From Stay-at-Home Dad to Deadbeat Dad...
Well, sort of...maybe...not really, but it feels like it these days.
In August, I went back to work for the first time in 16 months. Only this time, I was not returning to the vacuous life of a financial advisor, I was taking a whole new approach to the employment endeavor. You see, after 4 years in finance (and 14 months of being a stay-at-home dad), I realized that if I were to go back to work, I wanted to come home each day from a job that would make my son (and wife) proud.
Now my wife would most certainly be proud of any job that made me happy and paid the bills...or at least helped to pay the bills. But in the world of finance, I felt that I was failing to provide the proper example for my son. Sure, taking care one's family by providing for them financially is great and all, but what about society? I could always concoct some altruist tale filled with the normal bullshit fed to the American public: I am helping people plan for a comfortable retirement or I help families build wealth...blah, blah, blah.
After 4 years in the business, I know that this is all marketing “new speak” for, “Sure, I'll bend you over just like the next guy, but you might just get a reach-around from me.” So, I went a whole new direction.
I want my son to be able to say, “My daddy makes a difference.” (Now, if you are lucky enough to be able to stay-at-home...mommy or daddy...YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE EVERYDAY!) So I have decided to become a crime-fighter. At 35, I am one of the oldest recruits in my Police Academy class, but I am also in the top 5 of my class physically and academically. Why law enforcement? Why not? I feel that I am healthy enough and level-headed enough to do a job that most people would not give a second thought about. There are people out there everyday that need a little good to come there way, and that is what I want to do. I want to bring the calm to chaos. I am not qualified to give spiritual, medical or academic guidance, but I can train (for the next 8 months...the length of the academy) to be there when people need help.
So why the, “Deadbeat dad” crack? My academy runs from 8am to 5pm Monday-Friday...not too bad. However, the academy is 40-60 minutes away (depending on traffic) and an early physical training session is held Mon-Wed-Fri which starts at 6am. So I leave my house at 5:15am and get home a little after 6:00pm (sometimes as late as 7:00pm) and have to hit the books after my son goes to bed at 7:30pm.
My wife is my hero, as she does EVERYTHING for him (and I) throughout the week, while maintaining her own full-time job.
I now find myself spending only 60 minutes each day with the boy that consumed my every waking hour for the past year.
I think about him all the time, and hope that this is all worth it.