Abigail, Daniel and Jacob,
Every morning I wake up to realize that all of you are growing up faster than I can keep up. One day you are bundled up as my little peanut and dependent on me for every facet of your life and then the next you are off to the first day of school or liking (gulp…or loving) a boy/girl and no longer dependent on me for much except for a ride to and from an activity or a friend’s house.
Since you all will end up as adults hopefully at some time in the distant future, I wanted to give you some advice before you get there.
- The Golden Rule: Always treat others the way you want to be treated. This is simple and straight forward. If you want to be liked and respected then treat others in the same manner.
- Music: Find a love for some type of music and then expand from there. Music is a perfect outlet for you to lose yourself when your emotions overwhelm you and you are not quite sure how to express yourself. Seeing live music builds memories that you will be able to look back on relive them later.
- Love: Don’t love aimlessly but do love passionately. Find someone who loves you for who you are even on your worst day. Oh, and don’t settle.
- Bills: Pay your bills on time or early. If you can’t can’t afford cable…get Netflix. Don’t overextend yourself.
- Education: Always keep learning something new. After high school, get more schooling…either college or a trade school and then keep testing yourself. Don’t take the easy way out. Smart is ALWAYS cooler than ignorance.
- Politics: Pay attention to it because you can make a difference. ALWAYS VOTE in local and presidential elections but be respectful of other peoples’ positions regardless if you agree.
- Read: Read books! Actual books, with pages and ink. Lots and lots of books.
- Money: Save it as often as possible. If you can start saving 70% of your money before you have to pay for bill then you will be much happier later…(this is easier said than done.)
- Family: Family comes first. No matter what happens in life, your family will be there for you, so you need to be there for them.
- Tradition and heritage: Keep and maintain traditions with your family and pass them to your future kids. Also, learn about your family’s history. Its good to know where you come from.
These rules to live by are by no way ironclad but if you make an effort to do it you may turn out okay. Regardless, your mother and I will always be here for you when things fall apart. Unfortunately, things will fall apart once in a while and we will be here ready. Its what we live for. We love you all and I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings as long as it doesn’t happen too fast.
For the past five and a half years, I have had the privilege to be a full time stay at home daddy. I would wake up to help my wife get ready for work if she needed it and get my kids ready for the day. Breakfast for the kids and shakes for my wife and I, teeth brushing, dressing for the day and off to school or maybe just off to the park or errands was my daily routine. Of course, cleaning up and laundry and daily chores are mixed in there as well.
During the past three years, I decided to get my degree from Saint Joseph’s University and I graduated in May 2014 with a degree in History and a minor in Ancient Studies. (woo-hoo!) I decided. after graduation to take some time off from school and focus just on my family. I would wait until the new year to start the look for work or to continue being a full time stay at home daddy. I needed to put my priorities in order and work on my family.
Recently, I was offered an apprentice position with a local home repair and furniture restoration company near my home. After discussions with my wife, we both felt that it was a good opportunity to learn something that I can pass on to my kids and still keep me interested in a career that was in the vein of history. This is my issue, I’ve been working for a week and I’m loving every day of work. I leave early every morning and head to work and come home around 5 PM. There is a learning curve to balance home and work life not just for me but for my wife and kids too. Five days in and that balance has not been found as of yet but I’m getting there.
My wife has been a blessing. For those who don’t know, she’s an attorney and works harder than most people I know. She’s up and out the door normally by 9 AM and home by 6:30 PM. If that was it then I wouldn’t go on to say much more but she starts to play with the boys almost as soon as she walks into the house. We sit down as a family over dinner that either I prepare or we both prepare depending on the day. We discuss our day and chat with our kids. After dinner she works with my daughter (her step-daughter) with her homework and helps her with her reading for the night. Basically, 9 PM rolls around and she gets ready for the evening of working from home and normally is up until at least 1 AM or later. This is one of the reasons I love my wife so much. She is a bad ass but in the same breath I feel so guilty that I haven’t mastered the balance of home and work.
This is where my readers come in. What do you think about the transition from stay at home parent to dual working parents? Let me know what you think!
This will be pretty short today.
I’m not sure about the rest of you but I like to consider myself a pretty informed political citizen. That being said, I tend to come down on the more liberal side of a lot of agendas purely because I can’t seem to get over the idea of voting against your own best interest. When is it okay to introduce politics to your kids?
In order to bring up responsible children shouldn’t we let our kids know why we vote? Why we choose to live our lifestyles? Of the millions of questions we have to field from our kids, this in my opinion is one of the biggies that should be answered. We are here to bring up our kids to be productive, respectful and informed members of society, right?
I understand that much like learning a new language, exposure will ingrain the principles, we as parents find most important onto our children. “Stop hitting your sister” or “Finish your food for the 1000th time” while both good principles to live by are not quite what I’m referring too. Of course leading by example is the best way to show genuine examples of lifestyle but practicing what we preach can sometimes be difficult for children to understand especially when every question from our kids starts with, “Why?”
So my official question:
How far do you explain the answer? I think providing accurate answers are better than filling the truth with kid friendly fabrications. Tell me what you think.