Things You Should Never Say to a Stay-at-Home Dad!
From the moment of the birth of my baby boy my husband was a stay-at-home Dad. It's slowly becoming more common, but we're still fighting public spaces where baby changing units are only in women's toilets and people who say really dumb shit.
Here my husband lays down the rules for things you should never say to a stay-at-home dad...
"Don't you need to do something more fulfilling for YOU?"
Variations of this include "but what about your life?" And so on. Whenever I hear this I wish I could scream - What could be more fulfilling that bringing up a small human? A 9-5? Are you nuts?
"Don't you need to get out of the house?"
I do get out of the house. I'm not held hostage with my kid in the cellar! We go out every day. Today we played football at the local park then chilled in Costa whilst waiting for the rain to pass. We hung out in the library and went to my friends for lunch. I take the buggy and the dog out for my daily run and you know what? It's awesome. Did you get out the house today?
"You need your own 'thing'…"
My son is my 'thing'. I created a 'thing' and he’s more my thing than the band I was in and than the football team I’m the perennial substitute/linesman for.
I understand the need for your own thing, but you don’t have to look far for your own thing. It’s your family, your relationships, your care. It’s not just about the things you do for you, what you give is your thing too.
"Don’t you have a job?"
No. Well actually yes, this is a job. And although I’m not being paid for it yet I fully expect my son to reimburse me for the hours.
"You're so lucky, I wish I could chill at home all day"
I get to take a breather when he sleeps, but aside from that it's a constant trial of entertainment. Teaching your child the most basic of motor skills takes a lot of time, love and patience - hours of pressing light switches does not equate to chilling.
"You must be so bored"
Even considering the 3 hours of light switch testing nothing could be further from the truth. You can't get bored, you can't even blink, if you do someone usually ends up hurt. When you give your child attention you see the rewards, you see them learn and develop...it's special.
"Oh right, so what else do you do?"
Life goes through phases and this phase is all about raising my son the best I can. Retrospectively these early stages don't last long, I'm pleased to be able to dedicate my time to him at this moment. We're all adults making choices and sacrifices, why some people think raising a child isn't 'enough' to do is beyond me.
"Aren't you uncomfortable with your wife earning all the money?"
I think these societal pressures are completely outdated. My family life is not a competition.
Written By Richard. (Not the first, nor the last Dad to choose to stay at home with their baby).