IMG_3020I was born and raised in the Chicago land area and moved into the city proper in 1996. Wife and I found our bungalow in 2008 and have called the near northwest side of Chicago home for the past nine years.

I like to think of myself as a renaissance man.  I hold a B.A. in Theology from Loyola University and am an avid reader.  We live in a Chicago Bungalow built in 1918, and that brings with it the joy of old home upkeep. Out back we have a small, compost-fed organic garden, complete with rain barrels, espaliered fruit trees and plans to add chickens. Oh, I also have an Associate’s degree from WyoTech, and yes, I earned my degrees in that order.  I enjoy metal fabrication and custom paint work and worked for nearly ten years in the automotive collision repair industry before staying home.  There is a restoration project and a mild custom project currently in progress, with various paint projects tossed in along the way.

I was managing the production floor of a “big-box” body shop when we became pregnant.  After doing some number crunching and deliberating, I decided to leave the job and stay home to raise our daughter (herein referred to as “Sweetie”).  After factoring the time invested each day and the cost-benefit, staying home became the right move at the right time. The scope of my work expanded with our second daughter (“The Cricket”) and that changed the dynamic. And really made for some great stories.

I’ve enjoyed various parenting blogs and I try to check in when I can. What I noticed was that there are a bunch of “Mom” blogs and a few “Dad” blogs but not as many “Stay-at-Home Dad” (SAHD) blogs. So I decided to share my experience as a stay-at-home Dad in Chicago. I want to tell some stories, talk about the “stuff” that helps me every day, reflect on this whole at-home thing and just laugh a little.

I want to open up the conversation about Dads being the primary caregivers and make a space for it to expand. Becoming a Dad is the coolest thing that has happened to me, and staying at home with my daughters has been an amazing opportunity. I offer up my experience to help my fellow Dads, stay-at-home or otherwise. I offer up what I can here, ’cause I know I’m always looking for fresh ideas (particularly when it comes to breakfast). Moms, please don’t feel like I’m ignoring you, I’m only speaking to what I know. Please join the conversation, though, I’m always happy to learn something new!

I became a full-time stay-at-home Dad in August, 2012. This blog is my chance to share the experience and grow the conversation. I say in the intro, “We’re raising the future here, men, let’s get it right.” Telling my story, supporting other Stay-at-Home Dads, and connecting with other parents’ experiences is how I plan to do that.