Learning the art of parenting for stay at home dads

We are witnessing a new zeitgeist in parenting these days, with more and more dads jumping at the chance to stay-at-home and look after their children. The trend has sparked an endless debate, but often contains a hopeful footnote about stay-at home dads. Whether it’s the changing face of the economy or a simple sign of modern times, the reasons are aplenty.

Most dads these days are finding ways to spend more time with their children and, if they find their work unfulfilling, they may make the transition from full-time employee to full-time father.

Here are some survival tips to make your first few months easier:

  • Embrace the role

Wear the title as a full-time dad proudly and unapologetically, most people will respect that. When you’re asked, “So, what do you do?” – don’t name your old jobs or future jobs. Remember, this is something you choose to do, not something you are forced to do until something better comes along.

  • Stand up for yourself

Recognise and defend the idea that being the breadwinner isn’t the only way to provide for your family, and that what you contribute to the family is very, very valuable.

  • Ask for your partner’s support

Having a partner that understands the contribution you are making to your family and supports you in that role is very important. Don’t treat your partner like a secondary parent. Certainly, you will be the one with your finger on the pulse of your children’s schedules, but you are a parenting team.

  • Non-childcare related housework

Your role also involves the cleaning, cooking and laundry. The stereotypical role of a housewife often meant that a mum who stayed home with the children assumed responsibility for a myriad of general housekeeping tasks which will now fall under your remit.

  • Schedule mental breaks

Life with small children can easily make you feel on the edge. There is a high level of exhaustion, so make sure you take breaks. Whether it’s an hour in the morning before the chaos or sometime in the evening after your children are asleep, it will do wonders.

Parenting tips for stay at home dads

1. Don’t spend all day watching TV with your child, instead spend as much time as possible outdoors

2. Children take ages to do the simplest of things, be patient and enjoy the new rhythm

3. Listen to how you talk to your child; keep the whining tone to a minimum, or you’ll soon hear it coming right back at you

4. Sooner or later your child will throw a tantrum; don’t lose your patience and don’t give them what they want quickly to quieten them

5. Schedule their meal timings, and ensure they eat as per your schedule

6. Keep some ‘me’ time and let your kids play by themselves in their room

That said, you don’t have to miss not going to work when Arise offers a work from home opportunity for every stay-at-home dad in the UK. To join Arise create your profile to begin the admission process.