Mr. Mom, the Stone-age Man-
Dad’s Gonna Lose It!
It has been 3 months since my last post on this site and I have missed you guys! At the start of summer I was finishing renovations on our new house after a year of rebuilding it myself and trying to do so before my son’s third birthday. I’m happy to say, while we did not get moved in before his birthday, we did move in the following week and have been enjoying our new home this entire time. Coinciding with us moving in was my wife starting her new job that allowed me to step out of my full-time position for the first time in 10 years.
For the first time I was going to be able to relax and enjoy the fruits of my labor, floating in a sea of tranquility called, unemployment. I would be able to spend the entire summer building things that I wanted, honing my manly blacksmithing and carpentry skills. My web-design skills needed a refresher anyway. Now I would have time to do all this, and still keep the house clean and food on the table.
My wife did not explain that I was moving into a position in politics and antiquated technology. Apparently, for years now, she has been mastering skills that I did not know existed. She has learned to navigate an endless sea of bureaucracy involving doctors, utility companies, insurance and a surprising number of government agencies.
Prior to me moving into her old position of homemaker she did not think to leave an operations handbook. Instead she seems to prefer the tried and true “sink or swim” method of teaching. For the past 3 months I have stammered through phone calls explaining problems to the wrong person and not getting anything accomplished without hours of trial and error and a lot of frustration. While my capabilities as a father were never questioned(keeping the child, healthy and fed, cleaning the home, cooking and shopping for groceries) the clerical side of stay-at-home parenting caught me completely off guard. I never knew what all my wife did to keep this ship afloat all these years. God bless her.
Just use smoke signals…
Coming from a life in management, sales and business I was completely unprepared for the great seas of idiocy that must be navigated in order to accomplish, well, anything. Here’s a fun fact: the first fax machine was invented in 1843. 174 years ago. Did you know there are still companies the REQUIRE information be presented in person or faxed? I could send a document in nearly any file format from my phone via email while talking to someone in real time, but that’s far too efficacious. Instead these different companies and government agencies make you get off the phone, find someplace with a nearly 2 century old piece of history open to the public, send them the information and then call to verify that they have received it.
Meanwhile I could have done the same thing in 30 seconds from my phone, attached a read receipt and known that it was received. I think someone, somewhere has dropped the ball in moving stay-at-home parenting forward with our advancing society. While we are at a level somewhere beyond communication via drums and signal fires I can’t help but feel like a time traveler thrown back in time 50 years. My nice relaxing summer has become the story of Mr. Mom, the Stone-age Man.
All in all this has been an interesting experience and I’m glad I’ve had he opportunity to live through it. My wife didn’t leave a how-to manual, but has been a great resources for information. Maybe I need to treat this like I would any job that I take on and research ways to make my life easier. I haven’t found a survival guide to being a stay-at home parent and not completely losing it when dealing with companies that use centuries old technology, but this guide might be my next purchase! It may not help with stone-age business practices, but if it makes some aspects of life easier and less stressful even this stone-age man can handle a little idiocy in the field of technology. Maybe.
Be sure to check out the rest of DadDoneLostIt.com for more great information, guides and laughs! Also check out Dad’s Gonna Lose It! for more of my misadventures in parenting!
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