Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Welcome



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

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am a freind of Joels who wishes I had the ability to put things into words like him. I am amazed contiunally by him. I only hope I can walk through life and never make a comment that would warrent a "you're dumb" from my favorite child! I also wish this thing had spell check.

Anonymous said...

I read somewhere recently that a SAHP should earn the equivalent of $130k in wages for the work that they do. Sounded kinda low to me. Having Joel as a dad would be priceless...
-tb

Anonymous said...

I wish I could stay at home and take care of my daughter. Wow, would my golf game improve. Err wait a minute. I don't like child care or golf. OK, Joel, it's all you!

Keep the cards and letters coming.

-D

Carrie DeGuire said...

Hi Joel. I love your blog! Keep the updates and pictures coming. We miss you guys.

Carrie (& Colin)

Anonymous said...

We are happy that Joel has found an outlet for his writing. We always look forward to reading what he writes. He has some wonderful "brother" stories. Maybe he can share those too! Keep writing cuz we will keep reading! Dave and Chris

Anonymous said...

To satisfy my craving for information about you and the girls, you would have to blog all day, every day, which would most likely lose you the Homeboy designation. This is a good compromise. You can keep your stay at home dad title and still whet my appetite for Saint Louis Information. I look forward to your "musings" about the people I love.
Grandma

Anonymous said...

Joel,
I can't wait to go golfing with you! Just kidding! We love your blog and can't wait to read more! Count us in on the email. Scott and Erika

Anonymous said...

Joel,
Great Blog! I passed your blog along to my son and his wife who are expecting their first in September. My son has talked about being a "Milwaukee Homeboy" so we'll have to see. You may have someone to mentor. The pics have strong family resemblances! Say...that's not a Red Sox hat in that fishing picture is it?? And by the way, what was the limit?
Take care,
Ron

Anonymous said...

This is such a great outlet for you. I enjoyed reading your first blog and I look forward to many more. I miss you all and this is a great way to keep the Cali family in the loop. It was really great seeing you in November and I can't wait for next time!
Lots of love, Danille

Anonymous said...

This is such a great outlet for you. I enjoyed reading your first blog and I look forward to many more. I miss you all and this is a great way to keep the Cali family in the loop. It was really great seeing you in November and I can't wait for next time!
Lots of love, Danille