Stay-at-Home Dad 101: I Don’t Miss Feeling Pressured to Drive to Work in the Snow and Ice

The picture collage you see here is one that I felt compelled to make nearly three years ago. My family had already been snowed in two days, and it was soon to be the third.

Despite living just a mile from the main road, my actual home was located down a slope in the dead end of the neighborhood: the cul-de-sac.

It was obvious to me that if I simply backed out of my garage, my vehicle would get stuck in the snow and ice, as my vehicle was not a 4×4 and therefore couldn’t make it out.

Still, I went through the motions of proving how dedicated I was to coming to work:

I started up my car, backed out of the garage, tried to make it up the hill, slid down the hill backwards, then quickly got stuck trying to simply make it out of my own cul-de-sac. And now, my already old and worn-out vehicle would have to remain out in harsh weather, which only increased the chances of another vehicle accidentally sliding into it, or the battery dying from the freezing temperatures.

To further cover my bases, I took a photo of my stuck vehicle, as well as one of my shoe; as I was standing on my street, which had an inch-thick sheet of ice under the snow. I also did my best to show the angle of the slope on my street where my vehicle got stuck.

Minutes later, I had put together the photo collage and emailed it to all interested parties, to provide community-wide evidence that I was not simply unmotivated to leave my family and the snow.

I had already been working for the company for over 7 years at this point and I was a supervisor for most of that time; yet I felt that providing picture proof was a nearly necessary move. Otherwise, people who lived only a few miles from the office could try to say, “Well I made it into today… are you just afraid to drive in the snow and ice?”

The least of my worries was that I was having to accept the fact I was using vacation days to be stuck at stay home; even though I wanted to be at work. This was problematic in that every summer, our family always spends a week out in California to visit my wife’s side of the family: I was cutting in to my reserve of days for that trip.

I imagine that feeling pressured to drive to work under dangerous weather conditions is a normal part of American culture, especially in the South; where we are understandably not equipped with the snow plows our towns need when it snows sporadically during the winter.

But you know what? I am now a stay-at-home dad who works from home now. Not my problem anymore.

The only one pressuring me to leave the house is my 7 year-old son who is eager to play in the snow. I think I can handle that.

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Uncle Nick’s Enchanted Forest 14 through 19: The Blizzard Webisodes

Uncle Nick’s Enchanted Forest 14 through 19: The Blizzard Webisodes

From January 22nd to the 24th, I filmed 6 webisodes of Uncle Nick’s Enchanted Forest. Similar to the way I filmed 4 webisodes after the Christmas 2015 flash flood, I took advantage of the weather condition, making it the plotline of these half a dozen webisodes.

And starting with Webisode 18, I introduce a fun new theme song as well as a new animal hat…

I’ve gotten to the point where I pretty much just keep my camera, tripod, and Uncle Nick costume in my car with me; in order that I can always be prepared to shoot an episode on the spot.

Good thing I was ready on Friday, January 22nd, when the blizzard kicked in. I have a coworker, Shane Moore, who is quick and faithful to help me out with some of the shoots.

So he served as my camera man and assistant director for the first 2 webisodes of the blizzard story arc.

Webisode 14 features Mama Bear and Baby Bear, who get separated during the beginning of the blizzard. It’s up to Uncle Nick to reunite them!

In Webisode 15, we are introduced to a poor little homeless Husky who is stranded out in the middle of the snow storm. Uncle Nick must find her a new home to get her warm.

The remaining 4 webisodes of the blizzard story arc were filmed Saturday and Sunday morning; just me and my tripod.

Webisode 16 finds Piper the Penguin frozen to the ice. Uncle Nick must find a place to keep her safe until the other penguins return.

In Webisode 17, Uncle Nick must resuscitate a lizard he finds who is literally freezing in the river.

Then in Webisode 18, Uncle Nick encounters a sleepwalking pig, who is headed towards a frozen lake.

And finally, in Webisode 19, Uncle Nick must discover, and uncover, a frozen frog on a log.

In the next story arc of episodes, the plot will definitely be thickening…

If you haven’t checked out my Uncle Nick series, I encourage you to, with a younger child next to you. I predict it will be an engaging experience.

Dear Jack: The 3rd Week Of Living In Our New House (Snowed In!)

4 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack: The 3rd Week Of Living In Our New House (Snowed In!)

Dear Jack,

We are in the middle of a snow storm; the kind that hits the South pretty hard about once a decade. While Mommy is able to work from home this week, I have no choice but to take vacation days.

Dear Jack: The 3rd Week Of Living In Our New House (Snowed In!)

In the attempt to drive to work, my car got stuck in the ice and snow. As soon as I pulled out of the driveway, I was unable to drive forward. I had no choice but to let me car back down further into our cul-de-sac.

Dear Jack: The 3rd Week Of Living In Our New House (Snowed In!)

There’s just no way around it: We’re snowed in.

I admit, this event has inspired Mommy and me to seriously consider making one of our next vehicles (whenever that time comes, down the road) a Toyota Tacoma with 4 wheel drive.

https://familyfriendlydaddyblog.com/2014/04/25/family-friendly-car-review-2014-tacoma-double-cab-4x4-v6/

Not only have I always romanticized about them, the Toyota Tacoma is my favorite vehicle I have ever reviewed, which I di back nearly a year ago:

See Family Friendly Car Review: 2014 Tacoma Double Cab 4X4 V6.

While the main roads have been driveable, it’s been literally impossible to escape our neighborhood, which you have to drive through two others just to get to.

Dear Jack: The 3rd Week Of Living In Our New House (Snowed In!)

I suppose your current favorite Netflix show, The Octonauts, has taught you a lot about animals. So it’s no surprise that you decided to build a bird’s nest, using “snow eggs.”

Dear Jack: The 3rd Week Of Living In Our New House (Snowed In!)

While it definitely feels strange to not be working right now (and obviously your school is closed), it is nice to be able to appreciate this sort of forced week off with you and Mommy.

Right before the storm hit, we found the perfect small couch/love seat for our bonus room upstairs. We were able to buy the floor model, which gave us nearly a 50% discount.

separately

The only problem was getting it home. I drove my Honda Element separately, and with the front seats up as far as they would go, I was able to awkwardly squeeze in for the most uncomfortable 30 minute drive of my life.

Dear Jack: The 3rd Week Of Living In Our New House (Snowed In!)

It’s fun to see each room of our house coming together.

Dear Jack: The 3rd Week Of Living In Our New House (Snowed In!)

Hopefully the rain and above-freezing temperatures this weekend will allow us to live our normal lives again next week.

As for now, you sure are enjoying this winter wonderland!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: The 3rd Week Of Living In Our New House (Snowed In!)