While I am not a stay-at-home dad, I suppose, I’m a semi-stay-at-home-dad.
I have a small webdesign business which I supplement with temp work, but Char is the one who earns the money. So I bring and pick up and take care of Jay, many an evening, morning and in-between.
It is tiresome and I do feel trapped at times, but for a lot of reasons that’s how things came to be. At this point in our lives. In some years, they might be different.
And while I feel bad often enough about not being able to go 100 percent in work-mode, or sometimes at all … I also love the damn job. At home …
It is a chore and a privilege at the same time. I wonder if it can ever be different to be a parent?
Last day alone and I simply drew a line and finished the office space, although I could have done a lot more sorting.
But even so the room that now serves as dining, office and living-room for about 20 sq meters still felt … nice in the evening. Like it was actually a real room in a place where we lived and not just half-storage. So I have accomplished what I wanted and needed here. Thoughts too about family health, X-mas logistics, earning money and carving time for art and the occasional bleep about where our relationship is going with all this 24/7 baby-focus. They stood in line.
I knew I couldn’t really solve any of those ‘items’ on the agenda, and I was very tired in the late afternoon, so I took a walk, ate some quick food and then went home and watched a movie – Wind River. I felt only a little bad about not drawing or watching educational videos on my last free night. But it was necessary to recharge and keep some kind of balance, or so I felt. Well, it felt right. Right this day, the hyper-focus on either drawing as relax or business videos as 5 minutes pastime between diaper changes and house tasks did not feel right … simply because that context was not there.
I have heard that you should always make economic decisions with your head, not your heart. I suppose that goes for decisions about how and where and when to save, and not just where to spend.
A very difficult and delicate balance, which I have often written about, and I will do so again. But it is important to keep in mind. Especially in situations such as this, where you are fearing for a loved one and pondering scenarios and outcomes and consequences whilst trying to live your daily:
Always try to keep a good balance between thinking and letting go and doing – something else. It is excruciatingly difficult but it is the only way – the only focus. Otherwise you tend to veer off towards extremes, like depression or suppression – which is kind of the same thing really.
So again I take a deep breath and go for balance.
But more often than not, for my own life at least, I’ve found that I need to balance passion, purpose and profit – not try to force it into one place or activity. One thing I do is what I am most passionate about, work-wise. Another contains the most purpose. Another the most profit. Each contain a little bit of the other, but they are separate.
Will it change in the future? I want it to, honestly. But for now it seems like I have to strike a balance, and learn to strike it better every day. Like most other humans.