Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Transparent Moment--a dad's perspective--returning to work

I received this Transparent Moment from Josh, a friend and fellow blogger, author of Chucking Line and Chasing Tail (an awesome blog on fishing!). Josh and his wife just welcomed their first son, Carson, on November 4th.

The alarm jarred me awake unlike any other I have ever heard.

My wife and my little  one week-old man were sleeping peacefully next to me, and I had to get to work.

There was one thing I wanted to do at that point.  Kick the alarm off the nightstand and snuggle up to my newly completed family.   But of course, I couldn’t.

It’s something that we guys don’t often want to talk about.  The tinge of guilt of having to go back to work.

The week I took off was fantastic bonding time with my new son.  The time he spent on my chest was awesome, feeling his every little breath, his sneezes, his growing strength and robust lung power.  The little dude can cry, that’s for sure.  

As the week progressed I spent time cradling his little head in my lap and watching his little eyes dart around as he took in his new world.   Nicknames started to take hold to our new addition.   He likes to eat, a lot, and people keep telling us how beautiful he is.  We are very proud parents.

I kept telling myself that a week would be enough and I’d head back to work.   The sense of obligation to do a good job at work is driven by my goals of giving my wife the opportunity to stay at home if she wants to.  Working at a 100% commission job, keeping the peddle to the metal is vital.

That means, going back to work before I really wanted to.

And I felt guilty.

I try to replace the guilt by stealing Dad and Son time when I can.  The early 5am feeding time when he and I have the one way conversations where I tell him what I am excited for him in his new life.  The first time I get to pick him up after I come home after slaying dragons all day.  I know I am going to miss a lot whilst at work, but to uphold a life that I see for my family in my minds eye,  I leave as the sun rises and work hard.

Why, because if I let them down….the guilt will be worse.

I am excited to meet this challenge time and time again.

Readers: Are you a working parent, or a stay at home parent (not that you work any less if you stay home!)? If you work outside of the home, how was your first day back to work? How do you deal with the "guilt?" Stay tuned next week for a mom's perspective on back to work after baby.


  1. I don't think my hubby felt guilty, I think he was ready to get the heck out of there! haha. My first born cried sooo much. Any guilt he had was leaving me alone. You sound like a sweet daddy who enjoyed those first weeks of fatherhood, not all do.

  2. Those first 2 weeks while my husband was home was the most perfect, family building time. My easily side-tracked husband (internet, books, sports, internet, internet) was, for the fist time since I met him) focused 100% on our little angel and willing to hold, help, cook, clean or do whatever we needed him to do. It was the best. But life goes on and must resume eventually. Thanks Josh for sharing your raw emotions. Way to go taking care of your family, your wife and son are lucky to have you!