The Stay at home Dad life – Is it all sunshine and rainbows or is it a harder job than a career?
Well we are in September, we made it, or have we? I wanted to update some of you with my Status as the SAHD – Stay at home Dad. Still here, surviving and breathing, the kid’s and Sarah are still alive… We haven’t murdered anyone or each other yet.
Being a Stay at home Dad in the UK isn’t as easy as you may think. British Men and Fathers are Proud, still in the mindset of the generation of our parents. Stuck in the mindset that Mum is the parent to stay at home with the children and the Dad is the Career man and main earner within a family home.
This is 2020!! The Year of the SAHD (Stay at home Dad) in my eyes.
This is 2020 people!! Times have changed from the era of our parents. Women in the workplace are equals, In some scenarios of a family the Wife/Mum has the higher earning potential than the Husband/Dad. That is the case in our household. As I have mentioned in previous posts before about my decision of being the Stay at Home Dad, Sarah (my fiance) has always had the higher earning potential.
The way we as Dads and Fathers imagine how people will be judging regarding the decision of being the at home parent. What your family may think of you for wanting to become the Stay at Home Dad. People thinking you are mad or crazy for wanting to be home more with your children.
Whatever the decision, it is yours and your families decision. I had similar thoughts when myself and Sarah discussed me being the SAHD.
The SAHD – Stay at home Dad Stigma!
There is a sense of stigma around being the stay at home dad. I haven’t experienced it verbally but I have experienced the odd funny look in the playground on the school and nursery runs. People stating that I must be mad to want to be the at home Dad to the 4 girls we have living with us.
(Want to know more about what it’s like for me being a Dad of 5 girls, you can find that out Here).
I think the stigma around it and the scenario is pretty simple though. It is more of a social stigma than anything. For some mums in the playground or at say the local stay and play or playgroup. It is odd for them to see a Dad there. They aren’t used to it.
Crazy I know but I think it is more they do not know how to start a conversation or how to react. They maybe won’t come and talk to you for the first few weeks at a playgroup, but after seeing you attending more regularly and seeing the fun and interaction you have with your child/children then the barrier is broken down somewhat. Like they are more at ease.
I don’t see why there should be this form of social stigma around a Dad being such an important role in their child’s life. Do you?
I mean from reading online some have faced the more serious stigma around being the SAHD. The larger negatives from being in the stay at home dad role. A lot like in this article I recently read on the BBC News regarding Sexism this Father experiences everyday as the Stay at Home Dad!! I mean that is Bonkers (you can take a look at that article Here). Can some people be this judgemental and mindless?
Sometimes others unknowingly or not being aware of the stigma that some men are aware of or maybe feel. Such as the way people may look at you, sort of a judging demean-er. In some I don’t think it is meant to be, but it can lead to you possibly thinking this. This leads me onto the affects of the Stay at Home Dad depression and the feeling of being Isolated.
Stay at home Dad Depression & the feelings of Isolation.
I have been asked this question a few times over the last 18 months that I have been the Stay at home Father. Do you not get Lonely?
It is lonely, it can be frustrating and boring at times, an essence of Groundhog Day within your routine. This can be difficult to deal with at times. The same old day in day out can get quite tedious. The loneliness and lack of adult company in some cases has let to more SAHD’s feeling depressed. That is only if you let it though.
The loneliness barrier was never easy for me to breach and overcome, Why? Like most of you readers will know, I have always tried to be as honest as I can about my own Mental Health, such like my daily struggles with Anxiety and Depression (you can take a look at my Mental Health posts here). This can be a large impact for any man out there who is considering becoming the SAHD.
I have always struggled with meeting new people and being in a busy environment, Social Anxiety is a pain in the ass. I think for the first two months of being at home with beast and doing the school runs.
The panic and fear of being in the Playground, even making an attempt to speak to another parent about organising a play-date for one of my daughters would cause me to be an anxious wreck. The overwhelming worrying over what people are thinking of me was quite debilitating.
But for the children you are at home with, you have to push yourself to overcome these anxious situations. We cannot let them defeat us or make us submit. Since pushing myself along with positive reassurance from my Partner, I ventured out for Walks with our youngest daughter Beast. I conversed with other parents in the playground on the school run. I became a regular at one of our local playgroups.
It was great and such a fantastic feeling to have overcome them which even though it was tough and difficult, it is an achievement which has added an increased level of time spent with my kids. The bond I have with Beast is beautiful and Heartwarming.
I think for any Father facing this opportunity, especially throughout the last 7 moths of Lockdown here in the UK. A large amount of Dads have realised that they can have their career and work from home. They can be largely involved in their childrens lives around work.
I see 2020 being the year that more Dads take on either a more involved at home role with their children and partners but also a more flexible approach to their Working life. Making themselves more available for time to spend at baby and toddler groups or Stay and Learn sessions at their child’s school. Having the flexibility to decide to stay and work from home if one of their children are not feeling well and to support their spouse.
If you are a working Dad reading this, Would you like to have more involvement in your children’s lives and either be more of an at home role to your kids, maybe more flexible with the working life to attend more events with your children.
Drop a comment after this post, let me know your thoughts and maybe discuss how you would like to be more involved in your child/children’s life.
I know what some of you are possibly thinking… Are there any Stay at home Dad Benefits?
Lets flip the subject slightly as being the stay at home dad isn’t all negatives and issues. There are benefits from being the stay at home dad. No no no we aren’t talking about Universal Credit here or any other financial related benefits.
I mean being the stay at home parent brings lots of opportunities time wise around the naps for some much needed and well deserved you time. Nope this isn’t an excuse to be irresponsible and crack open a beer or pour yourself a dram of whisky!!
Catch up with friends, either over the phone or for them to pop round for a coffee. Smash a bit of Call of Duty online or your best time around Silverstone Circuit on F1 2020 for you Xbox One or PS4.
One thing that I have being missing with my Toddler Beast, is the time we get to spend alone. This may sound selfish and I do feel a bit of parental guilt admitting it, but I am able to offer more attention to her. To sit on the floor with her and build towers or castles out of Mega Bloks. To sit and flick through a Whats the colour book.
During our time in Lock-down due to the Covid19 pandemic, there has simply just being too much going on. As you can imagine with 4 kids at home it is rather hectic and loud. I either cannot sit with her in peace to assist her with what colour or animal she is pointing to in a book. Sing a nursery rhyme with her without one of the older 3 or 4 girls interrupting or displaying their annoyance of us singing while they are playing Roblox or watching a film on Disney+!!
The time you will spend, the activites and fun you will share with your child/children is unimaginable. Your bond with your child/children will become stronger and the memories created are unforgettable.
Wow!! This became a serious subject didn’t it? Lets lighten it up with some form of humour… How about some Stay at home Dad Memes.
I love a good meme, don’t you? Those hilariously captioned photos that are created of any subject within Googles data bank.
I mean all you have to do is type into a Google Image Search… ‘Stay at Home Dad Memes’ and what appears can be found Here.
I mean some of them are rather hilarious. Here are a couple of my favourites below.
Hopefully these 2 stay at home dad memes and the ones you will check out from following the above link for more Stay at Home Dad memes on Google Images.
What I would like to know is…
If you had the opportunity to be the Stay at home Dad. Would you do it?
Would you like to spend more time at home being either the at home parent or a more flexible role at work?
If you have thought about being the SAHD or want to know more, take a look through some of the articles that are available over at Dad At Home:
DadAtHome was formed to offer a unique reference point on how to be a stay at home dad.About our site – www.dadathome.co.uk
Not long back I published a post which you may also find useful. I call it My Stay at home Dad Survival Kit which you can check it out Here.