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True Confessions of a Stay at Home Dad
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In May of 2011, I dismissed class for the last time and began a new chapter in my life, full-time dad. I taught middle school for seven years, but with two kids and a third on the way, I wasn't able to give as much time to teaching as it required, plus I wanted to spend more time with my own kids, instead of someone else's.

My wife and I have been married for nine years. She spends her days (and some nights and weekends) as an OB/GYN, or as my kids like to call it, “catching babies.”

We have three kids. First Born is eight years old, but likes to pretend she’s in college. Our son, Middle Man is five, but we’re convinced by the way he talks about things like “beautiful sunsets” that he’s an old soul, and our youngest, the Blonde Bomber is only three, but already has the attitude of a teenager.

Our kids provide us with an endless amount of stories. Writing and retelling these stories for Indy’s Child has been my part-time job for the past three years.

You can contact me on Facebook at True Confessions of a Stay at Home Dad or via email at indyschildpete@gmail.com.

A Life Changer
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A Life Changer

December 23, 2012 | 09:42 PM

This month I asked some other dads to contribute their own stories, give advice or just share whatever was on their mind. Enjoy, Pete

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My wife Shirlene and I have been married for 11 years.  We met in high school and knew very early on that we were going to spend the rest of our lives together.  We also knew that we wanted kids.  I wanted two and she wanted four, we compromised at three, but somehow she got her way.  Our first daughter Jadyn was born in 2004.  She is such a wonderful kid that we thought the rest would be just as easy.  Then, our first son came along in 2007.  He is so very different from Jadyn but still a very good, easy going, kid.  We were surprised in 2008 when Shirlene became pregnant with our son Segan.  Having two kids a year apart has been a handful, especially since Segan himself is a handful.  He definitely keeps us on our toes.  He's already had to take two ambulance rides!  Our family was complete in 2010 when Samantha was born.  She is an amazing combination of all of the other three. 

 

Having kids is a life changer.  I think about ways to change myself to set a better example for them every day.  I now have to worry about my health and take many less risks because I want to be around as long as I can with them.  In 2009, when Segan was almost one, I discovered that I had very little energy.  I wasn't playing with my kids nearly as much as I would have liked.  This was a result of being as heavy as I've ever been.  Stress, eating poorly and not exercising had taken its toll.  After a suggestion from my brother, I took up running.  I joined a program at Bluemile (The Running Company at the time) and learned the proper way to start running.  I ran my first 5K on January 1, 2010.  That made me feel like I could do anything.  So I signed up for the Mini.  In May 2010, with my brother stride for stride, I ran my first ½ marathon. Then I decided, I have to run a marathon.  In November 2010, I ran the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon.   When I completed that, I sat and thought about what my next goal would be.  I noticed that I had much more energy from running.  I lost about 50 lbs and was nearly in shape.  I also noticed that my kids wanted to run with me as often as they could.  I decided to set a goal that in 2009 would have felt impossible for me.  I decided that I'm going to run a marathon in all 50 states before I turn 50.  This goal works on so many levels.  I get to continue to set a healthy example for my kids. They will hopefully continue to want to run with me.  I get to show them that nothing is impossible.  No matter what the dream is, it can be achieved.  And I can stay healthy and have energy to try to keep up with them.  My kids get to come with me to all of my marathons, so they will get to see all 50 states.  As of today, I have completed 4 marathons and have 5 more scheduled for next year.   

 

My wife and I try our best to live in the moment.  We look for any experience to try to enrich the kids' lives.  These can be as unique as sitting on the sideline of a Colts game, meeting a celebrity or going to Disney World.  The experiences can also be as simple as looking at the stars at night, going to the airport to watch plane take off and land, or just seeking out a different playground that they haven't been to.  We hope that when they are older they cherish these memories and pass them on to their kids.  We also try to be as charitable as possible.  Times are tough so we don't get to do nearly as much as we would like but here is an example.  We buy backpacks before the school year, coats before it's cold and toys at Christmas for kids in need.  We take all the kids when we donate them so they can see the affect.  We know that our charitable example is rubbing off.  My 8 year old daughter decided recently that she wants to go through all of their toys and pick out a bunch to give to foster children.  In March of 2010, my dad was diagnosed with breast cancer.  It's a shock when you hear a loved one has cancer but an even bigger shock when it's a man and he has breast cancer.  It affected all of us even my kids.  After surgeries and chemo all through 2010, he is now cancer free!  Susan G Komen has been a big support to him.  My family now participates in each Indianapolis Race for the Cure to raise funds for Komen.  In 2010, Jadyn even ran the Race for the Cure 5K with my wife and I.  We have also participated in Lemonade Day.  In May 2011, Jadyn decided to set up her lemonade stand.  We were working on her business plan and one of the questions is "What do you want to do with the profits?"  I told her she could do whatever she wanted with them.  She decided that she wanted to donate 100% of the profits to Susan G Komen.  She ended up raising $178.  We let her take the check to our local Komen office in person.  It was a wonderful experience for her.

Being a parent is an amazing experience.  It's not always fun, it's never easy but it is very rewarding.  I wouldn't trade my experiences with my children for anything in the world and I can't wait to see what the future will bring.

-Jeff


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