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My week as a single dad

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single dad stay at home dad

This was only Day 2…

About a month ago, I met Glen from Parenting Family Money at a local blogger meet up. He’s not local, but he was taking an extensive tour of Portland. We talked a bit and he asked if I ever had days where being a stay at home dad/blogger is more difficult than working full time. My answer was – “Not yet, but I only have one kid.” (Glen has 3 kids.) Of course, I had just quit my job for about a month back then and I was sure there would be more trials and tribulations to come. Well, that trial is here.

Mrs. RB40 is out of town for a whole week!

I’m home alone with baby RB40 this week and this week has been a lot more difficult than an average work week. Being a single stay at home dad (SAHD) is a huge step up from being a SAHD. To the casual observer, it might not seem like a big difference because I’m spending the same amount of time with baby RB40. However, the working spouse really helps relieve the pressure once she gets home. The kid can spend some time with his mom and I can take a little breather. This week, being a dad was 24/7 and I didn’t have any time to myself while he’s awake, which was almost all the time.

single dad stay at home dad

Locked on!

The biggest problem I had was when I was cooking. The little guy would let me work in the kitchen for about 10 minutes before getting agitated. Unfortunately, I need a little more time to cook a meal. It’s tough to finish cooking with a screaming, crying kid hanging on to your leg, doing an alligator back-bend maneuver. *Ding Ding Ding* Here is a Shark Tank idea. How about a screaming doll that you can lock on to your leg? It will auto-release in 30 minutes. That should scare off some kids from having unprotected sex.

Mrs. RB40 is also our chief editor and doesn’t have her laptop with her. I apologize for my grammatical errors this week. Editing is somewhat difficult at midnight, but I’m giving it my best. She’ll edit this weekend.

The Terrible Twos

Baby RB40 is 19 months old now and he has been throwing a lot of tantrums recently. This is normal, but it’s tough for everyone involved. He was such a nice little guy from 12 to 18 months old and now he is such a little punk. He’s throwing a tantrum every time he doesn’t get what he wants. For example, he watches the Muppets on YouTube while I work for about half an hour in the morning. He used to be OK when I quit, but now he wants to keep watching and throws his first morning tantrum when I close the laptop. Little things like this add up to many tantrums over the day. It really wears you down.

Hats off to single parents

I don’t know how a single mom/dad does this day in, day out. It’s exhausting! Anyway, Mrs. RB40 will be back Friday afternoon and we can’t wait until she walks in the door.

Anyone care to share their experience with being a temporary single parent? I know I shouldn’t complain because this is only temporary, but at least now I understand the challenges of the single parents more.

News Flash: Oh man, our internet was down today (no Muppets) and the little punk threw a huge tantrum when I was on hold with Comcast. He wanted to play with my cell phone and I wouldn’t let him since I was on hold. The wifi router bit the dust. I had this one for about 6-7 years so I guess it’s time for a new one. Only a few hours left….

single dad stay at home dad

It wasn’t all bad. We had a lot of fun too.

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{ 29 comments… add one }

  • William @ Drop Dead Money September 21, 2012, 2:21 am

    All of a sudden you understand why fast food joints cater to young families, right? :)

    • retirebyforty September 21, 2012, 12:38 pm

      Yuk… I won’t be able to eat at fast food places everyday. :(

  • SavvyFinancialLatina September 21, 2012, 7:42 am

    Kudos! Don’t know if I could raise a child even with my hubby lol.

    I am almost a decade older than my brother, and I had to help a lot while growing up. Totally turned me off from having kids. LOL I still help out! :)

  • Lance@MoneyLife&More September 21, 2012, 10:58 am

    Well good news is it isn’t a permanent situation! Kids scare me, well having them at least. A ton of responsibility for sure!

  • Sean @ One Smart Dollar September 21, 2012, 11:44 am

    We are having our first child next month and I am fully expecting this to be what our house looks like the first time my wife leaves for a day much less an entire week.

  • Soso@SafeInvesting September 21, 2012, 11:57 am

    The most difficult job ever, parenting. I have 2 and I still hate it when daddy is away. Your little guy misses his mom. They are like that. All the best in the few hours you have together.

  • Jeff @ Sustainable Life Blog September 21, 2012, 12:48 pm

    sounds like you had a crazy week joe! Glad it’s friday and ms rb40 should be back and everything will be back to normal!

    • retirebyforty September 22, 2012, 7:45 am

      Mrs. RB40 is back! Yay!

  • krantcents September 21, 2012, 2:35 pm

    If you had to do it all the time, you would have a better routine. There lies the problem to occasional single parenting. You thrust into an unfamiliar situation and you must cope.

    • retirebyforty September 22, 2012, 7:46 am

      I guess you are right, but I can’t see myself doing it with no help at all. It’s crazy.

  • The Investment Fiduciary September 21, 2012, 5:04 pm

    I work from my home office as well. Luckily I have a nanny. When she is not, I have found an iPad would work magic.

