by Coach Jimmy Hays Nelson
I feel like the term ‘Work at Home Dad’ is kind of like Big Foot. There are rumors of their existence, perhaps a few blurry pics, but few people actually know one or how that situation even works. Where as the ‘Stay at Home Mom’, or SAHM, is looked upon as the champion of the youth of this country. But we aren’t really sure how to treat the lesser known SAH-Dad.
I mean, are we supposed to celebrate or pity this rare creature? Seriously, is it that he couldn’t get a ‘real job’ and has to hide behind the force field of his children. Or is he a step ahead of the pack and discovered the Holy Grail of working environments?
I definitely have spent many years in Corporate America, but during my 17 months of fatherhood I have had the privilege of being a SAHD for that entire run. My wife, Kelly, on the other hand, initially kept her corporate job after her maternity leave. As we would discuss how our days went, I found it very interesting in the differences in lifestyle of the ‘Work at Home Parent’ versus the ‘Corporate Parent’.
MAKE YOUR OWN HOURS
The thing I noticed the most about my wife’s daily grind was the lack of sleep it caused her to endure. She would have to be up at 4:30 a.m to be at work by 7a.m., and even that was pushing it to be on time. By the time she was awake, showered, prepped her food, fed our son, & set out on the one hour commute to the office, she was usually exhausted STARTING her day.
As a work from home parent, it is true that I do get to set my own hours. That usually allows me time to get up, workout, eat, shower, and have morning time to play with my son as we watch Sesame Street. However, not having a ‘boss’ has its challenges as well. I am a business owner & entrepreneur, so I had to learn to set my own work hours. However, instead of trying to look busy from 9-5 to appease my employer, I usually work in about 2 hour spurts then allow myself to get out of my office, clear my head, wrestle with my son, rock a power nap while he naps, and maybe catch the latest episode of SportsCenter.
I have always been amazed by my wife’s work ethic. I have never met anyone who attacks every project with 110% like she does. No complaining, no excuses, she just gets to work and constantly delivers above expectations of her superiors. However, early on in our marriage I noticed a trend that continued to get worse. More often than not, Kelly would be the hardest working, most efficient employee in her office, yet did that constantly translate into promotions and an increased paycheck? Hardly! Usually what it meant is that MORE responsibility was piled on her desk because, if something needed to be done then ‘Let’s give it to Kelly’ because everyone knows she will do a great job.
Then when yearly raise time would come around she would hear a line like, “We wish we could do more, but with the economy the way it is…you understand right?” ….. as those same executives racked up ridiculous travel and expense accounts. I don’t know about you, but that would kill my motivation to bring my best to any future tasks. (This is just another example of my wife being a more evolved creature than me, because she continued to do amazing work without the slightest peep of a complaint)
One of the things I love most about being a work at home business owner entrepreneur is that this is the first time in my life that the ‘reward’ more than matches the effort put in. I never experience that in an office, waiting tables, acting, or any other of my many money-making endeavors. I am truly humbled by being able to provide for my family with what I do. Mostly because what I do doesn’t feel like ‘work’ to me. Does it take time, effort, and a constant investment in increasing my skills? ABSOLUTELY! But I never had a ‘job’ where I loved what I did, felt like I was truly making a difference in the world, and be able to cover all our needs at the same time. This is the only arena where I know that is possible!
Above any other perk of being a ‘Work at Home Dad’ – the biggest benefit is being able to ‘Do Life’ with my family! What exactly does that mean? To me it means there isn’t a ‘work Dad’ and a “home Dad”. My life is my life! It is all interwoven together in this beautiful tapestry. I am not a slave to my job or office politics. I can pop into my office and create something amazing that might ignite someone to make a change in their life and be in the park with my family 30 minutes later without worrying about playing ‘office games’ to keep the new hot shot VP happy.
It means being able to pick up and drive down to New Orleans to see my in-laws and my brand new niece if I want to. Or taking an impromptu trip to New York City for a boys weekend. I can take my work with me, if I choose to, or I can leave it for a few days and know that my world won’t come crashing down or worrying about how many vacation days I’m allowed. I think I can sum it up like this:
A ‘job’ does not own me, I own the passion God has put into my heart, and am able to serve others as I enjoy life to its fullest!
You might be reading this and saying, “Well, that is great for you, Jimmy, but that isn’t my situation.” I totally understand! I didn’t have some amazing vision to build a big business. Heck, I am a THREE time college dropout, who found himself living back at home with his parents in his mid 20’s! I’m pretty sure that resume wouldn’t get me very far in Corporate America. But I was hungry for a life of freedom, I kept searching, and most of all, I was teachable and always willing to learn! Stay hungry, seek out those who have experienced success, learn from them, and you can enjoy your dream life as well!
In this thing together- Coach Jimmy
Jimmy Hays Nelson Beachbody Coach is a self-proclaimed ‘former fat guy’. In his mid 20’s he was an overweight college dropout, who found himself living back at home with his parents. Knowing something had to change, he took action.
Through his transformation journey he lost 100 pounds, started his own business, was featured in the Shaun T workout series INSANITY, and has been seen multiple times on QVC with his buddy Tony Horton promoting P90X.
He founded NELSONGY FITNESS with his wife Kelly to reach out to give hope and support to those that are dissatisfied with their current situation. Whether you are lacking physically, emotionally, financially, or nutritionally we are here to help you see REAL RESULTS!