What I’d whisper to our younger selves: “You can’t fix what can’t be fixed but your love, this love, is the foundation on which futures depend. You can do it.” #FASD #Hope
This is post 4 of a 4 part series. To better understand it, you should read part 1, 2 and 3 first.
It is now 2007, I am a consultant. I help non-profits merge technology and best business practices. Life is good. I can support my family, I work from home and I am not an ogre. I change doctors. Big mistake.
My health starts to deteriorate. in 2010, I had my first heart event. I become a stay at home dad. In 2011, I had my first strokes. and heart event 2 and 3. I have new diagnoses. In 2012, I am still a stay at home dad, very active in advocating for our special needs children. My health is reasonably stable, and for the most part, I am happy. Stressed sometimes yes, frustrated sometimes, yes. But happy.
So what is the purpose of these posts? Simple. Don’t wait until a health crisis or two, to realize how important your family is to you.
Children learn from the example presented by their parents. I only have to look as far as my eldest daughter to realize that. Children learn compassion from compassionate people. Children learn affection and proper ways to display affection from affectionate people. Show your children what they mean to you. Be the example they need you to be.
Good or bad, they will follow your lead.
And for those who think my place is in the workforce and not at home… I disagree. I love it at home. If my health was better I would still do this if I had the chance. I am proud to be a stay at home dad.
Thank you for reading.
- Mr. Mom Era: Stay-at-Home Dads Double Over Decade (foxnews.com)
- Stay-at-home dads (miamiherald.com)
- Increase in Stay-at-Home Dads (lawprofessors.typepad.com)
- Stay-at-Home Dads: No More Angst. These Guys Love What They Do (healthland.time.com)
- Stay-at-home dads find their choice admired, not controversial (dailyherald.com)
- Are You Dad Enough? (thespohrsaremultiplying.com)
In order to follow this post, you should read post 1 and 2 first.
My response, and I will never forget this as long as I live was… “school”. I went to school full time, worked full time, and studied in my free time. By this point, we had two kids and my daughter would be over on the weekends.
Moving forward. I got sick in 1999. Very sick. Death bed kind of sick. The doctors transferred me to a different medical center for further care because they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. Before they medivaced me, they told me “you are going to be changing hospitals, before you go, we thought you might say good bye to your kids.”
Talk about a kick in the nuts. I am sorry. Talk about a kick in the gut. At this point, I had a good job, was still in college, we had three kids together and my daughter in the summers. Nothing in the world can prepare you for a statement like that. “say good bye to your kids.”
I got healthier. They diagnosed me. I went home. I reevaluated what was important. School not so much. Work yes. So I substituted a second job for some school time. I worked full time, taught two and three courses a week at the college, and went to school in my free time. Hey, I had to support my family. Right?
about 5 years later, my wife told me I was becoming someone the kids were afraid of. I was angry all of the time. Everything hinged around work, and the next class. I took a step back and evaluated my life again. Together my wife and I decided to give up the good job and concentrate on school and teaching. I love teaching. Then, my position at the college was eliminated. We moved to another community to a house that had space for our family. By this point, my daughter was living with us full-time, and we had our fifth child added to the home in 2002.