Jason Keil

Jason Keil is a writer whose work has been published in the Phoenix New Times, AZCentral.com, Phoenix Magazine, and OnMilwaukee.com. He also co-hosts the podcast What The Fork.

Fatherhood: Week 19-Work From Home

Even after we put our son in daycare, there was a part of me that still wanted to be a stay-at-home dad

I saw myself sitting at my desk typing glorious words about amazing things as Beckett gazed rapturously at me documenting my thoughts. I wanted to be a hybrid of Michael Keaton in Mr. Mom and Robert Redford in All The Presidents Men: doling out love and discipline to my son while chasing down leads. 

Since my wife had to work through a couple of weekends, I got what I wished for...in a way. I could spend some quality time with my son while I got some work done. Maybe there was a way I could still make my dream come true.

There is a part of me that wants to embellish the events that took place, but there are few humorous things to share. Sure, I got peed on, but that is a common occurrence. There were times when my son mistook my man-boobs as a food source, but a bottle filled with breastmilk got him back on track. We listened to records, watched HBO's Hard Knocks and The Get-Down on Netflix, and took some naps. In his waking moments, Beckett needed my attention, so not much writing was accomplished.

The only time things got tough was when I was getting Beckett ready to meet my wife for a get-together at a local Mexican restaurant. It was hard to get the two of us looking sharp, but somehow we pulled it off. As I started our drive, my wife called to say she would be a little late. I just kept driving so he would fall asleep. Once the three of us arrived, we could not stay long. It was frustrating considering all the effort I put in.  We couldn't even bring home dinner, let alone sip a cold margarita.

Reality hit me like a car accident, except this time my car did not suffer any damage. It takes a lot of work and attention to keep my son healthy and happy. The unpredictability of freelance work does not mesh well with the routine that my son is on. While being a stay-at-home dad seemed like a good idea, in theory, I now had a taste of what that role would entail. I did not see myself playing it well. 

I'm glad I found out this way. It beats sitting in my cubicle and wondering what could have been. As Beck continues to get older and becomes more self-sufficient, I may once again revisit the possibility of freelancing from home. Until then, I am not messing with the good thing we've got going.