Gone are the days when only women were considered responsible for raising the children and taking care of the home, even if it meant sacrificing their careers. While there may be some cultures around the world that still embrace this ideology, it may be practically beneficial to have two working parents to handle the constantly rising cost of living.
But if the need came, would you consider taking on the role of a stay-at-home dad?
Becoming a Stay-at-Home Dad
According to a survey conducted by a professional job search portal, it was found that over the past decade nearly 4 in 10 men were open to becoming stay-at-home dads if their financial situations were conducive.
Another study conducted in Canada saw that while there were only about 1 in 70 stay-at-home dads in the ’70s, by 2015 this number had grown to 1 in 10 families.
If you are planning to join them, though, make sure you make a sound decision because there are many aspects to becoming a good stay-at-home dad.
What are the factors to consider before choosing to become a stay-at-home dad?
Women might have an upper hand in parenting skills, with their innate maternal instincts, but men, on the other hand, might have to put in a little extra effort, especially if they decide to take on the role of being a 24×7 caregiver.
A few factors to consider before stepping into the big shoes:
- Financial matters: The most important factor to consider is if you can afford the decision. Most people work because they need the income; so, are you financially stable to become a stay-at-home dad who may or may not get a chance to even do freelance work?
- Proving your skills: Can you convince your spouse to trust your parenting skills?
- Loss of sleep: Are you ready to be woken up at odd hours just because your toddler is up, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed?
- Saying goodbye to me-time: Expect long days, with a few to none short breaks, mostly dictated by your child.
- You’re on your own: Everything is your responsibility, there’s no personal secretary or colleague to give you a hand.
- Limited socializing: The only adult you may see all day would possibly be your spouse.
- Immersing yourself in your child’s world: Are you ready for all the play dates, picnics, field trips, lunches and sleepovers to deal with?
Once you sort out these details with your spouse and come to a mutual decision, you could try and practice some of these tips from seasoned stay-at-home fathers who have been there and done that already.
Tips from seasoned stay-at-home-dads:
- Start by fully accepting your decision to become a stay-at-home dad. A half-baked decision will only make you regret the whole idea within a few days, ruining the experience for both you and your family.
- Learn to plan your day around your child’s schedule. Your wife may be the perfect multitasker, but show her that your time management skills are decent too. For instance, learn to do your household chores like laundry and meal-prepping when the child is asleep, etc.
- Make time for your adult friends, or make friends with other stay-at-home dads and mothers in your neighborhood to keep your sanity intact.
- Practice mindfulness and patience, especially when your child only wants to listen to “Let It Go” on a loop, all day.
Finally, all said and done, becoming a stay-at-home dad may just be the best decision you make because you’ll get to cherish extremely special moments with your child.
Jackson, J. (n.d.). 5 Things You Should Know About Being a Stay-at-Home Dad. Retrieved from https://www.readersdigest.ca/health/relationships/stay-at-home-dad-tips/
Worford, D. (n.d.). How to Know If You’re Ready to Be a Stay-at-Home Dad. Retrieved from https://www.verywellfamily.com/are-you-ready-to-be-a-stay-at-home-dad-3126854