Tuesday, May 30, 2006
I've resisted the urge to create a blog for some time now, as the whole idea seemed like scanning and distributing pages of a private journal. But, after almost two years now of being a stay-at-home dad, I've become so starved for an intellectual and creative outlet that I decided to give it a try. My blog is titled STL Homeboy for no better reason than I really dislike the SAHD acronym for us macho domestic types - I'm not sad and I don't want my acronym to make me appear sad. STL Homeboy works because I live in St. Louis and my work is at home raising my daughters. Plus, the name gives me that much needed street-cred with this generation I'm raising. (Really, I should be STL Geekboy.) My runner-up blog name was "I juggle babies," but I'd be afraid of the kind of readers that would attract. I have two daughters: Clara turns two this August and Kate is four months. I'll post a couple of pictures, but I don't intend this blog to be a daily catalog of what Clara said that day or how many times Kate rolled over. Rather, the blog will be more about me, what challenges I face and their rewards, things I think are cool and want to share, and what random thoughts pass through my brain as I'm trying to ignore the fact that we're watching the Sesame Street where Big Bird gets shrunk for at least the hundredth time.
Newsweek reported that there are 147,000 stay-at-home dads caring for 268,000 kids under 15. Stay-at-home-dads are nothing new, and if my wife and I were still living in the California Bay Area I don't think I'd be a novelty, but in St. Louis I'm still amazed at the reaction I get when people find out this is my job. It's equal parts impressed and apologetic: "Really? Wow, that's wonderful" but with a look that says "you poor, poor man." Men over fifty who have realized the time they missed with their own kids are the most interested, as if they could relive the early years of their own children vicariously through me. And then there are the men my age, who somehow equate what I do with a vacation from work: "Oh man, I wish I could do that. I would golf every day!" The most common comment (twice today) is directed at the girls: "Is today your day with daddy?" Since the question isn't directed at me, I don't answer. I'll have to teach Clara to answer with "you're dumb." On a shopping trip last month Kate was crying and Clara was being especially demanding and obstinate, and the look on my face must have advertized that I wished I was anywhere in the world but there. A woman working behind the fish counter said to me, "Kind of makes you wonder how mom does it every day, doesn't it?" I just kept walking, and while the look on my face remained, it was now on account of a different person.
So welcome to my blog. I'll try to update it often so keep checking back. If you feel like it, you can make comments about the posts. Thanks for reading.
By the way, Clara and I were featured in St. Louis Commerce Magazine back when she was 3 months old: http://www.stlcommercemagazine.com/archives/february2005/dads.html