It has been a little over a year since I took on the role of a stay at home dad. I can honestly say that it has been a pleasurable and extremely rewarding experience. Has there been some frustrating times? Yes, but they only lasted for a very short time. So as I reflect on this past year I remembered some of the thoughts I had regarding my new role for the family. I intend to make you laugh and to let the new stay at home parent know that you’re not alone.
1. I got this; all I have to do is keep him alive.
I wanted to eliminate as much stress I could encounter throughout the day as possible. When you have a 3-month-old all they do is eat, sleep, and poop. So I printed out a spreadsheet and tracked when he woke up, ate, changed his diaper, and napped. This removed the stress of having to remember the time of his last feeding and it helped me develop a routine by looking at his sleep and feeding patterns.
That lasted for a couple of weeks, then we got one of those NSA monitors for Christmas, you know… Alexa. Well, I made that little spy work for me! I made a list and would just say, “changed diaper at 4:38 or feeding at 12:45”.
Amazon collected about 4 months’ worth of shit, literally, the date and time of when my son took a shit. Once he got older and I got more confident we unplugged that thing.
2. Eventually, I’m going to have to take him out in public.
This was not a manly ego thing about pushing my son around in a stroller. That doesn’t bother me one bit. It was, how am I going to be able to go grocery shopping? His car seat takes up half of the shopping cart. Do I just put him in the cart and surround him with the food until he looks like E.T. in the closet with all those stuffed animals? Also, I didn’t want him to smash the bread or crack any eggs.
The first few months, one of us would go to the store or we would all go on the weekend. Now that he is big enough to sit in a shopping cart seat or walk, going out is easy. Plus I’ve never spoken to so many women in their 70’s until now.
3. I wonder what others think when I tell them I’m a stay at home dad.
The one thing I learned although it took a very long time is to stop giving a damn about what others think. Life is too short, you do you. About 99.9% of the people who say anything negative are saying that because they hate who they are, and they want to bring you down to their level.
The one thing I hear from every parent is “They grow up so fast, enjoy the time you have with them now.” I always keep that in the back of my mind. So when I tell people that I am a stay at home dad I am proud because if they say something negative it’s probably due to envy or jealousy.
4. My life is passing me by.
Granted I did spend a lot of time and a ton of money to become a chiropractor. I still have the same passion and love for the profession but raising my son is far more rewarding. I will not lie, there are times I wish the roles would be reversed and my wife was the stay at home parent, but you have to do what’s best for the family.
Well so far this is sounding like a pity party and I apologize. There are going to be times you may feel like this and it’s ok, it’s perfectly normal. Just remember that there is no book on life, you get the luxury to write your own.
If your child read the chapter in your life about you being a stay-at-home-dad what would it be about? Would it be sad and depressing, where you talk about how you put your life on hold and gave up your dreams? Or would it be happy and inspirational, where you talk about how you got to watch him grow, develop a personality, and guide him to become the wonderful person he is now?
I believe that being a parent is the most important job in the world. A parent has the responsibility of developing a human, someone who can be independent, has morals and values, respect for themselves and others, and a strong positive mental attitude. I also get the opportunity to do something most parents, when they look back on their lives, would love to have done.
5. Except for my wife, there is no one else I would want to raise my son.
I read so many stories about child daycare workers abusing children and the poor quality of care due to understaffing. This makes me extremely grateful that we never had to even talk about that subject. For the most part, my wife and I share the same morals and values. During her pregnancy, we spent hours talking about what type of person we want our son to be.
The research shows that you develop your personality by 1st grade, so these first 6 years are a very influential time. If he is going to be with someone for the majority of the day I would want it to be with someone who has his best interests in mind. I mean if my son is going to be an asshole I don’t want anyone but myself to blame for that one.
I hope this blog provided you with some useful information. If you enjoyed this article please sign up to receive my newsletter. Thank you and remember, if you shoot for the stars and come up short you’ll still land in the clouds, but if you shoot for the clouds and come up short you’ll land in the dirt.