Sometimes one little change can be the best thing that ever happens to you

When my wife and I decided that I should stay at home, I was unsure about it. I wanted to go out and provide for my family. But currently, this is the best situation for my family. You never truly know how big of a sacrifice you are willing to make for your family until you get put to the test.

I made that sacrifice and while it is not the path usually taken, I could not imagine my life any other way. So for you men out there who are wondering if you should take on the caregiver role, these are my reasons as to why it is the most amazing job.

 

 

#1 As a Stay at Home Dad you get to spend all your time with your baby

Seriously, who would you rather spend eight hours with? A micromanaging, grumpy, old middle-aged person? Or the spinning image of the love of your life, wrapped up in the tiniest, most precious package?

Yeah, I prefer that little innocent baby. Who can make me smile just by trying to put food in her mouth and only getting 5% of it in.

The saying is true, time is the most valuable thing in life.

When you look back, you will be able to remember the challenges you took on taking care of this tiny baby. Yes, our debt is growing and we can’t buy everything we want these days, but I have the most amazing memories – those are worth way more than cash.

#2 You’re baby learns to trust you and together you develop a special bond

As your child grows up, you can physically see that she trusts you and depends on you for everything. You start to see the love in her eyes that was not there when she was a newborn.

If she gets scared, she goes straight to you. When she is happy, she goes straight to you. When she is upset, she goes straight to you.

You are her everything and she knows that you are going to be there for her every morning she wakes up. Imagine? Your child wakes up and she is looking exclusively for you.

There is this natural intuition of what to do and how to take care of her that will grow within you.

The bond grows so strong that you get to the point where you look at her and know exactly what she needs, what she is thinking and you know exactly what to do for her.

There really is nothing else like it, it is powerful and I hope that we have this bond for the rest of our lives.

#3 You get to see your daughter or son grow up before your eyes

Everyone always says that kids grow fast.

That is no lie or exaggeration. 

One minute my baby would just stay in one spot and could not roll over, now she is running and climbing stairs. It really does move fast, but I have been a witness to all her major milestones.

I saw her roll over for the first time, crawl, walk, run, and everything in between. It is probably the most rewarding part of being a parent and I get to live and witness every moment in person. I do not have to observe these things through photos, videos or FaceTime. I know I will never miss a moment.

#4 You’re able to teach your child and watch her absorb it all

Our dogs are characters! They startle my baby every time they bark. And they bark for everything, as a result I am always yelling ‘stop.’

I must say stop about 50 times a day.

As a result, at probably at around10 months, my baby started scolding them and telling them ‘stop.’ It was one of her first words. Not only did she say it, but she says it exactly the same way I do. It is heart melting.

But it reminds you that she is watching and learning from you at all times.

You also get to witness your baby learn colors, the alphabet, shapes and so many other things. They are little sponges and learn so fast.

Yes, take time to teach her, but also remember she is learning even when you are at your worst. She will pick up all your good and bad habits.

My wife may not say the really bad words, but she says, ‘crap’ a lot. Yup, my daughter says crap now too. But she is easily influenced and will forget about the no-no words once we stop using them.

#5 You get to play all day

In a way you get to relive your childhood. I remember staying at home with my mom, she would cook, clean and play with me. I get to do the same with my daughter. We play more than we cook and clean though. While we play I see her little brain making connections and growing.

Plus, she has some pretty cool toys and I intend on getting her toys I like when she is older. I also get to share with her the types of toys I played with when I was younger. The toys have not changed too much since I was a kid. The look of the toy may be updated, but the concept is the same.

Play all day or sit in a three hour-long meeting where nothing gets done? Hmm? Which one should I choose?

#6 You get to try out recipes and cook for your baby

Before I stayed at home, I would cook my wife breakfast on special occasions and would make dinner every once in a while. We would also eat out quite a bit. Now that we are on a bit of a budget and are trying to be healthier, I cook more often.

It is actually fun and relaxing to cook, you get to have a creative outlet. What is even cooler is all of the recipes they have online for toddlers.

I like to try out new recipes every once in a while to see what she likes. The other day I found a butternut squash macaroni and cheese recipe and she loved it. Finding a food that is healthier and she enjoys is definitely a dad victory.

Seeing my baby actually eat is amazing in itself! If you have a toddler, you know how hard it is to get your child to eat. My wife is also really enjoying homemade food.

