Guest Post: Rea of REAlity Bites, on the Stay-at-home Dad


photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc
photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc

It’s so easy to get caught up in something good.

Not just pizza buffets and Amy Adams movie marathons. It’s easy to do with parenthood. It’s good to jump in emphatically when you become a parent, but you have to find a way to do so with two feet – and your identity intact.

Today’s guest blogger, Rea of REAlity Bites, gets it.

A young mom to a boy named Reiko – whose name means love and gratitude – balanced motherhood and self-preservation, even tossing in photography and her blog. She shares with me an appreciation of all things Jennifer Lawrence.

Many of you read her and love her already; many more of you will, after you read her guest post (and check out her site).

Today, Rea’s here to tell us about her husband – the stay-at-home dad. I want to share pizza and hot wings with this guy. He’s an honorary member of the Coach Daddy club level membership, for sure.

Please give Rea a warm welcome on the CD, and take a look around REAlity Bites, too.

photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc
photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc

WHEN THE HUSBAND BECOMES A STAY AT HOME DAD

I’ve contemplated so many times to quit my corporate job for me to work or stay home with my family. I’ve been working for 5 consecutive years and I figured it’s about time that I spend more time with my three-year old son. But I’ve got to admit, I’m not at all domesticated. I can’t don’t cook. I can’t don’t do the laundry. I can pretty much clean the entire house though and take care of my son even if it means letting him watch Dora The Explorer or Peppa Pig on YouTube.

My husband, on the other hand, has been working for almost 8 years. However, in the last 2 years, he’s been jumping from one employer to another. Because of that constant job-jumping then job hunting, I thought of just telling him to stop. I was in the midst of a really heavy workload and I just needed someone I can trust to take care of my our son while I’m burning the midnight oil. And then like an epiphany, I told my husband… “Hey honey, how about this? Why don’t I just go to work and you? STAY HOME?”

reafamily

It was like a bombshell. He fell silent and hesitated at first. In my mind, I could think of a million and one reasons why he wouldn’t agree. Like 1) Men’s pride? 2) Who’s gonna pay the bills? 3) Where do I get money for my cigarettes? 4) You mean I get to clean the poop? … 5,487) Are you serious? What are your parents gonna say about me???

Okay, that’s actually just me thinking out loud. Before he could say anything more, I told him I’d take care of the bills and that I already told my mom and she’s fine with it. All he needs to do is stay home and be a father to our son. I’m not even asking him to work at home. That sealed the deal.

Well, who would actually say that staying at home with a needy and sometimes whiny kid is easy? Let me share to you how my husband has been so far with his new role as.. a STAY AT HOME DAD.

1. I got home one night at around 9PM to see him already sleeping with a headset on while our son was watching The Simpsons. Hmmm, he must have been very tired, was what I told myself. He woke up and told me he was so tired from cleaning the entire house. When I looked at the floor, there were toys and cupcake wrappers everywhere then I looked at him with dagger-like eyes. He said, “no matter what I do, there are just TOO MANY toys in this house.” Well, he was absolutely right.

reareikosimpsons

2. To be fair, I would give him time to regain his sanity by allowing him to go out on a weekend. He could either play video games or drink with his friends. It was fine by me. He could go home late, I wouldn’t mind. As long as it’s a weekend and I’m home to be with our son.

One week night, actually it was already 2am, I suddenly woke up to find out that he was nowhere to be found. Bed – no. Bathroom – no. Front porch – nooo! Where the heck is this man?! Wait, phone – no! He left it. I waited for an hour and he arrived. He said he just went out to play computer games with his friends (our neighbors). Yeah, until 3am.

3. I texted him to say that I already ate in the office and to not wait for me at dinner time. When I got home, he asked..“Did you eat?” I said, “I told you so. I don’t want to get hungry on my way home.” Then all of a sudden he said, “WHY DO YOU HAVE TO EAT THERE WHEN I ALREADY COOKED FOR YOU? I told you we have food here. Now, who’s gonna eat that food?” PAUSE. SILENCE. Nuff said. Without saying a word, I went to the kitchen and ate the food he prepared. Told myself, wow.. fathers have meltdowns too you know.

4. One Saturday morning, I was so tired from working on a Friday night and when I arrived, I was greeted by a very enthusiastic look! Tada, surprise general house cleaning!!! He said, “I already started! C’mon!” Oh dear, how lucky can I get! That’s right exactly when my eyeballs were about to jump out of my eyes. I was so sleepy but thought I couldn’t anyway because there were already too much dirt and dust all around. Talk about an obedient husband!

5. I told my husband to take some time practicing the alphabets, shapes, numbers, and colors with our son. He’s already going to school by next year so it’s important that he learns the basics from home. When I arrived home one night, oh look! What a great way to learn numbers and shapes and wow, a neon color.. ON.OUR.BEDROOM.WALL. Seriously? Yes, and it’s not a pretty sight. You ready? See photo below. Now that’s what we call — a freedom wall! The kid was ecstatic!

reafreedomwall

6. I swear this is the last one. Last Saturday, he cooked our breakfast then I washed the dishes. He borrowed my phone, hacked my Facebook and posted a status message saying gwapa ko (means I am beautiful), showed it to me, laughed out loud, then deleted it.. after a couple of people already commented and liked it. So you can say he’s really enjoying huh?

