Stay-at-Home Parents

I guess today I’ve got a little ode to or a little shoutout to stay-at-home parents. I am not one myself but I know that being one has got to be incredibly tough.

I once found myself a part-time stay at home dad when we were still living in Vancouver, Washington and I worked full-time, four days a week, and Kayleigh worked full-time, three days a week. So I spent three full days with Emmy, from like 7am to 9pm, just the two of us, kickin’ it. Keep in mind, Kayleigh was doing it four days, from 9am to 10pm or later. This is all after she already had to (as if she minded) stay at home for something like seven weeks after Emmy was born for her maternity leave, which was unpaid, by the way.

I’ve got to say, in the months that I did the whole all-day parenting thing—it was hard, like, it whooped my ass. I’m surprised we both even made it back then, like, we’re both here and in one piece and I think that’s impressive. But I did have really hard days being with Emmy all by myself, and I mean ALL by myself. We lived in the PNW all alone, with no family near or anything. Okay, so Kayleigh’s cousin Tiffany lived in downtown Portland but she’s a doctor and we rarely saw her so that doesn’t count. And yes, she did have a great aunt and uncle that lived at the coast 2.5 hours away, but hey, they lived on the coast, 2.5 hours away…

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The Hard Times. The Best Times

Today I’m going to talk a little about those times when you’re super frustrated as a parent, the times where you just want to rip your hair out. I’m talking about the times where you have irrational thoughts like, “Why did I choose to have a kid?” or, “I wish I could put this little monster back.” These times usually come at night, either when you’re trying to get the little demon down to sleep or in the actual middle of the night when they wake up needing something from you. At times they come during the day though, too. Nap times can be just as challenging as bedtime.

I, myself, have had many of these moments and I have thought some things that I’m not proud of, but I have also learned—and it’s taken a lot of time to do so—how to calm myself down and how to actually try and enjoy those moments. If you remember that it is, in fact, your baby that you’re dealing with, it makes things a little bit easier. I then try to breathe slowly and remember the undeniable fact that I’m not going to have those moments forever. Not only will Emmy’s sleeping get better—and worse, at times—in the future, but one day she will leave the safety of my house and I won’t know where she’s sleeping or if there’s anyone there to take care of her.

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Indulging Without Emmy

This post is similar to what Kayleigh wrote on Monday—her Blissful Friday post—and I figured I could build off of that a little and delve a little deeper into some of the things we do when we have a little time away from Emmy.

Couple

The first thing we do is we miss her. I think it’s kinda a given for parents to miss their kids when they’re away from them for even a short time, even when said kid is just upstairs sleeping in another room! You get sort of used to the little devils being around and things can seem pretty still, too still even, when they’re not. So yes, the first thing we do—pretty much always—is we miss the little girl—even when we’ve just left her upstairs.

With that out of the way, I’m going to tell you about things we really do, when Emmy’s not around, when she’s away from us, out of our presence you may say… so here we go.

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Mama Monday: Blissful Friday

Let’s talk about bliss.

A perfect day is bliss. Yet, every day is technically perfect when you are still here. Still living. Still have your friends, your family, your support system. Even when things aren’t great, at the end of the day, life is somewhat perfect. But when you get something extra special, is when you encounter bliss.

I’m talking about an extra 30 minutes.

This was my Friday. Blissful.

While I sit here, eating my perfectly fluffy pancakes drenched in butter and syrup, reading 28 pages of my overdue library book—

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Emerson sleeps…

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Think of the Children

Alright, so this post is probably going to be a little on the sad side, but this is sort of how I feel right now about the world in general, and about the future that I have to raise my daughter in. I’d like to be able to be worry-free, to be confident in the situations that I need to put her in in the future, and to say that I’m completely comfortable letting her out of my sight to do the things that a normal child needs to do. But I’m not.

I’m sure you all understand what I’m talking about, but let me give you an overview of some things that have happened too close for comfort in my life. These things were terrible at the time and are now even scarier considering things like this happen more and more often these days and the fact I have to send Emmy out into the world and risk her safety when shit is literally hitting the fan.

Sad

My Tales

When I was just eight-years-old, I was living in Broomfield, Colorado, and I had a pretty happy, unfearful childhood up until this point. I remember vividly coming home one April afternoon and the news was on in my house. I remember hearing the sadness and fear in the newscasters’ voices and seeing the reruns of children fleeing their school with their hands upon their heads, seeing SWAT teams attempting to get those kids out and to safety with their rifles drawn. I remember the horror of learning about what had happened and the realization that human-beings could do such terrible things to each other, and so close to me—only a few handfuls of miles to the south of me, actually. I’m talking about the Columbine High School Massacre on April 20, 1999.

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Date Night

I know that many of you aren’t going to care much about this, but not too long ago my twenty-seventh birthday came rolling by, and guess what? Well, it was the first time that we (Kayleigh and I) got to spend any time without Emmy in months! Well, I guess I get to go to work and school, but it’s the first time she’s really been without either of us for more than, like, an hour in the recent past. Not that I have anything against spending time with her or anything.

Any of you who are parents will understand how big a deal it is to get a night away from your children, and I gotta tell you, we enjoyed it.

The last time we got a night together, just us, was in September. We had just moved to Vegas and had gone down to Arizona to see my mom, and while we were there we went out to see IT. That was like four-and-a-half or five months ago! So it was time, well-deserved even, and we took advantage of the one chance we had to spend some real, quality time together.

Boyfriend Girlfriend

After I got home from work, we all hung out and spent a while playing as a family, and tried to cram in all the time we could get together before we had to leave our little girl behind. When you never spend really any amount of time away from your kids, it can be hard to do so, even when it’s for less than a handful of hours! Such is the case for Kayleigh at least! She has the hardest time leaving Emmy anywhere, with anyone; it’s kinda cute. Anyways, we played and played with Emmy, gave her snacks, and basically just made sure she wasn’t going to think that we had abandoned her, or didn’t love her anymore, or something. Kids are weird, and think all kinds of weird things for all kinds of reasons, okay?

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Donde Esta?

Have any of you ever had a ferret? You know, those long tube-like, semi-crazy little mustelids (not rodents, I checked. Google it!) that scurry around and have no chill? The ones that steal all of your stuff and have ALL the energy and sometimes bite you if they feel like it?

Well, I hate to have to inform you all, but Emmy has become a ferret.

Recently—like sometime in the last couple of weeks—she’s decided that one of the greatest things in the world is taking other peoples things and putting them in places that they would never think to look.

The other day Kayleigh and I were making dinner and Emerson was running around, doing what she does—being a nutcase and attacking the animals—what else? She then proceeded to grab Kayleigh’s stepdad’s flip-flops and made her way into the kitchen where we were slaving over the counter and stove, working hard to get food ready for her. She walked over to the oven, opened the drawer underneath, threw the flip-flops in, and walked away.

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