In my mind, I was going to get all these projects done around the house. Yard work, painting, clean the garage, it was going to be awesome!

Boy, was I in for an awakening, lol.

Lets just say, I never drank coffee until my son was born.

Before I jump into my fatherhood experiences, let’s back up a bit.  Hi, I’m Andy!

It took me awhile to get some direction after I graduated high school. I went part-time to Community College then ended up taking a year off to work.

I thought maybe I could learn a trade and worked for my Uncle who owned a residential construction business. In the winter when we were framing a house, it was so cold I couldn’t feel my toes at the end of each day. It was at that point I knew I needed to go back to school or be relegated to manual labor for the rest of my life.

I enrolled at Michigan State to pursue a Kinesiology degree. Thanks to a crappy academic advisor, I realized I was going to have to go to Graduate School if I wanted a job related to my degree. It took me 6 years after high school to graduate college. I was burned out on school and didn’t want to fall further into debt with loans.

After bouncing around with some odd jobs, I landed one at a health insurance company in customer service. Maybe one of the worst jobs I’ve ever had!  When you’re fielding 60-70 calls per day with angry customers, it wears on you. Not to mention sitting behind a desk for 8 hours was making me go stir crazy!

Right about the time I was considering going back to Graduate school, my wife got pregnant.

“What are we going to do for Daycare?”

As you all know, Residency pays peanuts and it would have been impossible for me to go back to school AND put a kid in daycare.  Most of my income was going to go to the cost of daycare so there really wasn’t much benefit to me continuing to work.

Like most of us, being a Stay Home Dad was not exactly how I thought my life path would take me. My wife was in her second year of residency when we tossed around the idea of starting a family. Given that my wife had 5 years of her life planned out, we had a window of time to give it a shot and it worked.

I was getting dinner ready one night, my wife came home from work and handed me a small package. There was a pacifier inside.

My mind was elsewhere and when I opened it I gave her a blank stare. “What the heck is this for?”

When she said “I’m Pregnant!, ” It hit me like a ton of bricks.

“Holy Shit! I’m going to be a Dad!”

I am now going to be responsible for raising a human being. Hope I don’t screw it up!

So I made the suggestion “Why don’t I stay home?”

It made sense financially and gave us the option to have a parent stay home since in the long run my wife was going to be the breadwinner.

At first, I was a little nervous, but then I started to come up with all kinds of great plans.

In my mind, I was going to get all these projects done around the house. Yard work, painting, clean the garage, it was going to be awesome!

Boy was I in for an awakening, lol.

Lets just say, I never drank coffee until my son was born. He was literally 5 years old before he consistently slept through the night. Caffeine was necessary just to survive.

When my daughter came along, it was worse. Both up at night but at different times. My wife (being an OB) did a lot of call so I was the one to get up at night so she could sleep. I think my lack of sleep and constantly having 3 things going on at the same time without ever completing one from start to finish gave me ADD.

I never appreciated sleep so much after our kids finally started sleeping through the night.

After a lot of planning and discussion, we decided I would stay home for at least 1 year to see how it went. 13 years later I’m still here and I wouldn’t have traded it for anything.

Yes it was very difficult, but when I look back at all the struggles, as a parent it was totally worth it.

Staying home has given me a found interest in cooking and I love trying new recipes. I’m no artist but it gives me somewhat of an artistic outlet.

I am pretty domesticated and proud of it! I would put my ironing skills up against anyone and my vacuum lines have perfect symmetry. I’ll never get an award for what I’ve done but watching your kids grow into fine young adults is better than any plaque I would hang on my wall.

I’ve been there for all our kids firsts.

  • First Steps
  • First Words
  • Parties
  • Piano Recitals
  • Soccer Games
  • Tennis Matches
  • Field Trips
  • I’ve been able to coach their teams and be involved with school activities

The list goes on and on.

Staying home is thankless work. It’s a different kind of stress. When you’re sleep deprived, dealing with tantrums, trying to get stuff done around the house all while making sure the kids stay alive, it wears on you.

I can recite almost every Baby Einstein video. In fact, my son recently started playing a piece by Mozart. When he plays it, it immediately throws me back to the days of trying to keep the kids entertained for 30 minutes just so I could have a breather!

Thankfully, I have a very supportive wife who appreciates everything I do. She knows it’s hard work but it gives her peace of mind knowing that we get to raise our kids on our terms instead of someone else’s.

People will occasionally ask me if I ever plan on going back to work?

Not anytime soon.

The older our kids get, the busier they get with sports and school activities. When they were younger, I had to worry about schedules for naps, feedings, etc. Now I just worry about where I need to drive them around to. I play referee and taxi service more than anything.

Health and fitness has always been a big part of my life. I used to do a little personal training on the side and I have a small support group on Facebook. Just enough to scratch that itch.

I’ve also been learning how to do internet marketing and grow an online business which is beginning to take off.  I’ve been able to tie my love of traveling with my love of helping people find great deals, while still being available for my family!  Visit https://info.andrewjblake.com to learn more about how I can help you travel to great locations at a fraction of the price!

If I were to get a 9-5 job, it would just add to the stress my wife already has with work. One thing I’ve learned is that flexibility within the dynamics of the house is a huge bonus.

Being a SAHD is not for everyone but if you’re considering it, give it a try. Through all the sleepless nights, diaper blow outs, vomit, tantrums, and other frustrations, the smiles from your kids are totally worth it!