I have been a follower of Ryan's blogs for quite some time and he and I have exchanged many comments over the last year or so on each of our blogs. I really enjoy his perspective and outlook on life.
Look, this fellow is WAY younger then I am and just starting off life married with a new son but he has a great perspective and outlook on everything from his family, to sports to what's going on in this big, bad old world of ours.
So here's Ryan's take on fatherhood and life in general for a young couple during this very uncertain and chaotic time in our country's history. Let 'er rip, Bro!
Ever since I resigned – yes, I resigned from a steady job in this hapless, spiraling economy – I have been nothing short of ecstatic of the time I am able to spend with our five-month-old son, Nolan.
I was an assistant coach at a very successful college baseball program – Manhattan College – for six years – to the tune of a 200-119 record. I also played at Manhattan from 1999 to 2003. I pitched. The head coach left to take the head job at Fordham but I did not go with him. Instead, I chose to pursue the head job at my alma mater, a place I was once proud to call my “home” – no more. To say there are a lot of idiosyncrasies and nuances associated with working there is an understatement. Given my ten years of dedication to the school, I basically knew all the ins and outs. However, I was passed over to become the next head coach. I felt slighted and decided it was in my best interest to leave after I got a voicemail telling me of their decision to go with another candidate. So be it.
My wife and I decided at the beginning of the process that if I didn’t get the job, I was going to remain at home as a stay-at-home-dad. I knew I could handle this role but wasn’t ready to accept it.
I felt – and still feel – I was the best guy for that position, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. I resigned and to this day have no qualms about it – besides leaving the players. As far as my loyalty to the school, well, let’s just say that is non-existant.
I know the time I spent at work (as assistant baseball and the only full-time athletics operations person) would ruin my chances of watching my boy grow up. There were games three to four nights a week, there were outside events I was required to be at, there were CYO events I was required to be at. It was nightmarish, to say the least, and I just was never truly happy. Sure the pay was decent, but the quality of life was absolutely atrocious.
Not getting the job was an opportunity. An opportunity to let go of the past – a past I wasn’t all that thrilled with anyway – and step into a new role. One that I enjoy every day I wake up – staying at home and raising my son.
My wife works and eventually we are going to have to move out of New York City because we just can’t afford it here without me working. But that is something we embrace. We’ve been fortunate enough to live in the best city in the world for over six years and both feel the time is right to move on. Obviously we are not going to just pick up everything and leave, but we are both actively searching for jobs out of this area.
Sounds crazy, don’t it? I have no issues staying home because one of our salaries would go to Day Care anyway – wanna take a guess as to how much 40 hours of day care is here in the greater New York City area is? Whatever your guess (unless you’re from the area)., it’s probably low. $2,000 a month. Still think I’m crazy?
I would rather sacrifice my job to raise my child than pay $2,000 a month to a stranger to raise him. Eventually we’ll put him in day care, but for the time being, I feel like I am doing my wife and I a great service. And to be honest, I would do it again in a heartbeat.
I might be bouncing back and forth but I will sum it up right here – if you are truly happy with what you’re doing for a living, I envy you. I wish I was happy for the last six years of my life at work, but truth is, I wasn’t. In these past few weeks since I resigned, I am exponentially happier than I was on any given day over the past six years.
Maybe it’s because I spend every day with a little man who smiles and laughs and hangs out with his daddy. I want this kid to think I am the shit. I want him to be proud of his daddy. I want him to be happy. I love nothing more than seeing him smile at me or watching him sleep at night.
When he cries in the middle of the night, who gives a shit. He doesn’t know any better. He’s a little man and he can kind of do what he wants. He’s our first child and we’re doing our best. We’re not iron-fisted parents, we let him roll with the punches and do his thing. Sometimes it works and he’s happy, sometimes it doesn’t and he cries. Either way, the feeling of parenthood is almost indescribable. It’s so freaking awesome.
He’s been on a plane already – at 6 weeks old. He’s been in the ocean. He’s been on the NYC bus. He’s been on a ferry to Martha’s Vineyard. He’s been to Florida. Shit, he’s even been to the hood – Trenton NJ. This kid is well-traveled. The way we’re looking at it is that if you shelter the kid too much, he’ll be weird. Maybe we’re weird for thinking this, but we don’t care what you think. Everyone has their way of doing things and some people think we’re nuts for having him on a plane – you know what, this kid is living life.
So, if you’re happy, God bless you. If you wish you did something else, try it. What the hell is the point of living if you’re going to have regrets? Take chances and calculated risks. I’m not saying quit your job, but if writing or photography is a passion of yours, try making it a career. Just saying. I do not regret quitting my job. I do regret losing out on a decent paycheck to support my family but I am fortunate enough to have an understanding wife who supports me.
Find someone that has your back and stick with them. And for Christ’s sake, do what makes you happy.
And don’t think that just because you’ve invested a shitload of time into something that it isn’t worth it to follow your heart and do what you love. This life only happens once so you might as well keep it fresh.
Let go of all that regret and be happy. Even if it means starting fresh.