Any stay at home dads on here?

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  • Any stay at home dads on here?
  • steelfan
    Member

    My partner and I and have been talking about having a baby within the next couple years and financially it makes more sense for me to stay at home and look after he or she.
    I’m quite up for being a stay at home dad but I just wanted to hear about peoples experiences.
    Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

    piemonster
    Member

    I work from home a lot and have a cat, does that count.

    In all seriousness I expect to be in your position in the next year or two. Not for financial reasons, more that she cares about and enjoys her job. Whereas as I’d be quite happy to strip naked and throw my own freshly made doo doo at mine like a deranged bonobo monkey.

    yunki
    Member

    I’m a stay at home dad.. I will write you an epic odessian tome on the subject just as soon as I’ve finished feeding a very wriggly and noisy boy2 and have discovered the source of boy1’s discontent..

    πŸ˜€

    I think it depends on your partner and how she will react to the new arrival, my partner was very independent, had a very well paid job, loved the social side of work etc

    But when the child arrived the thought of going back to work full time went out of the window!

    I work from home and she’s gone back 2 days a week…so far the ship seems to be sailing on an even keel.

    Markie
    Member

    Yes, I’m one. On my way to look at a potential school for ms markie jr to attend next year just now, will post more later. I’m loving it, and have done from the start.

    Markie
    Member

    Yes, I’m one. On my way to look at a potential school for ms markie jr to attend next year just now, will post more later. I’m loving it, and have done from the start.

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    I work from home nearly all of the time and even then it’s not a really a 50hr/wk commitment. With Jr #1 at school and Jr #2 at day care a few days a week. In theory I could look after #2 all the time but it’s much more fun for him to be playing with other children than boring ‘ol me.

    Its only recently that we’ve moved from kind of 50:50 responsibility to Ms S doing the main 9-5 thing and me doing most of the home thing. We take it in turns to concentrate on careers. Jr is walked/cycled/driven to school for 8:45 and picked up again at 3:15. So I get the hours in between to do my work/chores etc and then have the boys to play with/cook for before bedtime. Mrs S will get home sometime before then and get some time with them too.

    It’s a great age to be spending time with them (2.5 & 6) and it’s nice to have the time to do stuff at my own leisure too. My Dad is nearby so we do stuff together, but you do need to try and catch up with other people to stop you going native though. If anyone caught me watching CBeebies when the kids werent in the house….well….

    Me too. Dropped them off at the childminder at 9, now enjoying bacon rolls and my newspaper. It’s great.

    bernard
    Member

    Yes been doing it 3 years it’s great

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    can’t even begin to imagine EVERY minute of every day with my lad….

    i’d top myself within a week.

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    Just finishing off some work emails w a coffee then Im just about to head out to the workshop for a few hours to crack on with a project.

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    once they are 3 or 4 you have access to 15 hrs free childcare a week too.

    We run our own business and share everything 50/50 (ish). I work 4.5 days a week 9-9 and look after the wee guy the rest of the time. When we’re not working we do everything else – food for everyone, chores, play, etc. etc. I love it, it’s great to be able to spend so much time with him before he goes to nursery next year. I’ve got used to the fact that when I take him somewhere (music club, library session, softplay) it’s 99.9% women plus me.

    TS

    I’m part time, 4 days a week work, 1 day a week at home. I also looked after Rose for 3 months when she was 9-12 months.

    I seriously considered quitting work completely and being a full time parent, it is extremely good fun and very fulfilling. The only reason I didn’t was because I really quite like my work too, and it’d be sad to miss doing that.

    I found Rose & I got a lot out of baby groups – things like Twistin Tots (insane baby disco), baby swimming (we did cheap local authority lessons for a few months, now I just take her / teach her myself at the pool’s parent and toddler session – there are fancy baby swimming lessons, but they are *very* expensive, like Β£13 a go), parent & toddler playtime groups, toy library, all that kind of stuff. It was fun to see her playing with other kids, or at least see them all in one place, so you can see how your kid fits in amongst the wide variety of different kids, and good to get some social contact / support with people going through similar things.

