Today was my first day back at work, part time of course, because being away from work for an extended period of time makes it harder to go back to work for a regular period of extended time, especially in the middle of a week. So I tried as I could, getting up early, doing some laundry, changing child and kissing mama good-bye. I packed my bags, walked out the door after petting both cat and dog, and walked to my car. Sounds like a normal adventure in the ponzi scheme of a work-aholic father, though it was anything but.
What I learned today about being a father:
Everything was running smoothly, but what I learned today was that as soon as my butt hit the seat of my car I had already begun to miss my family. Mama is a graduate student studying to be all that she can be, and as the majority bread winner in the family I have to continue to work to provide for the basic need of child and mama which makes work a necessity. I sat in my car and idled in the parking lot of our small, four unit apartment complex and I didn’t want to leave. Thoughts of all the things I was going to miss in this short amount of time rummaged through my mind like lost baggage in an airport. I began to drive myself a little crazy with wishes and dreams of a day when I wouldn’t have to get up to get ready and leave my family, and to say this on my first half-day back makes me wonder how I’m going to get through all of next week when I go back to being full-time plus! I’m scared, nervous, and worried that my work will show signs of distraction or not be as on top of all the things and projects that I have going on in my life.
What I think I know:
Being a work-aholic daddy whose hobbies include running two, tiny, itsy-bitsy businesses while writing frantically trying to finish one of my many masterpieces (that may or may not include short stories, full length novels, screenplays, poetry, and now, of course, this blog) as well as working full-time plus make it hard to find time to get to know your family. Walking out today was difficult knowing that I was going to miss the trials and tribulations of my sons 8th full day of life (where does time go!) even though I had planned to gradually get myself reacclimated at my position over the next two days. I tried to get comfortable at work, readjusting constantly in my chair for a better angle at my cell phone just in case mama calls with some new news of what baby did or to tell me about a poop or pee-pee that we weren’t expecting. I caught myself watching my iPhone, waiting for something to happen, while emails and phone calls and service requests went unanswered.
I like what I do, but being there made me want to be here, at home, even more. I know how hard going back to work can be for mamas, but I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be to go back to work being daddy. I don’t know if others can relate to this, but I also don’t think any of us want to miss what happens next. Unfortunately we have to, and I know that as much as mama missed my support at home today I know that she appreciates my support by continuing to bring home a paycheck.
Do you have any advice for a work-a-home-aholic daddy who struggles to find time just for himself without trying to find time for baby and mama? I appreciate your feedback and insight.