    • retirebyforty September 22, 2012, 7:46 am

      A nanny would be great, but it’s not in our budget right now…

  • Michelle @ See Debt Run September 21, 2012, 7:49 pm

    Aww Joe! I feel ya. When Jeff is out of town, I’m so exhausted I could cry. Being a stay at home parent is hard, but at least you get to step away for a few when your partner in crime gets home. I know exactly how you feel! Hey, if you ever need help with editing and your wife is busy or out of town, I do all of Jeff’s editing as well! It would be no problem at all! Have a good weekend. Don’t worry about the messes or the laundry or even cooking super nutritious meals…just have fun with your little man!

    • retirebyforty September 22, 2012, 7:47 am

      Thanks for the offer! I will take you up on that. :)
      We’re back to normal today. He doesn’t mind the laundry, it’s just the cooking that made him mad for some reason.

  • Aloysa @My Broken Coin September 21, 2012, 7:57 pm

    I got exhausted and agitated myself by the end of this post. Kudos to you, Joe. I have no idea how you are handling all of this. You are my hero. I, most likely, would run out of the house, screaming. Good Luck and keep us updated.

    • retirebyforty September 22, 2012, 7:48 am

      Sorry to make you feel that way. Mrs. RB40 is back! I’ll get to escape for a few hours today. 😀

  • Silly Lily September 21, 2012, 10:40 pm

    Hey buddy, Koya is having a little independence issue too. The way we’re helping her is to tell her “this is the last time…” on snack, youtube, playing, etc. Sometimes she’s good to quit after we said that while sometimes she’s not. But by giving her heads-up helps her to prepare for quitting. Maybe it’ll work with Baby RB40 too? It takes a little time to sink in with Koya though but I do think she’s getting it! :)

    • retirebyforty September 22, 2012, 7:49 am

      I tell him that too, but usually he doesn’t listen to me. Maybe 1 in 10 times it would work, but I guess we’ll keep working at it.

      • Silly Lily September 22, 2012, 8:09 am

        Yeah, it does take time! The thing is to preparing them to quit… give Baby RB40 a few minutes (watching another short film, play for a few more min) after telling him “this is the last time, okay?” Hopefully he’ll learn to quit. Now Koya once in a while would actually reply “okay” back to us and be fine with quitting. :)

  • Roshawn @ Watson Inc September 22, 2012, 12:24 am

    We have no similar experiences to share, so I couldn’t begin to offer advice. It does sound VERY rough and draining though. I’m glad this is just temporary.

  • 101 Centavos September 22, 2012, 5:14 pm

    A screaming crying leg-clinging doll. I think you’ve got something there, Joe. Serious behavior modification tool for horny teenagers. They’ll never have sex unprotected ever again.

  • Elizabeth @ Broke Professionals September 23, 2012, 8:59 am

    Yeah, I’ve often thought that my old full-time job in TV news was easier than taking care of my 4-year-old and 16-month-old. As for the Shark Tank idea… LMFAO. SO true! Forget those eggs that middle school kids carry around, pretending they are babies – this is REAL sex ed :)

    • retirebyforty September 23, 2012, 11:25 am

      I think two kids are a lot more difficult than one. Heh heh. Maybe I really should look into this idea.

  • Kathleen @ Frugal Portland September 24, 2012, 1:02 pm

    Oh man, thanks, now I’m never having kids, and it’s all this post’s fault!

    • retirebyforty September 24, 2012, 3:41 pm

      Sorry! You can be the tester for my prototype screaming lock on doll. :)

  • Rich In The Heart September 24, 2012, 6:17 pm

    Although my wife is the primary caregiver (she’s a SAHM to all 4 of our kiddos), I have had the pleasure of having up to 8 kids all by myself for a period of 8-9 hours. Now that’s a load of fun! Granted half of them were a little older, about 5-6 years old.

    But easy is far from a word I’d choose to describe that.

    • retirebyforty September 25, 2012, 4:48 pm

      Wow, 8 kids? That must be like a nut house.

  • Charmin September 25, 2012, 8:21 am

    Joe, raising little people is a whole lot of work! I remember when my kids were your son’s age (now 7 & 5) and my husband was working for Starbucks corporate in Seattle & gone 3-4 weeks out of every month. It was TOUGH! I am humbled and amazed by single parents who never get a break when a partner comes home from work or a trip to help.

    Happy to hear Mrs. RB40 is back! However, I think it’s important for BOTH of you to get away sometimes – either alone or separately! It’s good for the soul and helps you be a better partner and parent. :-)

    • retirebyforty September 25, 2012, 4:51 pm

      3-4 weeks/month? That’s crazy. One week was almost too much for me already. I don’t think I can be a stay at home dad if I was a single dad. It’s just too much. I agree about getting away sometime, even if for a few hours. :)

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