I just past the three-month mark of being a stay-at-home dad. To commemorate this, I thought I would steal a page from my old world and write my version of a Quarterly Business Review or Quarterly Dad Review (QDR) in this case. I’ll run through what went well, what needs to be improved upon, and what my plan is for the next couple of months.
Before I start with my QDR here are some random thoughts I’ve gathered through the last three months.
- Being a stay-at-home parent, there is no boss, no job description, and the only one who can define what success looks like is you.
- Make the bed; it’s an easy win.
- If you’re not sure what to do, go clean some bottles, there’s always at least 1 to wash
- Don’t be afraid to venture out. Sure everything takes longer with twins, assembling the stroller, clipping babies in, etc., but who cares, you don’t have anywhere else to be.
- No matter how early you think you can get up to beat the rest of the family, there is a baby who will get up earlier.
By the numbers
Since I’m a numbers guy, here are some interesting data points from my first three months.
- 1262 diapers changed
- 930 bottles washed
- 652 miles walked
- 85 loads of laundry
- 16 pounds lost – Thanks Bessie
- 7 pounds gained – Thanks prednisone
What's Gone Well?
Aside from the few medical complications, SAHD Life has been great, and I have been thoroughly enjoying it. I love getting to spend time with my boys, watch them grow, and learn new things. They always make me laugh, smile, and yawn quite a bit.
The most significant victory of the first three months has been establishing a schedule and trying hard to stick to it. As I talked about in my typical day, two naps anchor the schedule and set the rhythm. When I wake up, I have a small list of things to accomplish, whether it be laundry, mowing the yard or grocery shopping, but the schedule and solid naps are the key to accomplishing anything.
Defining success as a SAHD is something I struggled within the first week or two. I would find myself asking “what should I be doing now,” and just wandering, unsure what to do next and feeling like I hadn’t done much. I quickly realized that a successful day is what you make it. In addition to the Dad duties, if you need to get three loads of laundry done, buy groceries, and make dinner, focus on that, and knock it out. That is a good day in my book.
Before I started SAHD Life, I always had the hopes that I wouldn’t be afraid to get out of the house with the crew. Staying at home is simple, and with little effort, you can sit on the floor and play peek-a-boo and make your way through the day. This routine gets old fast, and you quickly lose your mind without regular human interaction.
This adventure can be slightly daunting with twins as you can’t easily and safely carry both at the same time, so you always need a stroller to go anywhere. You figure it out though and get into a flow. People open doors and usually help you out. Even if its the cashier at Whole Foods, you get some adult conversations throughout the day.
What needs some work?
While I’ve been excited about how the first three months have gone, there are some areas where I fell short.
I’ve yet to find another stay-at-home dad, and I haven’t had any interaction with a stay-at-home parent (mom or dad). I joined the Chicago Dad’s Group, but I haven’t attended a single event or posted a comment. The lack of adult interaction can take its toll after a while.
The twins are now almost ten months old and are soaking up the world like a sponge. It’s time to move past simple playtime and start teaching them new things. Also, since they have begun to eat solids, I’ve been able to nail down the simple basics like apples and bananas, but I need to expand my recipes into full meals with proteins, etc.
What's the plan for the months to come?
Here are my goals for the next few months. Hopefully each one of these can turn into a blog post or two.
- Attend a Chicago Dad’s Group event.
- Its so important to find a community to establish a friend base.
- Start a Stay-at-home Dad’s group for my town.
- There is absolutely nothing aside from the Chicago Dad’s group for SAHD’s to find each other. You can find a page for a mom’s group in every suburb but nothing at all for SAHD’s.
- Start incorporating sign language into our daily routine with the twins.
- “More”, “All-Done!”, “Love” are all super simple signs we can teach the twins.
- Establish a meal plan for the twins.
- This is way to ad hoc at the moment and needs to be formalized.
So there you have it, my first QDR. I’ll keep you updated on the status of my goals, but I think I have to wash some bottles right now.