The Stay-at-Home Dad Revolution: How dads are changing the face of parenting
Dad, Author & Radio HostIf you are a stay-at-home dad or thinking about becoming one at any point, it's going to be a bit of a life changer. Part of the reasons is that there is practically no support out there for stay-at-home dads. There's a ton of support for stay-at-home moms. When I was a stay-at-home dad, one of the things that would just annoy the heck out of me is that I would be out walking the kids in the middle of the day, and someone would say, "Oh are you babysitting?" I'd say, "No, I'm not babysitting. I'm taking care of my children." Or I'm taking my children clothes shopping and someone would say, "Where's there mother?" "I don't know where their mother is, does it matter? I'm here to buy clothes. You want my money or you don't want my money?" So you have to be prepared for things like that. People don't get it. They will say, "Oh, I hope you find a job some time soon." You have a job. This is the job I'm doing. Look for opportunities where you can get support. One of the greatest opportunities is other dads. The problem is how to find them. There are not that many stay-at-home dads. As you are at a park, if you see a guy sitting in the corner, far from the group of women on the other side, that's probably a stay-at-home dad. Go talk to him. The problem is that we don't like go to congregate in that way, but if you eavesdrop on the women, they are finding out all sorts of fantastic deals on diapers, or who is the best babysitter, or where are some fantastic activities. We're missing out on all that. You may think you are a new dad and not know all that much stuff. You know stuff and can help other people. They know stuff that can help you. So connect with other dads. There are websites if you look on Google for "at home dad" you will find websites of where there are playgroups of other stay-at-home dads. Make those connections.
Stay-at-Home DadThere are many things I do to debunk myths and stereotypes about being a stay-at-home dad, but the primary one is to be competent, is to just do your job as a parent, is to raise a healthy, happy, aware, smart children. And then you can break it down into subsets of being a really good cook, you can be fashion savvy, you can be tech savvy, you can volunteer for the PTA, you can become a room parent – and I do all of those things. So I think that I’m happy in the progress I’ve made to show that dads can be just as competent as stay-at-home parents as moms can.
Author & Blogger of Dad or AliveWhat are my top tips to surviving an entire day with my kids? You know I think there are 2 things that help me a lot; structure and organization. With my wife being on 10 to 12 hours a day it seems really daunting upfront but when it really comes down to it, it is 3 meals, it is 2 to 3 activity, a nap time, and she is home. What I try to do is in the morning, i try to do something completely based around them. I will take them to a playground or go for a walk and in the afternoon If I need to get something done from me or family says it is grocery shopping I really try and include them in what we are doing let them pick the fruits, let them pick the vegetables, make them feel involved and all avoid any kind of tantrums or breakdowns. Organization, knowing that everything has its place and knowing where everything is that I need at the time helps me a ton.
Blogger & DadI think there's definitely a lot of advantages for a dad being really involved in his child's life, for the dad and for the child. For the dad, you get to be there with your child and experience the great thing of watching them grow up and become the little person that they become. That's incredible, and you learn a lot of lessons that men are not really taught in the rest of their lives, so that's incredibly valuable. And then for the child, it's great for the kid too. I think growing up to see a man in a different role than maybe society kind of inundates them with, that's really valuable to have a more open-minded perspective on what a man can be. And also just being around your dad, I know personally at one point, my father worked overseas for two years. Those were the two hardest years of my life growing up. So, when you have a dad around to guide you and kind of support you, I think that's great for a child and really helps their development as much as possible.