Stay-at-Home Dad 101: Tommy John Lounge Jogger Pants are Now My Official “Work Pants” (Includes Jingle I Wrote!)

DISCLOSURE LANGUAGE

Tommy John partnered with bloggers such as myself for this program. I received one free product of my choosing, for my time and creativity. I was not told what to purchase nor what to say about any product mentioned in these posts. Tommy John believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Tommy John’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

Now that we got that fun part out of the way, I get to talk about what I am calling my new official “work pants”, as a stay-at-home dad who works from home.

If you can imagine, since becoming a stay-at-home dad exactly 3 months ago today, I haven’t gotten out of the house much. I’m constantly taking care of my 21 month-old daughter all day, as well as my 7 year-old son, when he’s not at school.

I feel that I really put the “stay-at-home” in stay-at-home dad.

With that being said, it’s still important to me that I don’t look or feel like a slob; even if the only people who see me all day are my wife and kids.

So when Tommy John reached out to me and offered an item from their online catalog, I immediately thought, “I would love some new work pants!”

By browsing their Loungewear section, I ended up choosing their Lounge Jogger pants.

Once I received them in the mail this week, my preconceived ideas about these pants were true:

They are perfect for me as a stay-at-home dad!

The immediate thing I noticed is how comfortable they are. I feel like I’m really getting away with something, somehow. It’s I’m like wearing pants but I don’t feel like I’m actually wearing them.

I have to question, “Am I pulling a Donald Duck right now? Did I remember to put on a shirt only to  neglect actually put on pants today?”

Then I look down and see that no, I am indeed wearing pants: Tommy John Lounge Jogger pants, to be exact.

The next thing I really like about these pants is how they are just tight enough around the ankles, so that the bottom of my pants don’t drag on the floor.

And the pockets- ah, the pockets… perfectly in place where I need them.

I never know when I’m going to need to pick up a Cheerio my daughter dropped or her Peppa the Pig doll when she needs me to hold it for her.

After experiencing the Tommy John Lounge Pants, I just can’t imagine how any man would not love them.

But for me specifically as a stay-at-home dad, I am now spoiled, and don’t want to wear anything else for pants. I guess that would be my only complaint!

I have enjoyed my new work pants so much that I took it upon myself to write a jingle for Tommy John lounge pants and shoot my own commercial.  That way, when potential consumers search “Tommy John Lounge Pants“, they get to see me perform my awesome song! (Featured at the top of this post.)

Along the way, my kids apparently enjoyed hearing me write and practice the jingle, so we ended up even shooting a “kids’ version” of the song as well. My 21 month-old daughter is responsible for most of the dance moves for the jingle. (Featured below.)

It is plain to see, these Tommy John Lounge Pants have really enhanced my week!

Advertisements

Dear Jack: Monster Jam Triple Threat Series 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee

7 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack,

Last weekend you and I made our annual pilgrimage to the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville for the Monster Jam truck show: Triple Threat Series. Mommy and I were planning on bringing your sister, but at the last minute we decided it might be best not to take her out in the cold weather.

While I would have been happy had our whole family attended Monster Jam, I have to say: I really enjoyed the monster truck show, just the two of us; father and son.

I feel you were definitely able to appreciate the competition and the action more, knowing that you had all my attention to yourself. So much of my time these days is occupied by caring for your baby sister; therefore, I truly appreciate getting to spend time with you alone.

And the Monster Jam event was the perfect way to do just that.

We saw the monster trucks do tricks during the freestyle event, which inevitably led to some of them flipping over. I filmed the process of how they get flipped back over, to share on my YouTube channel.

I was so caught up in the trucks flying through the air, meanwhile you were actually keeping up with the score. Just like last year, you were cheering for Zombie, with its arms sticking out.

I’ve been taking you faithfully each year to Monster Jam since you were 3 years old. It’s simply become a family tradition at this point.

And it’s so… American.

When you are an adult and look back on your childhood, I believe you will think of our trips to go see Monster Jam as some of the best times.

You’ve been playing with your toy Monster Jam trucks for 4 years now. It’s funny because even your sister is learning how to play with them.

Maybe next year she’ll be able to come along.

But as for this year, it was meant to just be you and me.

Love,

Daddy

Stay-at-Home Dad 101: I Actually Get Less Sleep, Less Exercise, and Less Time to Relax; Compared to When I Worked a “Real Job” in an Office

I am definitely not complaining. I love being a stay-at-home dad who works on the side as a freelance writer and YouTuber. This is who I am now.

My kids are amazing. My heart melts every time I see them. I am one lucky dad!

Just look at them… ah!

But I will say, if I’m allowed to be honest (?)… back when I worked in the office doing a “real job”, I undeniably got more rest, more time to myself, and even more time to exercise.

As a stay-at-home dad who works from home, I am “on” from the moment the first child wakes up (around 6:15 AM) until the moment I get the last of my YouTube videos shot for the day (around 10:30 PM). Not to mention, it is also my role to get up with our daughter in the middle of the night when she suddenly wakes up; I’m the one who gets her back to sleep, if she’ll go back to sleep.

