It’s been almost a month since I was forced to become a stay-at-home dad. It’s been a learning and sometimes challenging experience. I have been learning and adapting as I go and have compiled a few of the things I have learned. Maybe some new stay-at-home dad would benefit from it.
Never give the kids food choices – During my first week, I would ask the boys what they wanted for breakfast. While I prepare cereal for one, toast with peanut butter and jam for the other and porridge for the third I would vow to myself not to ask again but would ask at lunch and again end up making two or three different meals. My boys are fussy eaters and I was an amateur.
Planning on giving the kids a treat? Keep it to yourself. During my learning stage, I got excited whenever I had plans to take the boys to the splash park or for ice cream. I would make the mistake of telling them beforehand and endured the endless questions for the rest of the day. “When are we going, Daddy?” “Are we still going to the park?” If something comes up and you are unable to go, then you won’t hear the end of it. Once I had to cancel a splash park visit because of rain. I broke the news to the boys and my 5-year-old responded, “So? We could still go. We are getting wet anyways.” I didn’t respond. How could I?
Nap when the kids are napping. A very important piece of advice. At first I chose to do most of the housework when they were having their naps. By the time they got up, I was ready for a nap myself.
Work when the kids are napping. If you wake up bursting with energy and raring to go, don’t go napping because your kids are, you lazy bum. While they are up, spend some time with them. Tire them out so they will be glad to go down for a nap while you take the chance to catch up on your chores.
Grab a shower when the kids are tucked in bed. For some strange reason, just when I am all soaped up, one of the boys would knock on the door wanting something. Or there would be shouts of “Daddy, come wipe my bum!” Never fails.
Plan. Yes, plan. Plan your meals and your daily activities. Don’t ignore your own housework. There’s not enough hours in the day and you will quickly find out. I have had some days where I had to run around preparing supper for the boys when they were supposed to be in bed for the night. A simple meal plan would have helped.
Enjoy it! If it’s a temporary thing you as it is for me, then enjoy spending time with your kids. Do the things you couldn’t do while at work. Make it count!
- Tips for Maintaining Your Identity as a Stay-at-Home Dad (whatyoutinkdaddy.com)
- Here we go (weeblingdad.wordpress.com)
- My life as a stay-at-home dad (guardian.co.uk)
- Daddy Day Care (caramieandtheboyz.wordpress.com)
- What It’s Really Like To Be A Stay-At-Home Dad (dreamarriage.wordpress.com)