Gamer With Job

I have nothing to say about video games here. 

Today is a hard day for me.  It is my last day as a stay-at-home dad.  When IÂ've talked on this topic in the past IÂ've tried to have something clever to say, or some anecdote to make, or at least tied my thoughts awkwardly into the illusion of a general point.  IÂ'm not so sure IÂ've got that this time.  In the end being a stay-at-home dad is not at all what I thought it would be, though it was both better and worse, and a year later maybe my experience has some value.

Tomorrow I return to the world of the gainfully employed; the specifics of my employment being the topic for another time.  My wife, who has been the right-hand (wo)man at a design and print shop for five years now, will be embarking on an adventure all her own, returning home to take care of our son and working freelance graphic design.  IÂ've said in the past that freelance is just another word for unemployed except in the most rare of circumstances.  This is such a circumstance.

The why of the whole thing is a tricky beast.  There is no simple answer as to why weÂ'd risk throwing our personal worlds into upheaval and shake the firm foundation weÂ've built, though I think we both knew on the day my wife returned to work from her maternity leave that a change was inevitable.  Some people have the facilities to Â"just get overÂ" leaving their newborn for the workplace.  Some people are in a position where they have no choice but to Â"just get overÂ" it.  In the end, my wife fit neither category.  So thatÂ's part of the answer right there; when someone you care for wants something that bad you just make it happen. 

But being a stay-at-home dad is no simple thing itself.  I know many fathers are envious of the opportunity, and I donÂ't want to diminish the rewards in the least, but it is at times a very isolating experience.  The resources aren't in place to support and encourage the stay-at-home dad.  The parks and playgrounds are filled with stay-at-home moms that would certainly give vocal approval to the idea, but naturally keep their distance.  I had no friends who were stay-at-home dads to fall back on, or with whom to get the kids together.  Make no mistake, I loved spending time with my son, but for months now itÂ's just been him and me.  Truth is, thatÂ's not doing either of us any good.

IÂ'm proud of the work IÂ've done in helping craft a little boy who smiles all the time, who is interested in the world, and who explores with an enthusiasm I envy on every level.  IÂ'm not necessarily taking credit for that, as itÂ's probably a function of being an eleven-month old, but I will pat myself on the back for not getting in the way of his natural development.  But, IÂ'm glad to see my wife take the helm, glad that weÂ've never had need to put him in daycare, glad that she will have the resources to expose him to kids his own age, glad that weÂ'll both have a social circle, glad that things are working out the way they probably should have to begin with.  My wife deserves this chance.  She put me through school and gave me this past year, so IÂ'm grateful to be able to repay her with time.

So I return to work tomorrow.  What will that mean for GWJ?  Almost nothing.  IÂ'll still be exorcising random thoughts onto the web, still be playing games when I find the time, and still be using a cascade of polysyllabic words where simplicity would suffice.  But, for now, IÂ'm going to stop here and spend what remains of the day with my son.

- Elysium


Glad to hear you still get to avoid that accursed day care. That was the first thing I thought of when I read the teaser. Welcome back to the land of the working stiffs, Elysium. May God Have Mercy On Your Soul!

Well good luck. Hopefully the job turns out to be a good one. After raising your child for a year it'll probably be hard to find something even remotely as rewarding.

Good luck, Elysium. A tear in my eye as I remember the day I went back to work. I was a victim/beneficiary of the dotcom boom and bust, and was unemployed for the first 6 months of my son's life. Financially, I had some buffer, so was a very lucky man to get hit with layoffs timed just right to allow me to have made some cash while leaving me "stuck" at home with my little Ducki prince.

Going back to work is hard, and I'd like to say it gets easier, but I can already tell that it won't matter. You'll go to work because it needs to be done. Being a grown-up sucks, but I'd rather dread going to work so I can look forward to his squeal of joy when I return home than to never have the opportunity.

And now, my own rendition of a "classic" rock ballad.

Eeeeeevvvv-ry rooooose has it's thoorrns, just like eeeeeeev-ry night has it's daaaaa-uh-aaa-haaaaawn......

Sorry. I feel for ya, man. Kudos for doing what needs to be done, though.

One thing that seems very cool about this is that you and your wife will be able to empathize with one another on both home and office experiences. My wife is a stay-at-home mom for the time-being. And althoguh we do an excellent job of communicating about the joys & frustrations of our respective day-jobs, there is always that slight tension -- like I worry that she thinks I'm goofing off all day at work (*cough* GWJ *cough* ) and she worries that I don't understand how difficult her job is...

I told myself 15 years ago that I'd rue the day when Poison or GnR or Crue or etc. would be considered classic rock. Whelp, I'm rueing.


I would do anything in my power to keep my wife at home with my son. So congratulations on being able to make that happen.

Oh and good luck on finding a job. Thats nothing short of amazing in this day and age.

*Yeah I screwed that up...should have been good job on finding a job...*

Tomorrow I return to the world of the gainfully employed; the specifics of my employment being the topic for another time.
Oh and good luck on finding a job. Thats nothing short of amazing in this day and age.

Already done!

I no longer look up to you. My hero is dead.

Good luck with the new job!

I too was lucky enough to have my son at home and away from daycare. There is just something missing when your child is raised by someone other than his/her parents.

He is now in his second week of preschool and loving every moment of it (to the point where I have to practically drag him out of there to come home.)

Suffice it to say, congratulations and my sympathies.

Alas, it is the end of an era. So passes Elysium, stay-at-home-dad, and Elysium-the-gainfully-employed is born.

I like to imagine that someday I'd have the chance to be a stay-at-home dad but it'll never happen. Right now I'm our sole income while my wife goes to school. By the time she finishes school and we start having kids, I'll still have to work (short of winning the lottery). We do what we have to for food, shelter, and video games.

good luck on your new job. I don't have a kid, but I can see that this is quite a step for both of you. Hope everything goes well.

Well, congrats and good luck!

Your war is over, Mr. Sands. The bums lost!

My wife is a teacher and after her maternity leave she had to go back and finish the school year (about a month and half). It just about killed her. I missed a ton of work staying home or working from home whenever I could but our little girl still ended up in dare care a fair amount of the time. It's great place but it's not home and not us so you can't help but hate it a bit. So, I sold a bunch of stock and we did some Wheeling and dealing and refinanced, now my wife is working part time only and that is going MUCH better. Next year we will be talking about shooting for not at all... but she has a lot of her self identity tied to being a teacher and I'm honestly not sure it would be a good shift to drop it all togather...
But I ramble, welcome back to the work force, only cry when no one is looking and drink lots of beer.

Good luck.

I was a stay-at-home dad for the first two years of my sons life. Then back to work full time while my son went to daycare (oh the guilt). After six months I was laid off due to an office relocation. Now I'm a stay-at-home dad again. Hope it works out well for you.

Good luck!

Luck, shmuck. Why is everyone wishing good luck to Ely when said luck must better be wished to his wife instead!

Speaking of his job. Please, please, tell me it's not another "area Gamestop employee" career entry!!!!

Good luck and take care.

Best of luck.....thanks for the insights and commentary over the years....

Good luck to you!

haha i know what his job is. Fear my powerful knowledge!

asands2 wrote:

haha i know what his job is. Fear my powerful knowledge!

You aren't his pimp, are you?

hubbinsd wrote:
asands2 wrote:

haha i know what his job is. Fear my powerful knowledge!

You aren't his pimp, are you?


Welcome back to the Race...