Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mr. Mom

So I just got handed this computer and told to write about my, Jeremy, journey thus far as a stay-at-home dad.  I must admit, I haven't been alone with them too many times.  My mother has been good enough to come up most of the days that Sarah has worked and helped me out.  On the longer stints, I have taken the boys down to my parents.  I have, however, a few days of it being just me and the boys.

I will begin with the fact that I can only do this because I don't have to work.  That doesn't mean I don't want to work, but it just happened to work out that it would be best for me to stay at home with the boys.  Most of this is because my degree has yet to give me any return on my extremely large investment (If you want to make money out of college, get your degree in something other than Bible.  At this point, it seems that art and philosophy would grant an easier list of job opportunities).  I digress.  This was difficult at first, because I like to work.  This is mainly because I like the relationships that are built by working beside people.  That is what I miss the most.  On the other hand, I have never felt so much pride in what I do on a day-to-day basis as I do now at home with my boys.

The trick to taking care of twins by yourself is by retaining control.  This is done by getting them on a schedule so as to easily predict and control their feeding and sleeping times.  Our boys take food roughly every three hours.  Their naps usually last forty-five minutes, and they spend about 2-2 1/2 hours awake to play and eat.  The problem with this schedule is that at the beginning of the day, the boys are both hungry.  This is where you have to guess which one is hungriest, feed him first, and ignore the other one that decides he can't go without food three minutes into a feeding and proceeds to cry his head off until it is his turn.  Once he does eat, the next hurdle is the first nap.  Again, you find the most tired and try to put him down quick.  This usually sets up the schedule for the whole day.

Recently, however, Judah has decided that he doesn't want to sleep. . . ever!  So when he is tired and ready for sleep, it is usually easier to rock Foxx to sleep and let Judah cry away, as he will until he's worn himself out whether I am holding him or not.

The rest of the day I am usually playing with them on the ground, or rotating them through their various swings, seats, and toys that they have.  The hope is that they won't get bored with all of their stuff and be happy throughout the day.  (Again, recently this hasn't worked as Judah has taking up pitching fits as his favorite passed time.)

The hard part comes at the end of the day.  You see, they both get tired at 6:30.  This is when we usually give them baths, feed them, and rock them to sleep.  I can't do that.  It has worked out that way, but the last time I did that Foxx fell asleep in his pack-n-play while screaming.  I was rocking Judah to sleep upstairs.  While I hated letting Foxx cry so much, it was kind of nice being able to pick him up and lay him in his crib without having to fight him fighting sleep.

At the end of the day I am more tired than I ever was throwing 100 80lb bags of concrete in the back of a truck 10 times a day for 8 hours while working at the Home Depot.  I clean up just as much poo as I did while working in the Neuro ICU at Vanderbilt in a job whose primary job description was cleaning up poo.  I also don't get any adult conversation.  All of this would usually mean that I hate my life and want to go back to work, but I don't.  There are rare days where I would rather be working.  The truth is that I love my job right now.  I don't know how long it will last.  It could last up until they are in kindergarden, or depending on the final count of children, it could be much much longer.  I guess I hope that it lasts a long time, because even if I do ever get to use my degree I'm sure it will never be as fun or rewarding as being a house husband.

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