Written by Lance Green
Slowly breaking the age-old stereotypes, dads deciding to be stay at home dads are ever on the rise. Statistics show that for the year 2018, approximately 190,000 married families had a stay-at-home dad.
With the changes in perceptions of gender roles and childcare, moms are not the only primary caregivers for the children. Being a parent is hard and being a stay-at-home parent is no walk in the park. With the sudden and drastic changes brought on by being a stay-at-home dad, most men tend to feel lost or overwhelmed. If you are a stay-at-home dad or are about to become one, read on to learn some tips on how you can better cope with the situation at hand.
If you are new to the whole ordeal of parenting, figure out a routine for yourself and try to stick to it. This way, you can avoid feeling adrift and know what to do in the face of uncertainty. Yes, the baby can throw random obstacles at you like a diaper blow-out or relentless crying but having a semblance of a schedule will help you get through the day.
Besides, having a routine to keep to is good for the kids as well. Remember to include the suggestions given by others who may have more experience in the field.
Get Yourself A To-Do List
Now that you have a general idea of what the day should look like, it is time to iron out the specifics. Discuss with your partner about the chores — this will help you to avoid disagreements at a later stage — communicate well about each other’s expectations and try to meet as many as possible.
If you are working from home, prioritizing tasks can go a long way. Also, get yourself a ‘ta-da!’ list to enumerate all the tasks (no matter how small) that you tackled. Stay organized, stay motivated.
Find Some ‘Me Time’
Parents, especially the stay-at-home kind, forget to take a breather. From changing diapers to whipping up meals and managing out-of-the-blue tantrums, stay-at-home parenting is not for the weak. This is why you should take some time for yourself when you have the chance.
Indulge in a movie, go for a walk, take a long shower, do what eases the stresses of being a parent. Make sure that you are in peak mental, physical, and emotional condition to be the best parent you can be.
One thing that most stay-at-home parents have to battle is loneliness. Having only kids to hang out with all day long and listening to Baby Shark for the millionth time can have serious effects on a person’s sanity.
Connect with other stay-at-home dads that you meet at the park or the school. Try not to be intimidated by the stay-at-home moms who look like they have everything under control. Understand that they are not from a different species; share your experiences, make friends and help each other out.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
You are a stay-at-home dad, it is no surprise that life gets crazy at times. You may need assistance or guidance occasionally, don’t let this undermine your efforts. Do not think less of yourself for needing another helping hand once in a while. In fact, here is where all your stay-at-home parents/friends can help you.
Seek help in the form of parenting books, articles on the web (like this one), or another expert. Talk to someone if you feel like things are spiralling out of control. Moreover, believe in yourself and your capabilities to care for your child.
There is a general social stigma that stay-at-home parents are lesser beings than their working counterparts; you know this is not true. Stay-at-home dads get the worse of it because of the conventional role of men being the breadwinners and not caregivers. Certain people may try to undermine or emasculate you but we know for sure that there is nothing to be ashamed of in caring for your children.
On the brighter side, you get to witness every milestone in your kid’s life and develop a special bond with them. If you are feeling swamped, step aside, take a breather, make sure you are alright, and right back to it. You got this!