My wife, Naomi, an employment attorney, and I were blessed with a son named David who was born the day after Barack Obama became President of the United States. Seems like way more than 8 years has passed. Hell, the last 2 months has felt like an eternity to me, but let me stay focused and try to avoid discussing politics and our sociopathic man/baby leader.
OK, I was born and raised in New Jersey , and before I was married, I spent 18 years living, working, and playing in Los Angeles where I managed actors and writers and produced a few movies. Feel free to IMDB me. I did the LA thing: fancy dinners, clubs and parties at the The Playboy Mansion. Yep, I met Hef, more than once! Life was fun, but I wasn’t really finding a potential wife. Then in 2004, I was set up on a blind date with Naomi (who lived in San Francisco), and while the couple that set us up was trying to make a match, they were also trying to lure Naomi BACK to LA (where she went to law school and had many friends and relatives). Fifty percent of their plan actually worked!
Naomi and I got married, but I relocated to San Francisco where I continued to manage my clients and develop screenplays. However, once we knew a baby was on the way, I ‘pivoted’ my career in a big way and became a photographer (weddings, bar mitzvahs, family photos etc.) as I prepped to become a… wait for it… STAY AT HOME DAD. (NOTE: Today, in addition to being a stay at home dad and photographer, I run social media for tech startups and executives and write and rewrite movie screenplays.)
In advance of our son’s arrival, Naomi and I read parenting books, and for some reason, I was super excited to test drive strollers. FYI, I fell in love with and acquired a green Baby Jogger Citi Mini (way better, cheaper, and more practical than those of you who went for the Stoke and Bugaboo’s—shame on you!) and a few months before David was born, we relocated to a very ethnically diverse East Bay suburb, about 40 minutes from San Francisco. Plenty of parking, great schools, and lots and lots of playgrounds and parks.
“I am a dad: The best production I’ve ever been a part of. Now what?”
On January 21, 2009, David was born.Wow! Amazing. I am a dad: The best production I’ve ever been a part of. Now what? I tried to join a local MOM GROUP, but they didn’t accept me because I was a stay-at-home-dad and NOT a mom. My wife tried to join the group, but they wouldn’t accept her because she was a working mom, and the group was ONLY for stay at home moms….Really?! Really. Luckily, we quickly found a great local mom playgroup that accepted Naomi and me with open arms, and we are still friendly with the group despite the fact that 4 years ago we moved to our FOREVER HOME in a different East Bay town.
Whether it was a combination of time passing or the openness of a different community, I found many more stay at home dads in our new community, as Naomi and I instantly felt at home in our new home and town. The schools were great, and we were much closer to San Francisco, which we love to frequent.
Life was good (but exhausting) as I shuttled David to and from school, taekwondo, swimming, parkour, tennis, basketball, soccer, baseball, chess classes, computer coding, piano lessons and playdates . I volunteered in David’s classroom, worked in the school library, and was the driver on many class field trips.
David is thriving in school and loves being in 2nd grade, and he’s just a great kid (Yeah, I’m a bit biassed, but it is true. Ask around, he’s really awesome!) Naomi and I are incredibly proud of David and the life we have created for our family.
Being a Stay-at-Home-Dad was a bit more of an anomaly back when David was a baby but today when David and I are out and about, I don’t seem to get as many raised eyebrows or the frequent comments of: “Oh, you took the day off from work to spend some time with your son”. Once in awhile I do get someone saying: “Oh, your grandson is just SO cute.” But, that’s another story!
Being a Stay-at-Home-Dad is a great gig and I savor every moment. Sure, I’m around Mom’s a lot more than most of my guy friends are, but I’m just one of the “girls”. I run into my mom friends at school drop off/pick up or at the gym, a doctor’s office, Trader Joe’s or Costco. We stop and chat, say “hi”, bump fists. It’s all good. And when I run into a Stay-at-Home-Dad, we say “hi” and bump fists but we also share a secret look like we are part of a cool and special club.
So, this is me and hopefully you’ll be reading more about me and my life as a suburban Stay-at-Home-Dad in the future. Until you read me later, feel free to follow me on Facebook and/or twitter @paulgreenstone.