There is an increasing number of men taking the role of the primary carer for their kids and becoming a stay at home dad. I am one of those dads, and that is probably one of the reasons why I started Whoobly.com.
I decided to take a look at why there is an increase in the number of men that are choosing to become stay at home dads. I will try my best to offer some advice as well along the way.
One of the obvious reasons why more men are becoming a stay at home dads is due to financial reasons. More and more women are becoming career minded, and they are now more likely to earn more than their partner.
Another reason is that men are getting more and more stressed with their careers, and they are not finding their work fulfilling enough and a lot of fathers battle the dark depths of depression.
A lot of dads these days want to take a more active roll in parenting and spend more time with their children, and they are finding more ways to achieve this. For me, it has been essential for me to try and maintain the right balance between my work and my family life.
I am about two years into being a stay at home, dad, and this is my advice so far.
Don’t worry about what other people think…
This very much goes in life in general, but attitudes are changing, and you will come across people who think a child should have their mother as the full-time carer while the dad goes out to work. You will get some funny looks and the odd comment that is intended to cut deep but ignore them.
When I started taking my daughter out on my own and to “mummy” classes, the women in these classes looked at me like I was a mass murderer. A lot of the women would ask if it was your day to have her or “Wheres mummy today?” Lots of people assume a man can only look after his brood for no more than one day at a time.
However, as time passes, people get used to you having your kids with you, and they have started actually being kind to me now. I also now get compliments, and they do think I do a pretty good job of bringing up my little girl.
Keep What makes you-you…
One thing I have found was that when people found out that I was going to be the fulltime carer for my girl they assume that all my hobbies will stop and basically I would give up my life because I was going to be a dad.
I have made a point to still keep doing what I love and yes I have a lot less time than I used to, but it keeps me sane, and I become Danny again and not just Daddy. Keeping my mind active and interested in things helps me relax and in turn, that makes me more relaxed, and my patience is a lot better around my family.
Have a Routine
I have always hated routines, and that is mainly because I have been a director of my own companies for years, so my life has always been fluid but being a stay at home dad has made me realise that it is crucial to have a routine. Without a routine, you can start to feel a bit lost, and you waste time, and you will find the days whizz past, and you have not actually done anything.
My routine is very flexible, and it does change quite often but times for breakfast lunch and tea along with naps and bath time all follow a pretty similar routine and those little things give your days a bit of structure.
Meeting New People
I have worked in my home office for at least the last 10 years, so I know how important it is to go out and meet new people and being stuck indoors with a baby or toddler can be quite a traumatic experience. I do tend to do a few baby groups and the first few times I went it was very daunting, but it is a great place to meet new people, and if you start talking to the mums they do eventually let you into their predominantly female environment.
I was pretty worried about taking my daughter to mummy classes on my own. I usually am quite happy to give a corporate presentation in front of a crowd of people, but mummy classes as a dad can be quite scary. The one thing you have to remember about these classes is that you are mainly doing it for your children and if they are enjoying it, then that is all that really matters. You also often get free tea and biscuits, so all is not too bad.
It is also essential for your children to mix with other children and for them to learn to play and it is right for you to have some adult conversation and also to blow off steam to other people in the same situation as you.
Finally… Have Fun
This sounds silly, but having fun and enjoying what you are doing is an essential thing to do because your children grow up so fast and in a flash, they are all grown up. So if you are a stay at home dad then embrace it and enjoy every single second because that bond you create with your child is worth every single second.