With the state of the economy in today’s reality, companies are folding nationwide and people are losing their jobs left and right, strongly affecting the family unit. Losing a job can have dire consequences for families with the cost of living, insurance, and childcare. It is sometimes easier to just leave one parent at home, but which one? Well, the traditionally obvious choice is not who you think. Recently, Stay-At-Home-Dad’s, (SAHD’s), have become the new norm.
A lot of fathers are now finding themselves at home as the primary caregiver for the children while their significant others go to work full time. When men choose to stay home and work, the mindset is different. They are ready to take on the challenges of staying at home. And, what people don’t realize is that being a SAHD is just as important as if it were mom. By staying at home, dads have the opportunity to take a walk in mom’s shoes, experiencing the day-to-day norms of cleaning, running errands, childcare, cooking, homework, etc. Some men actually appreciate their significant others even more after experiencing their workload, in turn, making their relationship stronger.
To help out our fathers and make sure that their journeys are smooth sailing, here three survival tips for the SAHD!
1. Your child is your number one priority. Ignore the cellphone, ESPN, or the emails, and make sure that you put the children first. Remember, you are no longer a workingman but a family man. It is time to make sure that you know what their favorite foods are, what time Peppa Pig comes on, how to enter the carpool line, and so on. This will be an excellent time for you to get to know who your child is and develop a bond that will last a lifetime.
2. Find a way to connect with other SAHD’s. Becoming a SAHD is a big adjustment, so finding someone that is going through the same things that you are can be life-changing. Find other dads to hang out with and schedule some play time not only for the kids but for yourselves as well.
3. Make mommy happy. Staying at home with the children doesn’t give you a free pass to be a couch potato, babysit, and do nothing else. Get involved. Clean up around the house, pitch in, have dinner ready, run the errands, pick up the dry cleaning—make sure that you put a smile on mom’s face when she walks through the door. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but showing a little effort goes a long way.
Most importantly, remember, being a SAHD is a big adjustment. Even though you are ready for the challenge, be patient with yourself and the situation. In time, you will develop your own routine, wondering why you didn’t become a SAHD sooner.