Side note to all you stay at home dads – I also pack my wife’s breakfast and lunch to take to work. Major brownie points there! So being a stay at home dad goes beyond taking care of your kids, you take care of your partner too. She got the short end of the stick having to attend all those meetings, I owe her!

#7 You get to go out together and do all sorts of activities

Remember in school when you used to go out on cool field trips? Yup and it was done while other kids were in school and adults were all at work! Well I get to do that with my daughter, we go everywhere together and once she gets older we are going to do all sorts of activities.

We get to run errands without the crowd and go grocery shopping and have the aisles all to ourselves! No lines at checkout either. It is the little (kind of petty) things that count.

Being a stay at home dad does not mean you stay home 24/7, in fact, it is quite the opposite. This summer we went swimming at least once a week and she loved it (and so did I).

But at the same time, since I do not have a typical 9-5 (I will blog about my side hustles soon), my family and I get to do things on the weekend together.

In October alone, we went to visit White Sands National Park, visited a pumpkin patch where my daughter rode her first pony, went to a Halloween party and trick or treated. It was a busy month. Do not get me started on all the activities and fun we had during the holidays.

We were all able to do all of this together, and I know if I had to ‘work’ I would have missed out on all of it – if not most of those things.

#8 You feel like a better parent

When she wakes up and you are the first face she sees and she is happy to see you, that just immediately lets you know that you are a good parent. Since she was born, I feel like I have grown immensely as a father.

I have made many mistakes, but now that we have gone through so much and have our routines, I know I have grown as her father and as a person.

Now at 18 months old, I can talk to her, ask her what she needs and she actually responds. I relish knowing I am the one that taught her that. Her life is better because she can communicate.

When she puts her toys away or sings her favorite songs, I am proud. I think, I did that. Man, my pride for my baby is through the roof and I hope you can experience this feeling someday.

#9 You don’t have to leave your daughter with anyone else

I have nothing against any type of care providers, they make the world go round and raise the children of the world. I just did not feel like it was the right choice for our daughter.

I really wanted her to grow up around family, it was important to both my wife and I.

We also did not want her to be with someone we did not know. Now, if we knew we had no other choice – we would have put her in daycare, but we did have a choice. We knew we could live off of one salary for a while and we have done just that.

Deciding childcare is a very personal decision. If you told us the day we found out my wife was pregnant, that in nine months I would be a stay at home dad, I would not have believed you.

How we got to this place was a series of circumstances that all led to one of the best choices of my life. You can read about it in this post: Seven Questions to the About Before Making the Decision to be a Stay at Home Dad

It just feels good to know my child is okay and not wonder what she is doing all day. I love it. Now when she goes to school, that is a different story I am not prepared for.

Bonus: Your partner is more appreciative and not worried about how your daughter is doing

In the mornings when my wife goes to work, I pack her lunch and get her pumping supplies together. My wife gets to work knowing two things (she says they are the two MOST important things to her):

  • She will not be hungry during the day
  • Her baby will be well taken care of

While two things may not be much, they are probably the biggest concerns she has while at work. For me to able to make sure that she can do her best at work is a good feeling. She can concentrate knowing her baby is being well cared for and have ease of mind.

I like to tease my wife because our daughter gets bumps on her head more so when she is in charge. She agrees and is happy with our current arrangement.

She also knows, if she needs a status on our baby, she just has to call or text me and I will send a picture and let her know what we are up to. We reach out to each other while she works and I know she really appreciates it.

Final thoughts

Being a stay at home dad may not be for every father out there, but it works for us. Like I mentioned above, I have been at this job for only 18 months, but it has been the best job of my life.

My biggest piece of advice to dads is to shut out all the noise from other people and make the decision with your partner. Do what is best for your family, your precious baby, your financial situation and your future.

For me, I know real work that pays will be out there when I am ready to go back, but my baby is only a baby for a few years and she is the most amazing person I have ever met (besides her mama).

Best job ever, totally worth it.

Let me know what you think below. If you are thinking about becoming a stay at home dad and have any questions, feel free to reach out to any of our social pages, email us or comment below.

Free Download!

Sign up now to download a visual printable gift! Keep Your Marriage Sizzling After Baby, 50 Different Ways

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest