The blog that nobody asked for has finally arrived! The life and times of one Gregory John Tysowski… just a small town girl, living in a lonely world.
Actually, I’m just a small town boy from Porcupine Plain, Saskatchewan, now living in Calgary, and doing his very best not to screw up his primary responsibility of raising two semi-wonderful kids… one tweeny boy and one uber-teen girl. My partner in crime in this joint venture is my wife, Lianne, who brings home all manner of bacon. This has allowed me to shape the lives of our two children, hoping against hope I’m doing less harm and more good.
This wasn’t always the way of the world. Let’s rewind the clock a couple of decades to what many people would call “the good ol’ days”. For seven years of heaven, Lianne and I were a young married couple… busy enjoying the life we now wistfully look back on. There were dinners at nice restaurants and lunches on patios. Living a few blocks away from the movie theatre meant we saw almost every film worth seeing, year after year. We both love to travel, and we took full advantage of our childless status to see the world. Trips to Hawaii, Italy, Spain, Scotland and Indonesia were highlights of our early married life. And the sleep! My God, do I remember those glorious weekends of sweet, sweet slumber.
Why would anyone mess with that? We had a good racket going, but we inexplicably decided to throw it all out the window – for this:
So, how did we get from the promise of endless happiness to me holding two unhappy, squirmy/screaming kids for a photo nobody wanted?
It was the early aughts. Believe it or not, there was once a time when I made an honest living, working in the advertising department of Canada’s biggest sports retailer. Lianne had successfully climbed her way up the ladder at her law firm and had just made partner.
Our collective paternal/maternal instincts suddenly and simultaneously burst to the forefront, and it became apparent we both wanted to be parents. But, only one of us was endowed with a ticking biological timepiece. There was a growing feeling that Lianne only had a relatively small window for ripe baby-making conditions, so we started having discussions about if we should do it, why we should do it and when we should do it. I figured we likely had the how and where parts covered.
We actually both had jobs that could be crazy busy, and the thought of raising a newborn in that environment was rather daunting for both of us. Logistically, there were many questions about what would happen after Lianne took her maternity leave. The idea of both of us working our deadline-laden jobs while fighting over which one of us would try to pick up the baby from a day home at 5:00 p.m. seemed out of the question. Who was going to raise this kid?
Was a nanny the answer? We knew a few families that had live-in help and, while we could afford the expense, we weren’t sold on the idea of someone who wasn’t family being the primary caregiver of our child. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! I always say, to each his own, and each family has to do what is best for their situation. I’ve seen firsthand how a nanny can truly become a part of the family, but we simply didn’t think it would suit our lifestyle.
The final solution stemmed from evaluating our respective job situations. Lianne’s annual income completely dwarfed mine, meaning there was nothing short of me cooking meth that would garner a salary that could even come close to hers. So, I decided that continuing my relatively low-paying career just wasn’t enough for me to put the brakes on our grand plan to expand our operation. I was going to exit the workforce and enter the homefront… as a man for all seasons, a man’s man if there ever was a man, a man who would forever reshape the fine art of stay-at-home fatherhood. Just call me Dad@Home.
Over 12 years later, I’m still doing the job. And we even managed to get at least one photo where nobody is crying.
Welcome to Dad@Home, where I will be talking about my experiences as a stay-at-home father, both past and present. I’ll also look to the future and muse about what awful situations my kids are bound to put me in. Oh… I almost forgot, MY BOOK! Hey, I wrote a book, ya’ll… and you people are going to hear so much about it you’ll wish you were dead.