    I think men have varying experiences of groups – I’ve met some men who really didn’t get on with baby groups and activities and all that stuff, because they were the only man there. I think whilst in some places women may be unfriendly, at least round here a lot of that is more about the men being shy than the women being unfriendly. Some people also moan that baby groups are just full of women going on about breastfeeding and birth experiences; while that is somewhat true for the first couple of months maybe, once your kid is 3 months or so, it is much less so, everyone is having the same problems and funny experiences looking after their kids whether they’re a bloke or a woman.

    I think I did have a big advantage, because I knew a few people there already, because we’d been involved in things at weekends. And I guess my wife had warned some of them that I’d be taking over with Rose, so they were nice to me! It also helped that by the time I turned up at things, everyone knew Rose (she is quite distinctive, and it is a very small town!). If your wife is doing maternity leave before you take over, try and make sure she introduces you to people, then you won’t end up being the random person turning up at 6 months.

    The other thing I did an awful lot of, both with other people and just us two, was bike rides and picnics. I don’t know if it’s because we indoctrinated her successfully in the very early months, or if it is natural, but there is nothing Rose likes more than being outside, particularly in the woods with the wind going through the trees. I got a bike trailer at 6 months, and used it as my main form of transport with Rose (still do now she is 2 and a half). She really really likes it, and also loves picnics so much. She is very jealous when she sees me making my packed lunch for work and putting sandwiches in my box, because she always thinks that my work must be a bit like having a picnic. Oh and going to the park, basically at least for me, with a baby who wasn’t really at the arts and crafts stage, I found it a million times easier to parent outside, even on snowy and rainy days.

    As well as all that doing stuff advice, my only other piece of advice is that sometimes you’ll just have a day where it all goes wrong, you don’t get anywhere, the baby sleeps at the wrong time, wakes at the wrong time, you don’t get any meals cooked. The brilliant thing about being a full time parent is that it doesn’t really matter, and doesn’t really mean anything about you as a parent, happens to everyone. Just chalk that day up as a wasted day, buy chips for tea, and get on to tomorrow.

    Oh, and something that worked for us, was slings, and a lot of wearing the baby on us. Means you can do stuff with them, like cooking or tidying up, plus they are great for walks in the countryside, or just quickly popping out to the shops. Some people don’t get on with them though.

    Don’t stress at all about nappies and poo and sick, that is easy stuff, you get used to it very quick by the way.

    TooTall
    Member

    We’re planning on me taking on more of the parent role for a while. Ours is 3 and Mrs TT has gone a bit mad being in the stay-at-home mum bubble, so it is her turn to get out there and bring in the main income. She is now better-qualified than me and it is her turn and she wants to get back into a career. I have a unique chance to re-start my life in whatever way we want, so we are, and I can pursue some other thoughts and ideas.
    If it works for your family, do it.

    tonyd
    Member

    Blimey, I was going to say that no-body on here would be a stay at home dad since, if you listen to my missus, you’d never have time to fart let alone post on the internet. I’m quite amazed at how many of you are though!

    I like to think I’d want to be a stay at home dad if circumstances permitted. I love my kids to pieces and hate being away from them, but the realist in me also acknowledges that if I were to spend all day every day with them I’d be ready for the crazy house by now.

    yunki
    Member

    I’ve got lots to say on the subject, but I’m not realistically going to get a chance to sit down til gone 8pm, as both boys are home today and we’re moving house next week.. so it’s all hands on deck

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    you’d never have time to fart let alone post on the internet

    Women faff. It’s a law of nature.

    Running the house is neither difficult nor time consuming. Admittedly the early years with regular feeds/sleeps/nappies/cant leave them alone to grab 40 winks/shower etc are a drag, but once they can look after themselves mostly (say 2+) it’s a P of P.

    tonyd
    Member

    Running the house is neither difficult nor time consuming. Admittedly the early years with regular feeds/sleeps/nappies/cant leave them alone to grab 40 winks/shower etc are a drag, but once they can look after themselves mostly (say 2+) it’s a P of P.

