stories and foster more connections.
- I’ll still post occasional updates on news, politics or current events, in longer form than something like Facebook or Twitter allows. You’re welcome to skip those; I’ll make sure they’re clearly marked.
- I enjoy music, movies, television and books more than might be considered healthy. I may post reviews from time to time, but only if you promise not to skip those, and tell me what you think, what you’re listening to, what you’re reading about and why.
In that vein, what do you think of the site so far? It’s still bright and shiny and new, and the cats are playing in the cardboard box it was shipped in. What topics do you want to see for future posts? What’s of interest to you?