And all throughout the day I’m racing to get work done, during any break I get, like when my daughter falls asleep for a 90 minute naps; which is how I’m typing this now).

Compare that to when I worked in HR in an office, which was a nearly hour-long drive from my house. Even though I was the one dropping off both kids at their separate day cares, it still gave me close to an hour to work, then an hour from work, to myself.

I could sit in a car for nearly two hours a day and listen to music as I commuted. I had time to be by myself and think.

Plus, I had two 10 minute breaks in addition to an hour lunch break each day.

There was even an abandoned closet in the back of the building where it was an unspoken rule that you could take a nap there during your lunch break; which I regularly did, sleeping on the floor, using a jacket as my pillow.

Additionally, I used the park next to my office as my gym, where it was easy to get an all natural work-out.

Yeah, I don’t have those advantages now. I’m working on blog posts, YouTube videos, or household chores during every free moment I get. And I can’t just take a 20 month-old little girl outside in the extreme temperature, to get exercise for myself.

It’s always a constant race to get work done before my daughter wakes up. (I’m currently about 12 minutes away from that happening now…)

So you can imagine, I find it a foreign concept when I read a comment like this on one of my videos:

“You are a good stay at home dad. My husband would just be napping or watching the TV. I know what my husband’s DNA is, the lazy gene ha ha ha ha ha. Love your videos…”

I love having the privilege of staying at home with my kids while my wife sacrifices by being the one to work full-time; bringing in the majority of our income, as well as insurance and benefits.

But I won’t deny, just like with any job, mine has got its downsides.

Every once in a while, I reluctantly give myself a break, and will take a nap while my daughter is asleep. I’ve done that about 3 times since I began a stay-at-home dad nearly 3 months ago.

But then I wake up and realize how much work I have to catch up on!

Oh… yep… speaking of… She just woke up.

Stay-at-Home Dad 101: How I Take a Shower While Caring for My 20 Month Old Daughter

I’ve now been a stay-at-home dad for 2 and a half months. It’s safe to say it’s taken me this long to figure out the logistics of how to take a shower each morning, while occupying my young daughter somehow during the process.

It also took this long for my daughter herself to become accustomed to the routine of me taking a shower while she entertains herself.

We’re finally at the point where she and I mutually recognize that my shower is part of our daily routine, and I can see now that she finds comfort in that predictable routine.

Here’s how it works:

First, I make sure she has a snack that won’t make too much of a mess. The easy go-to is a small cup full of pretzels. My German-Dutch daughter loves pretzels for breakfast!

So once I’m in the shower, she spends the first half of it munching on her snack while she patiently faces me; seeing me through a small opening in the shower curtain. That way she knows I’m right there.

I’ll throw her a line every once in a while: “Hi Baby, I see you. Daddy’s in the shower but I can still see you…”

By the time she’s done with her pretzels, she takes it upon herself to find Mommy’s make up bag in the drawer. So far, my daughter has yet to utterly destroy anything, or at least noticeably apply any lipstick.

Once I’m almost ready to get out of the shower, I announce that to her, “Okay Baby, Daddy needs his towel. Can you help Daddy?”

She then prides herself in the responsibility of handing me my towel; then I dry off behind the closed shower curtain, before making my way to my awesome Captain America sweater or whatever my wardrobe will be that day.

And that’s how it’s done.

I am Zest-fully clean!

Dear Jack: I Can Walk You to School Now That I’m a Stay-at-Home Dad Who Works from Home

7 years, 1 months.

Dear Jack,

We can literally see your school from our back yard, that’s our close we are to it. Granted, we live inside of a neighborhood, which is inside another neighborhood, which is inside a neighborhood. Therefore, it actually takes longer to drive you to school than it does to walk you there.

So when weather permits, and on the days you don’t have a particular Pokemon card trade set up with a friend on the bus, I have been walking you to school.

It’s just about a 5 minute walk, as we don’t necessarily have to walk along roads or sidewalks to get there.

I enjoy walking you to school. Not only it is a fun way to spend some time together in a new way, but it also forces us both to get some fresh air and exercise in the cold winter months.

Getting to walk you to school was never an option for me before I started working from home. But now, as your sister is at her school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, that gives us two times each week we are able to walk to your school.

While I definitely wouldn’t have chosen for my entire branch at work to be shut down two months ago, therefore forcing me to rely on our family saving money on daycare for you and your sister full-time, I can’t deny that there are many little advantages of not driving 45 minutes to an office every morning.

You and I get more quality time together now. I never thought I’d be able to walk my son to school. I just always assumed as a dad, that would never be one of my roles.

But fortunately, I was wrong about that. I am very grateful that I could be wrong.

Love,

Daddy

Stay-at-Home Dad 101: No, I Totally Don’t Miss Being around Other Adults All Day Long… In Fact, I Enjoy It a Little Too Much!

