Being self-employed is awesome. I’m not just making that statement so that I can rub it in for all those who have bosses. I’m mentioning it because it relates to being a dad too. I work from home, which means I can see Everett whenever I want. I’ve been able to have play time breaks or have a few special minutes of bonding during the day. It has allowed me to have a really close relationship with my son. It has also meant that I haven’t really missed out on many of my son’s first times. I was there when he lifted up his head during tummy time for the first time. I was there when he almost rolled over. I was there when he started talking up a storm or started laughing for the first time. I got to experience all those special first time moments.
The problem with being self-employed is that you’re stuck with all the work. I can have relatively flexible hours, but I still have deadlines that need to be met. This means that sometimes I’m forced to stay home when I’d much rather go out to play. A recent large assignment forced me to work on a weekend, and even worse, miss out on one of my son’s first times. This was his first adventure to the beach.
I can be a rather sentimental person. I really do cherish being there for my son’s first experiences. It was heart breaking that mommy and son got to venture off to the beach, and I was stuck in front of a computer. I’m glad that I had the work, because it helps provide for my family. I love my job, because it has allowed me time to form a close bond with my son. This was the first time that my job actually caused me to lose out on a special moment.
Despite knowing that I am sentimental, I was actually shocked how bummed out I was about missing out on my son’s first trip to the beach. I think part of it was that I wasn’t used to missing out on major experiences. I knew that the beach was going to offer up several new adventures. It would be his first time to touch sand. It would be his first time going into a lake. He may see new sites and hear new sounds. I was going to miss out on these major events, because I was chained to a computer (not literally, because the chafing would likely distract me from getting work done).
I do have a small consolation. Apparently, the water was really cold. Everett absolutely loves his baths. He has taken to kicking up waves in his bath tub. We already think he is destined to be a merman, because he loves being immersed the water and pushing off as if he wants to swim. I was disappointed that I was missing out his first experience with a large body of water, but it seems like it was a bust. Everett is used to warm bath water, and didn’t appreciate his introduction to cold lake water. Emily was just left with a crying boy. As for the sand, all it did was give us an excuse to bathe him after they came home. The first beach trip wasn’t a momentous occasion.
It did show me how much I want to be actively involved with my son’s experiences. I want to catch as many as I possibly can. I want to be able to be there to see his reactions and experience his joy over accomplishments. Work is very important. I know it will probably get in the way again. I also know all my work is pointless if I can’t have great moments with my family. I hope to be around for my son’s next major first time.