How’s that for a stay at home dad? People.. more than anything else, he cooks, he cleans, he takes care of the kid, he throws hilarious jokes, he does something really silly, he fixes the toy trucks, he washes the dishes, he puts the kid to bed, he sings nursery rhymes, he reminds me to spend time for our family, he’s a handy man! And certainly, being a stay at home dad doesn’t make him less of a man. In fact, it makes him even more than who he is now and I’m totally proud of him. He does all the work at home when I need to work in the office or catch up on sleep… or even when I need some time alone or with friends. NOT BAD, eh?

stay at home dad quote

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50 thoughts on “Guest Post: Rea of REAlity Bites, on the Stay-at-home Dad

  1. Thank you so much Eli for the warm welcome and introduction!! I’m so giddy to be here! Glad to be able to share my story 🙂

  2. Sounds like my son-in-law. He’s been a stay at home Dad for about seven years. Get’s my daughter her breakfast, packs her lunch, cooks dinner, does the laundry, the shopping and the mowing. Finds time to make my granddaughter (18) a new Anime costume for a party, or a medieval lady’s outfit for a convention (yes, he’s an excellent seamstress) with no patterns. In his spare time, he builds models (miniatures) for tabletop war gaming. Three cheers for all stay at home Dads!!

  3. Freedom wall??? That color… as pretty as it is… is it permanent?

    Loved reading this!

    Every family should switch roles just for the sake of the experience and mutual appreciation.
    I threaten the husband from time to time when he hints that I might spend too much time at the mall or blogging. “OK. Tomorrow, YOU’ll do laundry, pack snacks (as in slice apples, peel tangerines, wash grapes), take care of our recyclables, take C to hockey practice, shop for groceries and have that lasagna ready when I come home from work! Cause I WILL be home by dinner time. Oh, and don’t forget to move the elf.” That shuts him up 😉

    E, you are going to send Rea’s hubby a Coach Daddy T-Shirt, right?

      1. We’d love a coach daddy tshirt!! Haha. Or even tattoos! Lol. I’m gonna tell my husband he’s an honorary member!!

    1. Thank you Tamara! My husband used spray paint for our freedom wall so yes, it’s permanent. LOL. We’re planning to paint the entire wall by next year though to make our bedroom cleaner and maybe just have enough wall space for my son to draw on.

  4. I adore Rea and her blog, so was so happy to see her guest posting here. Definitely wish I could just switch roles for a day with my husband after reading this. Thanks for sharing with us here, Rea 😉

    1. Thanks much too Janine!! I think it can be fun to switch roles sometimes.. like try a different version of yourself. 🙂

  5. I love this! I was a stay home mom for years but in my heart I knew that my husband would have done a better job at being the stay home – however his job is much better at providing for our family than my teaching would have been.

    1. Thanks Kim!! I am actually convinced that my husband is better than I am with the stay home role. I can certainly learn from him in case I’ll be a stay at home mom one of these days.

  6. My Hub was forced into the stay at home dad role for a while. I think if we’re being honest, we could both say it was/is not his number one choice. But events being what they were, he didn’t get a vote and the job market in his the-field was completely unforgiving. While I kept working, he managed to hold things (and me) together here with more skill than I imagined he had. He’s now happily working in his new field and loving it. And I made the choice I never thought I would in a million years to leave my job and work from home. Amazing how life’s tides turn.
    Thanks for a great share, Rea, and for introducing her to me/us, Eli! I will definitely check out her blog!

    1. Life sometimes is a rip current, isn’t it? And other times its smooth sailing. You just have to be ready for either, and everything in between.

      Lisa, I think you’ll enjoy Rea’s blog!

  7. Hey. It’s snowing!
    Rea, I was cracking up at your stories! I’m definitely not very domestic around here, but I’m also not the breadwinner. I’m pretty sure Cassidy has come home to Scarlet watching The Simpsons and me asleep. Although I have never written on the bedroom wall!

    1. Ahahahah!! When I first saw our wall, I thought it was crazy for him to just spray paint like that. But when I saw Reiko’s face, he’s smiling from ear to ear so I thought we’d just go with it and call it a freedom wall. Haha.

      1. I love the idea. I remember watching my nephews stab the dining room table with a spatula and feeling like they were going to get walloped. They didn’t. It was just par for the course in a house of kids. I didn’t realize that’s how it is until I had kids of my own!

  8. Rea! Now you get to see what I go through in reverse! Some days it can be hard and sometimes you do need to get away for a second so I get your husband! I’m glad I’ve found an outlet in things like blogging and crocheting. I’ve been a stay at home mom for almost 3 years now though so hubby is used to it, but in the beginning I bet he thought things like you especially since I was a new mom and I was still getting the hang of taking care of a new baby! 🙂 Great post!

      1. Yes! They do and now I’ve been meeting other moms so I’m excited to have the in person connections with people too to get away and get some adult conversation to break up my days sometimes. 🙂

    1. He had to have loved that. For much of the girls’ younger years, I worked second shift, so I got to go to assembly and be lunch dad. I loved that.

      I bet Frances and Ken have an awesome relationship today as a result.

      1. At some point, my father became a stay at home dad too and I got to spend time with him all day. I grew up as a dad’s girl.

  9. My Dad stayed at home with me. He was awesome! I thought it was strange that other mothers were home growing up. I’d be all, “Where’s your dad?”

    1. That’s awesome! I’ve heard about stay-at-home dads these days struggling with the play date. Like, moms don’t want their little kids over at a friend’s house when dad’s in charge.

      1. I never got to spend time with my dad at all and I turned out okay too! Kinda. But it sure is nice to see fathers spending time with their kids. 🙂

      2. It was a little different in our generation, wasn’t it? Well, mine, anyway. You’re probably not an old Gen Xer like me.

        I believe time with my kids even made me a better guy. I’m pretty fortunate.

  10. As a former stay at home mom for ten years and being back in the workforce for 6… this is a refreshing post. My family has a true appreciation of all the things I took care of when they were at work, school and other events.

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