In looking out for me, my kind and thoughtful wife expressed some concern for my social well-being when my entire office was abruptly shut down back in October. She wondered if I might suffer from culture shock; after I had worked at the same place for over a decade and now I would suddenly be removed from constant adult interaction on a daily basis.

She suggested I might need to find a stay-at-home parents’ group so that I could get out of the house and socialize with people I have some things in common.

Here’s the thing: It’s been two months doing this stay-at-home dad thing, and not once have I ever missed being around other adults all day long. In fact, that’s one of my favorite parts about my new job!

I do not miss being interrupted from doing work to be asked any of the following annoying questions on a daily basis, and then having to respond to them while forcing myself to smile and act nice:

“How was your weekend?”

“Do you have a minute?”

“You’re quiet this morning, is everything okay?”

“What are you eating? That looks good!”

“Got any big plans for this weekend?”

I was just there to get work done. I didn’t need a friend. I wasn’t lonely. I didn’t need to be entertained with conversation or learn about someone’s thoughts about life, before I had my coffee… or after I had my coffee.

It was important to me and my identity that I was perceived as approachable, helpful, and a good communicator. So I successfully disguised the fact I am not actually an extrovert, but instead, an outgoing introvert.

I’ve heard the difference between introverts and extraverts explained this way:

If an extrovert is someone who feels energized by being around other people all day and but then feels drained when they are alone again, an introvert is someone who feels drained after being around people all day and then has to “recharge” in solitude afterwards.

Yeah, the 2nd description, that’s totally me. I love to interact with other people… just not while I’m being paid to get work done all day!

But now I don’t have to worry about any of that anymore. I no longer have to act like a supervisor who works in an office.

The culture shock that I am actually experiencing is a good one.

Now the only people I see on a daily basis are the members of my own family- and occasionally, some of the nice employees at the Publix just a mile from the house; which is about as far as I travel through the week anymore.

The ultimate irony is that I truly consider myself a people person. In the total of over a decade that my wife and I have been together, she is definitely used to us being out in public, and me making seemingly random yet relevant conversations with complete strangers.

But I think the difference is that in an office, I was forced all day long to be social, which distracted me from the work; which was the reason I was paid to be there.

As a stay-at-home dad though, I no longer have to anticipate that at any second of the day, I might be interrupted from my work by another adult seeking confirmation in their identity or escape from boredom.

My work now is to care for an awesome 7 year-old boy before and after school, and an adorable little girl all day long. And then when she’s asleep, I work on my freelance writing jobs and YouTube videos; which is how I’m financially supporting my family now through a growing amount of supplemental income.

Granted, I’m working from the time I wake up at 6:00 AM until the time I collapse around 10:30 PM; if I’m lucky enough that my daughter doesn’t wake up in the middle of the night.

But I love it. This is great. I was totally able to do the whole “work in an office” thing. I did that for over a decade. Now I have confirmation though:

I was meant to be a stay-at-home dad who works from home as a freelancer. My time has arrived to accept and embrace my new identity.

Stay-at-Home Dad 101: I am Running an Unlicensed Before-and-After School Program in My Home

My wife typically leaves the house for work around 6:00 AM. If I’m lucky, my kids will both sleep in until 7 o’clock. Usually, I’m not lucky.

Usually, one child will wake the other around 6:20, which means I’m taking care of two young children for the next 2 hours, as my 7 year-old son’s bus doesn’t arrive until 8:22.

It’s a solid 30 minutes just to get them dressed and fed, which leaves another hour and a half to let them play, but while trying to keep them from getting themselves into trouble.

Over the past 2 months that I’ve been a stay-at-home dad (who also works from home as a freelance writer and YouTuber), I’ve learned the art of getting household chores done while they are entertaining each other.

For example, I’ve learned I can effortlessly unload the dishwasher while they have their post-breakfast picnic on the living room floor. I am also constantly uploading YouTube videos for my 3 channels, on my laptop which sits on top of my daughter’s plastic school desk.

Their post-breakfast picnic immediately transitions into an intense indoor recess, where the main attraction is for my 7 year-old son to run as fast as he can past my year and a half old daughter while she stands up and cheers as he runs straight toward her, but only grazesthe sleeve of her shirt, without knocking her down.

So far, injuries. I feel pretty good about that.

The next event is for my son to run as fast as he can while my daughter lays down on the blanket, and then he jumps over her and her bowl of cereal, without his feet touching either his sister or her bran flakes.

This activity also amazingly currently holds a 100% injury-free record.

For the 45 minutes in which they are both home after my son gets off the bus and before my wife gets home from work, I typically just take my kids upstairs in the playroom while they casually play with toys and watch me try to beat my high score on Mario Kart Wii.

Hey, it’s better than the before school part of my daddy day care, right?

I’m pretty sure the state of Tennessee would deny me a license to run a day care like this from my home. It’s probably for the best.