    I completely agree, she doesn’t πŸ™‚

    perthmtb
    Member

    I was a SAHD (Stay At Home Dad) for three years, and it changed me for the good (much less selfish, and firmly put my priorities in order), and I genuinely believe it built the foundation of a much better relationship with my daughter than if I’d been the typical working Dad, but… I also feel its my duty to balance some of the rave reviews the lifestyle is getting on here by pointing out some of the downsides as well…

    1. Infants between the ages of 0 and about 18 months are all take – its a selfless task to be a slave to their biological needs with no real appreciation in return except that it’ll all be worth it in the end. It takes a certain kind of personality to not get worn down by that, and remember, women have the hormones on their side, and they still suffer from post natal depression, so what makes us think we’re gonna do any better at it! From 18 months onwards they start to become little people, and the rewards start to flow in the form of smiles, first words, achievements like walking etc, but before that you’d have to be a saint not to get fed up.

    2. It’s incredibly isolating. Moreso for house husbands because we don’t have such easy access to the support systems stay at home mums do – like mothers in law, mothers groups, ante natal clinics, or just hanging around in the park with other Mums. Say what you like, but its just weird, and you’ll need to build a group of stay at home dads of your own to hang with. It’s especially bad if you were formally the kind of person who’s social life revolved around ‘the boys’, as they will mostly desert you in your time of need, and you’ll have to find a whole new group of friends who understand the way your life has changed.

    3. If you were the kind of person who defined yourself by career achievements, it will be particularly hard, and the poeple you most crave respect from (other ambitious career types) will make you feel worthless. Likewise, it can also be difficult to break back into work after an extended break which no employer values, and most still eye with suspicion – it doesn’t look good on yer CV!

    Sorry if it all sounds rather negative, but you need to know what you’re letting yourself in for. Having said that, given the same circumstances (me – natural career rut, wifey – regular job with all the benefits from a big company) I would still make the same choice, and I haven’t regretted it, and I do have a wonderful relationship with my daughter who is now eight!

    Premier Icon andrewy
    Subscriber

    I’m one too. Andrewy jr is now seven and at school, but I’ve been the main carer since he was one, prior to that we shared it 50:50. It is hard work, but I really enjoy it. I found going to toddler groups etc not too bad, but you do stand out. I tend to prefer womens company anyway, I’ve never been ‘one of the lads’ with all that that implies, so I guess that helps. If you find chatting to women generally awkward, it will be hard to build friendships.

    I was very concious that the early years are very special, and brief, and that many dads almost completely miss that time with their offspring, something that I did not want to happen.

    Once he started school, the role changes a bit, and I was lucky that there were several stay at home dads in his class (so to speak) and they have become good friends, along with many of the mums.

    Oh, and as a final thought, I’ve just come back from a 2hr off road ride, when I only saw two other people on the trails, 15 miles from central London. πŸ˜€

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    and Ive just got back in from picking up a tin of hammerite and back off to the shed for more fettlin’.

    Life’s sweet πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon mtbfix
    Subscriber

    Hand up. I’ve been at home with mtbfixlette for 3 years now. Ok so not every moment is great but the balance f enjoyment and satisfaction over my old job is easy to assess. The mums in the local groups will probably treat you as a novelty for a bit but you will soon become a fixture. No regrets here.

    Edukator
    Member

    I’ve been one for most of my son’s life. He’s 15 now. If anyone can think of any good excuses for not going to work when he eventually leaves home, let me know.

    As for isolating:

    I swim with a club so junior accompanied me to the pool from birth (pushchair on the side) and now swims like a fish. Swim club contact maintained.

