Written by Cara Barilla – educational columnist and journalist
In 2017 the fundamental role for good parenting doesn’t always stay to one gender. Sometimes in this day and age the mother of the two plays a vital role financially thus leaving the father to stay at home and support the children. Whether you are in this role or not; there are no traditional “rights or wrongs” to this matter as long as there is strong foundations of healthy role modelling, support, guidance and care. In westernized society, the higher levels of fathers becoming “house husbands” has rapidly increased over the last 5 years. When you are a stay at home dad, it can be extremely overwhelming as some couples don’t have a choice in this consequence. Here are some simple steps to assist in the healthy progression of being a stay at home dad in 2017.
Embrace the unique dad in you; Your children love you for you. Try not to be their boss. As men naturally take charge and leadership and can play the “alpha male” and CEO role with much instinct; this is not the case when dealing with children. It’s best to bring out the fun and nurturing side of you. Do lots of research to adapt to the nurturer role with more loving support. Children may learn with fear or retaliation if being dealt under a hard and strict role. Balance is key. It’s healthy to balance all kinds of your natural personality with the lightest heart and best intention. Try play some educational and practical games to educate them with new routines.
Connect with other dads; Jump on facebook, Instagram or connect with your local early childhood community to jump on board with other fathers who are going through then exact same situation as you. You’d be surprised that there are so many in your radius that is sharing your lifestyle. Sharing advice and stories with like-minded dads will help you boost your confidence and will ensure you that you are not doing a bad job. Not to mention you could meet some life-long friends along the way too!
Keep a solid routine; Staying grounded helps you keep mental and physical control of your surroundings. Children naturally like being guided by a set plan and structure. Set boundaries, get to know your children’s eating, sleeping and bathing schedules. You will find that predictability in a day will help you feel less stressed, you will find a lot of clutter in your mind will cease to exist, and there will be plenty of room for extra activities and educational playtime.
Don’t stress! One of the worst things in this situation that you could do not only to yourself but to your children is to stress. Try and organise yourself for the day, drink plenty of water, eat healthy and think healthy to stay connected with yourself and your surroundings. Its important to keep in contact with other people throughout the day to assist with anything you may need assistance with, whether you are mentally instable from a scary incident or just need some adult conversation, balance is key.
Take your role with pride; this job is not the easiest one, and for some men, may not be taken seriously. Just remember that this is the most important role you could possibly embark on. You are responsible for the health, wellbeing and mental & physical growth of your little one. It’s a tough ride so just accept it with pride. Ensure to yourself that you and mentally and physically prepared for this life changing role. Have a chat to your local gp before or during fatherhood as they can provide you with personalized regimes and practice.
Don’t stay at home! To keep your wellbeing and your childrens wellbeing at best interest, its best to balance indoor and outdoor life with confidence. This will educate your little ones with the difference of manners in public, discipline, geography, education on surroundings and routine.
Whether you are taking on this role long term or short term, this is a role and experience which will mold your childrens foundations from the very beginning. Its crucial to communicate to your partner, parents and close loved ones for some practical advice. This will ultimately help you construct a safe living situation for yourself and your surroundings. By booking in to your local community group will aid in good quality local support by giving you the right sources and information for quality parenting in all aspects.