As long as no one’s reading, I’m going to blog about my feelings!

Its Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

It's Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

The start of school* makes me nostalgic for one of the two happiest times in my life: 12 years ago.

Twelve years ago is when I started working nights on the copy desk of a regional newspaper. What was so great about that? Well, I didn’t have to be at work until 4 p.m., so I got a lot of good quality time with my sons, Charlie and Thomas, who were in fourth grade and first grade.

This was the routine: I would finish work at midnight or 1 a.m., come home, sleep for a few hours, get up, help my boys get ready for school, walk them out to the bus stop, and maybe go back to bed for another few hours. I say “maybe” because I might drive them to school, or go to one of their classrooms and help out, or get just a little sleep and then go have lunch with them at school (we would eat quickly so there was lots of time for them to humiliate me at tetherball). I never got eight hours of sleep (or even six) in a row, but life was beautiful.

The other happiest time in my life: Right now. What’s so great about right now is that I get to have morning quality time with my third son, Jacob, who is in preschool. Mama’s workday starts kind of early, so from about 7 or 7:15 a.m., that kid is all mine.

I don’t have a night job anymore, so I can’t spend half the day with Jacob. In fact, I have to do the drop-off promptly at 8 in order to make an 8:12 train. But we do a lot with the time we have. We might make pancakes or toast, or wrestle, or just talk while we eat cereal. It doesn’t matter exactly what we do. We are just together. Normally, goofing off comes first and I end up rushing through the necessities — making lunches, rinsing the dishes, getting us dressed — and we just barely make it to the preschool on time.

Two days a week, I also get some bonus time with Jacob. My employer is flexible on hours, so my typical work week is 10, 6, 10, 6, 8 (10 hours Monday, six hours Tuesday, etc.). On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I pick up Jacob while my wife does her workout — so we can do whatever we want. We do errands or go to the park or to Super Franks or to the train table in the children’s section at Barnes & Noble.

Sleep deprivation is part of the routine this time, too, but only because my blogging and some miscellaneous editing projects are keeping me up late. And at 43, I feel the effects  more than I used to. Still, sleep or no sleep, the phases of life that provide lots of ‘kid time’ have been the best.

Profound? No.

True? Yes.


* The ‘start of the school year’ is happening around me, not to me. Charlie and Thomas are college men and live in another part of the state. Jacob’s preschool knows no season.

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21 Responses

  1. Darn, someone caught you blogging about feelings! =)

    All I can say is I share them. Amen.

  2. Time with our kids is the best. I have a typical 8-5 job, but I get every afternoon with my son.

  3. I travel for work so I’m away for weeks at a time. I really hate that I’m missing out on time with my kids.

    • Mocha: I feel for you. A while ago, I had a job with frequent travel, and it was really tough on wife and little son. I’ll go read more about you.

  4. Awesome and I’m reading! I try to spend as much time with my daughter. I mostly get nights bc my wife works at night

    • Thanks, Buck. That freedom is so empowering isn’t it? You are the only parent there! Do you and Danni “run while screaming”? (I read your “10 things.”)

  5. Being a relatively quite guy (except online) I never thought I would enjoy talking so much. But when my oldest (almost 4) and I are eating breakfast and chatting, it doesn’t get much better than that.

    I’m glad you get to spend quality time with your little one.

    • Our kids bring out a part of our personality that is lost on other people, I guess. I like following whatever goofy train of thought my kid is on. His imagination is rich at this age (3.5).

  6. That is great that you have that flexibility, the early morning playtime is the best part of my day.

    • Thanks, PJ. There are *so* many days when I don’t want to drop him off.

      I commented and subscribed at RMDM — although I drive a Subaru wagon myself.

  7. BTW, Scott (who hates minivans), you should make friends with PJ at Real Men Drive Minivans. Or are you already acquainted?

  8. It’s great that you have and take advantage of that extra time with your son.

  9. i think it’s great that you can squeeze some quality time in w the kiddos. 🙂 personally, i have thyroid issues so my sleep habits have been seriously whacked lol i will say this, as bored as i get sometimes from being a stay at home, i do stop and think how much i would be missing if i weren’t. my ex husband likes to tell me, in a roundabout way, that i’m a loser for not having a job and taking care of things. that i have to rely on his cs (which let me tell you, he got reduced into half and it’s not even CLOSE to enough to raise two tween girls). he doesn’t get it. but i don’t feel bad when he says these things to me, because when the girls spend time w him, he is asleep all day and at work for the graveyard shift. my girls have been slowly wanting to cut their summertime down w him. from 7, to 4, now they want 3 wks next summer. he doesn’t get it though. ugh.

    • Hi, Ciara. Sorry that you have to deal with co-parenting issues in addition to health issues. A parent only has so much time and energy, right? You seem to have your kids’ needs in focus — good job!

  10. A fellow journalist? Sweet! I’m not a copy editor but I do work the saturday night shift which consists of me as the only reporter working with all the copy desk people. They’re great, definitely a breed unto their own. But you’re right, the weird hours are a blessing for someone who wants to spend a bunch of time with kids. Sleep, however, is another story.

    • Hey, Aaron. I’m sure you are more of a journalist than I was. There were some nice people at a paper who let me try copy editing, and I did OK and progressed into similar and related jobs over a period of a few years. Didn’t stay in the biz, but I really admire people who make it their career, especially in these hard times.

  11. Being a Stay At Home Dad, I am terrified of the day I cant spend time with her…but I will get more sleep 😉

    • I know what you mean. I just dropped my little one off at preschool *and* sent his older brother home on a plane. I am a sad dad right now. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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