    I ride a bike. He did his first Semaine FΓ©dΓ©rale at 7 months in the baby seat, them on a tandem and rode it alone with the MTB kids group from 11.

    The usual social contacts continued, I really don’t/didn’t miss work colleagues (glad to see the back of some).

    From the age of about six I’ve met a lot of people though my son’s schools and activities.

    I work 3 days a week teaching in a further education college and the rest of the week I work freelance as an outdoor/environmental education instructor. My wife works 4 days a week.

    In the winter, in particular, this means that I’m at home a good deal of the time to look after our 20 month old daughter and, since last week, our week old son. Our daughter also spends a couple of days a week at nursery and also some time with her grandparents. It’s nice to be so closely involved with my kids as babies. My dad worked full-time while I was growing up and, perhaps, it meant that I didn’t get to know him as well as I’d have liked (different generation too, though). After he died, and as an “older dad” (I was 41 when our youngest was born) I was conscious that I wanted to spend as much time as I could with my kids.

    It works pretty well.

    rossi46
    Member

    Stay at home dad here too!
    I love the fact that i can spend far more time with my boys than i ever could if i were at work, especially when my own parents had to work all the hours god sent when i was a kid- i remember it being very hard for them. So i’m grateful that it’s a decision i could make.
    Also my wife can earn far more money than i ever could and i hated my job anyway πŸ˜‰
    It’s not all roses, but it is VERY worthwhile!

    It also means that i have the time to take them out and see the world- teach them how to ride their bikes and go fishing with them, that kind of thing. If i had to work in my old job again, i’d be absolutely cream crackered and would probably be a grumpy old git πŸ˜†
    So i feel very blessed….

    yunki
    Member

    Ok… I’m a full time stay at home dad

    it’s been a very hard year the last year with my second son being born when the first was 2.5yo, starting a new family business and mrs yunki putting in lots of hours to make it work left me holding two gnarly kids, often for 16 hours a day 7 days a week in the summer, one of whom was fairly ill for much of the year.. it pushed me to the limits of my sanity and endurance..

    the first lad was ace.. I never thought that I had enough patience to be a good dad, but I absolutely revelled in getting down on his level and sharing the world with him and he positively thrived on it..
    twas like a disney movie

    you truly only get out what you put in but I put in 100% and was rewarded accordingly
    the first year is exhausting, but you will have the mum to share the burden with you for at least some of that time, after that it’s all walks in the woods and bike rides and stargazing and imagining what creatures you might find inside a foxglove and on and on and on

    brilliant

    on hindsight though, we could have been spending more time preparing son1 for the arrival of son2..
    He seemed so naturally gentle and loving and kind that we thought he would take to it like a duck to water so we didn’t ever focus on teaching him to share, or to be generous or to empathise..

    as it turned out this was a bit of a mistake, as son1 suddenly had to start sharing his dad with a screaming maniac and was not overly impressed..

    I’d recommend it, I don’t want to bring the issue of gender into it, but some research has shown that men and women have very different parenting styles and that kids raised by their fathers produce interesting adults..

    It’s probably not for everyone, and I would say that if you are playful, supremely patient and of a naturally calm disposition you will find it less stressful..

    I’m none of those things really, but I am very childlike, which has probably been the key factor in ensuring their survival so far

    πŸ˜€

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    Fantastic stuff. I’m contemplating going down the same route so all usefull stuff.

    And don’t forget how much more time you can spend on here…

    I do it.
    Best job in the world. Also by far the hardest.

    Missus gets her up & fed before leaving for work. I do the rest till she’s come home and cooked tea.

    Its easy when they’re new born. Just eat, sleep and fill their nappies. But as they grow they’ll require exponentially increasing degrees of input & effort combined.
    But it also gets more fun, my daughter surprises me and has me laughing my head off some days.

    richpips
    Member

    Mine are 11 and 8 now. With both kids, my wife was back at work within 6 weeks, and I’ve done most of the childcare since, being occasionally self employed.

