This story originally aired on February 23, 2019.
A version of this essay was originally published by Fatherly, an online parenting magazine. Geoffrey Redick is a producer for All Things Considered, who joined KNKX in April 2018 after a decade working part time as a producer and full time as a stay-at-home dad.
I sort of backed into writing for online publications in 2015, when I was taking a break from daily radio production. When I began writing, I made use of the muses toddling and careening and screeching around the house. It made sense to me, because most of my emotional and intellectual capabilities were devoted to my kids. I thought about them all day, every day. It’s only fair that I should get to write about them, too.
I didn’t spend my boyhood daydreaming about being a dad. Certainly not about being a stay-at-home dad. But in the early days of living with our first child, when my wife and I were just trying to make it through each day without forgetting the baby at the park, something in me changed.
Exploring the world with this new tiny human seemed much more important than logging hours at the office. And so I became a part-time radio producer and a full-time, stay-at-home dad.
I’ve written a lot about that transition previously.
What I’ll say here is that I had no idea, when I began staying at home, how long I’d do it. And once the years began to unspool, and a decade approached, it began to seem like I might never have the occasion to write the essay here. In other words, I might never go back to work full time, in an office, away from the kids.
But never is a long time.
And so it came to pass that I got hired, bought some new clothes for the first time in 10 years, and walked into the land of meetings, memos and Friday donuts.
I’ve been back in an office for almost a year now, and I have to say it’s the most fulfilling year of my working life. Much of that has to do with my wonderful coworkers. But it’s also because I’ve rediscovered skills and tools and abilities I hadn’t used in a long time.
I don’t regret staying home with the kids. But I don’t regret leaving them each weekday, either.
Listen to the full essay above.