So, I get asked a lot: “Ben, what does your average day look like?”
Average?! LOL. I’m not sure that exists for anyone in a startup business. My days span between waking up early to attend conference calls 3 hours ahead of my time zone to sleeping in because I can. Much of my time is spent on the computer, on social media, doing marketplace research, digging into the back end of financials, creating content, thinking, ruminating, thinking some more, spending time with family, making time to train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, hitting up private clients, working at my per diem PT gig, cooking, cleaning, errands, creating more content (LOL! #ShoutOut to Rich Severin on a Facebook Q&A question… THIS is probably how & why I have a blog post for everything — more answered on PT Pintcast)… and, yeah… the rest of the time, I luxuriate in being a good husband and loving father.
Since these descriptions range as far as the moon is from the sun, let me give you a sample chronicle of three of days in the last month. And, you better believe, it includes Disney 😉
Sample Day 1: 10am is the new 7am
Perhaps one of the most endearing parts of being a work at home dad is that… well, I’m at home!
One lazy morning, the whole family wakes up at 10am. Our son decided it was time to be awake… and hungry. So, first things first… it’s snuggle time! For about 15 minutes or so, we all just hang out in bed, playing with our boy, being silly, making him giggle, tickling him, smooching him… you name it. It’s all smiles, all laughter, all love. This morning represents the heart of why I quit all those high paying jobs — what is better than this?!
So, it’s 10:20am or so… I mosey over to the kitchen to start Nate off with his morning shake. While my wife is feeding our boy his breakfast, I’m also frying up some hash browns, eggs, sausages, and making some coffee as breakfast for the wifey and me. The coffee is going to be amazing. I can tell, I’ve done this a thousand times… literally. When the coffee takes an extra long time to extract and all the grinds are settling evenly, you know you’re going to get an amazing pull. The hash browns are done and I’m drizzling some of last night’s brown sauce on top. It’s going to be a great morning.
Now that we’re all stuffed and probably set for a mid-morning food coma, it’s actually time for me to get to work. I have a couple of blogs to write, social media to attend to, a blab to schedule, conference call to attend, guest hosting the Therapy Insiders Podcast and some other content to work on. After maybe one or two 45 minutes sessions in my office, it appears my wife and son need me. Time to go!
After I deal with whatever that is… I’m back in my office, hacking away the faithful laptop.
Like this segment, there really isn’t any structure. It’s free flow. We wake up when we want. Eat when we can. Relish in our time together. My work day isn’t scheduled unless my partners or customers need it to be. I work when I work and play the rest of the time. This, is why I became a work at home dad… that my family may reside as the center in my life.
Sample Day 2: Hustle. Hustle!
6:15am. I’m awake. I shouldn’t be. I don’t actually need to wake up until 7am. Blah! Well, there’s no denying it. I am very much awake. I’m getting out of bed as gingerly as possible as to not wake anyone up. Decisions… decisions. Well, I could make coffee, play a little xbox, work on Up Doc Media, try and finish Book 5 of Game of Thrones (technically, A Song of Ice and Fire). And… I’m HUNGRY. Food and coffee. Done. I sneak into the kitchen where I’m famous for banging around and creating all sorts of noise, grab a scoop of coffee into the grinder, and take the grinder & coffee into my son’s playroom where I close the door by jamming his bath towel at the seams to block the noise of the grinder. After grinding the coffee, I have to yank open the door (while being mostly asleep and hangry, mind you), head back to the kitchen where I prime my coffee into my Vietnamese Espresso Maker. Now, for breakfast. Well, there are eggs and some chicken from last night. Guess that’s it then. I make two eggs over easy while munching on some cold chicken and cold rosemary cream sauce. The microwave will only disturb my son’s sleep. After all this is put together, I have some time left to read Game of Thrones so I throw back a chapter and then decide to hop onto the loyal lappy of 3+ years; that poor laptop needs a new companion… waiting 2 hours for it to render a 7 minute video is just NOT working anymore. Poor thing. Hey, at least it got me through my MBA!
Okay. I gotta hustle! Time flew by faster than I was ready. I whirl into khakis and a polo (Ha! Sorry, Gene. #NoPolo), give my wife a kiss, give my son a kiss, and I’m out the door! Please note: I hate the khaki+polo look. I don’t mind the pants. It’s the shirt & the combo. I don’t like collars. I’m a V-Neck guy. Moving on… I’m running out the door and drive to work. This is my per diem PT gig; I’m very happy to have it. It’s been ages, over 18 months actually at the time of this chronicled day, since I’ve done “formal” clinical work. I’ve been taking on private clients, sure. But, being around other clinicians, the inter-disciplinary team, it’s been a while! But, it feels like yesterday — and, it’s great to be part of a team again. A strong team, high functioning, mutually appreciative… it’s good stuff.
I was told I’ll have 5 hours of treatment time. Then, that turned into 7.2 hours. Yep, that’s how it happens. Trying to keep up my productivity alive while realizing that I have more work waiting for me at home with a pending blog post and other such things… Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! Well, my day is done and I am absolutely exhausted. I already missed a mid-day conference call with my sent apologies. Now, I have to hustle to make sure I can get the blog post out in good time since my partner does most of the image creation. And, since we’re 3 hours apart, I gotta…. you guessed it… HUSTLE!
It’s probably 6:30pm. I’m exhausted. My son is asleep thanks to my hero wife who has been taking care of him all day long — him and his terrible twos. This is also my last chance in the week, scheduling-wise, to make it to a BJJ training session. Awesome as she is, she encourages me to go. So, at 7:45pm, I take off to make it to the 8pm-9pm BJJ class which usually extends to 9:20-30pm due to sparring at the end. I make it home after picking up a sandwich for the starving wife and we watch some TV together. The day is winding down and I don’t even remember how I got to bed. But, I know well enough that I double checked my morning alarms. I should be able to wake up and fulfill the next day’s responsibilities… or at least, I will once I get my coffee and breakfast.
It’s been a day.
Sample Day 3: Life is about balance.
After many strings of days like the days above, my wife and I decided it is time for a mini-vacation. Our day consists then of driving up to Disneyland where we spent 3-5 hours in the park. Now, on many occasions, we’ve driven up on a Saturday or Sunday evening because we missed the environment of the park. What do we do? Well, we get really hungry on the drive up so we find a place to eat dinner in the park. After we’re all stuffed and full, we take a look around and ask each other, “So… did you want to do anything?” And, we always answer, “Nah… let’s just walk around the park.” So, we do! Typically, we end up at one of the “less popular” attractions like Small World or Tiki Room. Fortunately for us, these are top two picks for Nathan who absolutely adores the soundtrack, to which of course, we own and make available on the iPod. Otherwise, we focus on just one or two attractions we wish to target and experience. Top favorites include the Aladdin show in the Hyperion Theater in Disney’s California Adventure. Speaking of! You have got to see it now before they take it down… 🙁 Other areas we love include Cars Land, New Orleans Square, and of course, Tomorrowland as that is where all the Star Wars stuff is. We only ever really stay in the park for a couple of hours since we’re Annual Passholders (APs) and don’t really wish for nor like the stress of lines and being on a mission.
As far as we’re concerned, Walt Disney created the park to be nonchalantly enjoyed — and, that’s how we do!
Did you watch the last link? Yeah… we’re big Disney nerds. #NoShame
And, that my dear friends! Is a day in the life of Daddy In The Raw.