Avoid Saturday Malaise: Why Stay-At-Home Dads Have To Show Up For Work

Being a Stay At Home Dad offers you the opportunity to write as much and as often as your little progeny will allow. But there are hidden dangers in your newfound freedom. Even the most disciplined writer can quickly fall victim to the Saturday Malaise.

Perhaps you know the feeling. Round about three or four on a Saturday afternoon you are ready to tear your eyes out because all you’ve done is sit on your duff and watch SpongeBob for the past five hours. You feel sick, lethargic, and tired even though you slept in until 11am and spent all day in your underwear.

Lethargy is a symptom as well.

Photo Courtesy of Brenna Richardson © 2013

Once the Malaise infects you, your bloodstream becomes clogged with congealed bacon grease, your creativity stops firing on all cylinders, and your muse is forced to pack her bags and leave, sapping you of all desire and productivity.

Fortunately, this ailment has a cure: Show up to work.

Get Dressed

How you dress affects your psyche in strange ways. Ever been in a situation where you were inappropriately dressed? Remember how it messed with your sense of well-being? Same thing here. If you want to get stuff done you need to wake up before your child, take a shower, and get dressed. Don’t work in your skivvies (tempting as it may be), as this will only increase your risk of contracting the Malaise.

How Dressed?

This is, of course, entirely up to you. No one is saying you need to go around in a suit and tie. It’s important to strike a balance between function and comfort. I try to wear clothes that, A) I wouldn’t be embarrassed to answer the door in, and B) I won’t be heartbroken to have my child puke on.

Stick to the Plan

You are a professional. Don’t slough off your writing because junior is having a bad day, or you don’t feel like doing any work. Meet your benchmarks. Write up a daily schedule and stick to it. This is will help you feel better about yourself as a writer. Today’s productiveness serves as tomorrow’s motivation. Self-discipline is a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.

Speaking of Exercise

Face it dude. You need to work out. Don’t sit around the house all day inventing worlds where people are physically active. Go for a run. Lift weights. Take your kid for a walk at the very least. Physical inactivity quadruples your chances for contracting Malaise.

Take Some Risks

Quit sitting on your writing. Endless revisions will make your writing taste like a casserole that’s been in simmering in the Crockpot for three days. The longer it cooks the blander it becomes. Show your writing to people. Join a critique group. Pitch some publications. You will never take yourself seriously in this thing until you have some skin in the game. You’re a professional. Start acting like it.

What about you? How do you fight off the Malaise? Let me know in the comments. Also, if you liked this post, go ahead and click the +FOLLOW button on the bottom right of your screen. Thanks!



Joshua Rigsby is a freelance writer, tea drinker, and full-time father based in Los Angeles, California.

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