    As others have said, the traditional parent mother & toddler groups can be less than welcoming to blokes, though I persevered for the kids sake.

    If you’re happy without social engagement other than your child (and the stw forum of course) then you’ll enjoy it.

    I loved bringing them up as babies, in fact my wife jokes she never changed a nappy.

    When they get to primary school, if you can still avoid working, then you get to go and ride your bike, after doing your housework first of course. πŸ˜‰

    In summary if you get the chance, do it. Spending time with my kids has been awesome.

    TooTall
    Member

    When else in your life will you have the chance to hang out with a load of yummy mummies at Tumbletots/swimming/Rugby Tots with the full knowledge (approval perhaps) of your wife? πŸ˜€

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    yummy mummy count in my experience is very very low. Its disappointing knowing you bagged a good’un at home and there’s nothing else in the sea worth pitching for πŸ™‚

    I imagine the delicious daddy Β© count is equally weak for the ladies πŸ˜‰

    I am a stay at home dad for half the week. When the junior sailor came along both my wife and I dropped our hours to 4 days a week. I really enjoy they days I look after our daughter, it isn’t always easy and somedays I feel that we have taken one step forward and two back but that I suppose is the joys of parenthood. She is now old enough to go out on wee adventures so I’m really looking forward to this summer.

    Would of been ever so slightly better off if we have both kept working fulltime but being at home does mean that I get to she her grow up instead of paying someone else to watch her.

    steelfan
    Member

    Thanks for all the great info and real life experiences.
    I know it wont be easy but after reading all the posts above I feel much happier about staying at home. Its great to see how involved you all are in your child’s up bringing, especially at an early age and this is something I would like to do too.

    Grittyshaker- I had exactly the same experience with my father. I remember he was always working late and often worked weekends. I’m also in my early 40’s and lost my father a few years ago, and I don’t want history to repeat itself by me not being around much.
    But I might still keep an eye out for those yummy mummy’s! πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes
    Subscriber

    Another hand up here. Father of 3, ages now 10 to 15. Used to be an IT consultant and trainer. Mrsmidlife had six weeks off after the first of the crashes arrived, four weeks after the second and the weekend after number three.

    It’s been great, best thing I’ve done. As others have said, early years are a bit of a grind, being on duty all the time takes some getting used to, but young children are entirely dependent on you so you get on with it.

    Mums and toddlers type things can be weird, but you just get stuck in, introduce yourself lots, and usually you can break down the barriers. Still have quite a few mates from there and kids still in touch too. There will still be loads of people think you’re either unemployable, a criminal or just plain weird. Their problem. Once had a special support worker come along to have a special session with the three dads who came to the local children’s centre. He wanted to help us with substance abuse issues and liasing with employment and probation services. We laughed in his face and sent him packing.

    I managed to go freelance and keep up an IT career for years afterwards, finding a childminder who would be flexible so long as I guaranteed at least two days a week money whether I used her or not. As my skills got less up to date, it gradually lapsed, but if it had been that important, I could have kept it going, but have moved into property since.

    You need to keep up your hobbies, and your mates, and your relationship with your wife, so timetable that stuff or it will get lost in the child centred stuff which will take over. You do get to ride your bike, but it might have a trailer on the back, and it probably won’t be at the times you’ve been used to. If you like riding with your mates, riding with your kids is better again. Enjoy the ride.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Since or lad was 6 months old I dropped from 5 days a week to 4 to look after him. As some have said above, it is hard work, I certainly couldn’t do it all week.

    I found the kids groups to be not that accepting, not because they didn’t like me, but more because all they would talk about was breast feeding, diets, clothes and poo.

    Mrs FD works very long hours, some times 100+ per week, so I never get time away from Jnr FD, and although I love him to bits, you do need time away for your sanity.

    I think their is predudice in the workplace towards male primary caters ie having to justify reduction in hours more than women, leaving early if son/daughter is ill. Although society is changing the expectation is still that the woman cares for the child.

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