3 Confessions From a One-Week-Stay-At-Home-Dad

I had the rare opportunity, and I mean rare, to be a stay-at-home dad for the week. My wife Erin got to go and spend a few days with two of my three sisters on a backpacking trip. They went out and hiked adventurously through a portion of the Smoky Mountains carrying all their gear and camping on the trail like the pros do! 

I'm so proud of her. I'm so happy that she got this opportunity. I'm so excited for her to come home :-)

So, let me share with you three confessions from a one-week stay at home dad.

One. It's not an even playing field.
No, it's not even close. My wonderful wife set up 2 to 3 evenings where we had dinner provided with friends and family. I undeservedly received multiple compliments throughout the week, that I had arrived somewhere on time, or that my kids clothing sort of matched, or that they had received an attempt at a meal that morning. Really guys? Is the bar actually this low? Can you imagine if each of the moms who do this every day got all the kudos for the reality of life's struggles like they should? Hint: A bouquet of flowers one Sunday year isn't quite doing the trick.

Two. It's not as easy as it looks.
This actually touches back to point number one, but in my situation I didn't even have to take care of all four of my kids. We had shipped off our two oldest to spend the week with Nana and Papa. My only task was to keep the two little ones alive for six days. Turns out, that's exhausting! Whether it's the swimming pool, the scooter in the driveway pointing towards the street, or an always looming flight of stairs, it really seems that a evening in the ER is just a blink away. And it's not always the obvious things. The mortal danger of a pair of scissors, a sofa pillow cushion, or the water faucet in the bathtub, saps the energy away from a person way faster than I  ever anticipated.

Three. It's not going to be perfect.
Whether it's picking foods that are both tasty and healthy, or gauging whether you ought to step in or let your child learn through experience, or choosing a teachable moment to point them towards God, you're never quite sure. We try, and I tried, to be a parent who raises their children according to Biblical standards. But there are numerous examples throughout a week's time where that wasn't necessarily the case. Times when my personal flaws and cracks in the armor rise quickly to the surface. Parenting has a way of doing that. I'm convinced that the pursuit of parenting perfection could ruin us all!

Fortunately, we serve a God of grace. I latch onto the grace he sustains each of us with on a daily basis. I am learning to extend that type of grace towards my children as they grow and develop and yes, fail. in the end, I have to believe that he cares for my kids more than I ever could. I have to believe that he knows my flaws, and my weaknesses, and will demonstrate his love in a personal way to my children so that they know him themselves. Thank you Father for extending this grace to us. Thank you for your Son, Jesus Christ, who made this Grace accessible to us.

And that being said, Thank You God for our spouses as well!

Pastor Milo


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