For those who missed the news on Facebook last week, I left my full-time job at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to become a stay-at-home Dad and blogger.
It was a difficult decision to leave the paper after 26 years, but I found this advice from my wife to be compelling: “You can keep running the same route you’ve always run because you know where all the bathroom stops are; or you can go check out the new trail.”
I'm a sucker for sporting metaphors when making major life decisions.
If all goes well, I will successfully nurture twin daughters and Off the Couch over the long run.
Please be patient. Dirty dirty diapers take precedent over sweaty running shorts, and I’m still perfecting the talents needed to type one-handed while burping a baby. Look for an occasional fatherhood experience mixed in with the posts on bike rides, ski races and training plans.
This is what came out of the keyboard on day one from the home couch.
It’s hard to get work done when you’re having work done. Not that they were a huge distraction, but the guys blowing insulation into the 104-year-old walls of our house/office made a serious racket, outdoing the girls in full squawk.
Stripping, drilling, blowing and hammering resonates through this old house. Plus, being largely incapable of doing such work, I kept wanting to check out how they were doing what they were doing.
I’ve had bigger distractions in the newsroom, of course. The occasional “name that artist” soul music sing-along comes first to mind. Those lasted until someone performed a successful Google Search. The insulation clatter went on all day.
I quickly realized on day one of my stay-at-home Dad life, that the toughest adjustments will be internal. I am a creature of habit. I’ve eaten a sandwich and a bowl of soup for lunch in the Journal cafeteria roughly 3,500 times in the last 15 years, sitting alone, in the same seat, reading the sports section and comics.
Fellow reporters gazed in awe (and nervousness) at my file cabinets, their contents and order. Our dining table and chairs now serve as my temporary file system. It’s unnerving to be so disorganized.
I did go for a run on my usual route. Probably the first time I hit the pavement at 2 p.m. on a Monday. Thankfully, my significant body functions made the necessary adjustment. It’s a start.