Thursday, May 8, 2008

things I know about being a stay at home dad

There are so many things I learned about being a stay at home dad. Shannon was born in February, two months early. She weighed just 2lbs. 9 ounces when she came out into this world. She remained in the hospital Neo-Natal Unit for six weeks. Sheila would stay in the hospital for many more months after Shannon was born and came home. I would get up each morning and feed and dress Sam,our two year old daughter. Then we would go up to the hospital where Sheila was and visit her. We would go to the Neo-Natal Unit and the nurses would teach me how to feed and change this tiny baby that was even to small for preemie diapers. I learned how to roll them twice so they didn't hang on Shannon. The nursing staff was wonderful and when Shannon was almost seven weeks old, I brought her home with me to live with my parents and Samantha and I. Sheila remained in the hospital for another 4 months.
Our days now were full. I would get up and feed the girls at seven. We would dress and go to the hospital. Shannon was on an apnea monitor for almost one year until her lungs fully developed. We would spend the day with Sheila, eating our meals at the hospital or fast food and then I would take the girls to my sisters house and go to work at three. I would work until midnight and then swing by the hospital to see Sheila, who had by now spent almost a year in the hospital without coming home. I would get home, {My parents house} and feed Shannon. I would sleep from three a.m. to four a.m. and then wake to feed her again. I would sleep from 5 a.m. until 7 a.m. and then we would start our day again. We lived this life on and off for several years to follow.
How many hats did I have to learn to wear? More than I can count but I know this... Sheila had the tougher job when she was home. I found that my job as a foreman was FAR easier than her job as a "stay at home mom." I had to learn to wear the hat of a Chef. Cooking at least 3 meals a day and really, with snacks and goodies, it was so much more. There was the "fashion" hat, making sure the girls looked nice when they went out. There was the "psychiatry" hat that is worn that enables one to talk about girlfriends that hurt them or boyfriends that might be one day.
Talk about life and love and hurts and smiles. There is of course the friendship hat and the scolding hat to be worn when needed. Sheila cleaned the house and
washed clothes and took care of animals and read stories. There was the "teacher" hat when homework came home and needed to be done.
I had to learn to do all of the things so easily taken advantage of. All I had to do before Sheila went into the hospital and became so sick was go to work and come home. The rest was done by a woman that raised 2 beautiful daughters, took care of the home and became a wife, a Beautiful lover, a best friend and a Mom, while being so sick, took care of me and our daughters in more ways than I ever knew.
This is too All moms and dads that are Stay at home parents. I am writing this to Honor you, appreciate you, and hope that maybe... someone who does NOT know all the things a Mom does at home while we work, will see it and take you out for a well deserved dinner and a movie. Might even get a bubble bath out of it. I hope so...


Anonymous said...

Darrel, you are a true marvel. Being all those different people one must become in order to parent children is just nuts, but required. That you could do it so well on top of the feelings you held about your wife being so ill, is in itself testiment that we will do anything and everything for our families.

It's not an easy thing to be a parent. All parents face times where it can be very, very hard to wake up some mornings and wear all those hats for our children. I've had a few of my own when life has thrown some things my way. You have had more thrown your way than most yet found it in you to come out posative. Not something many can do.

You've been father, mother, friend, confidant, therapist, cheif cook and bottle washer...may I be the first to wish you a Happy Mother's Day, daddy Darrel. Your children had a wonderful mom, but they have one in you, too.


Darrel said...

lets not forget the diapers... lol hugssssss to you sweet lady. your words have made my day and given me more reason to smile than i know how to convey here.
All the hats I wore, sheila still wore them best. SHE was the amazing one to do all she did and hurt so badly and still face every day because she knew life was worth the fight and fight she did. God I love that lady... I would wear every single day for 1000 years just to have her with me again. Just one more minute.
Thank you for your much TOO kind words... I will cherish them forever........ Always I am, Darrel

Moongirl66 said...

really nice post, so true. So many hats, so little time. I did not know all those things about your daughter...amazing what you went through. My son was 5 lbs when he was born, and he was SO TINY the dipers wouldn't stay on...with I woulda known that doubling trick!

Darrel said...

i spent every night at midnight in neo-natal being taught how to care for her because she was sooooooo tiny. It was a blessing all the way through and bonded us for life. thank you for reading this hugsss Always, Darrel

Susan Sonnen said...

What a beautiful family you have!

I hope that you all have a wonderful Mothers Day. I can imagine the memories that will be shared... :)

And thank you for your kind Mothers Day wishes~

Darrel said...

you are so welcome. i hope it is a wonderful day for you. And yes, our thoughts and smiles will come from the memories of a Love for all times. thank you from my heart for reading this. Always, Darrel

Jenaisle said...

An excellent read. It gives other readers pointers and certain significant insights into parenthood.Thanks for posting.

Darrel said...

thank you for reading this and for your encouraging words here.They are greatly appreciated. Always, Darrel

ettarose said...

I can definitely see the love in everyones faces. I am happy to see that.

Darrel said...

thank you my dear friend for reading thi. I am glad that the love and happimess is so evident to you. They are so my life. Always,,Darrel

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