- There is more to being a Stay-at-Home Dad than most people realize
- Dealing with kids as a Stay-at-Home Dad
- Your routines and what to put in them as a Stay-at-Home Dad
- Entertaining things you can do with your kids as a Stay-at-Home Dad
- Tending the home and errands for Stay-at-Home Dads
- Guy-to-guy advice from real Stay-at-Home Dads
- Relationship tips from Stay-at-Home Dads: How to deal with your wife or partner
- Final thoughts
There is more to being a Stay-at-Home Dad than most people realize
If you are about to embark on becoming a stay at home dad, let this be your guide.
We are going to go through 60 tips on what it takes to be the ultimate stay at home dad.
We are going to get into dealing with kids as a dad, routines, and why they are important and basic ideas on how to entertain your kids.
If you think being a stay at home dad is all about the kids, then you have it all wrong. We are also going to get into things you need to take care of at home, things you need to do for yourself (and your sanity), and dealing with the shifting roles in your relationship.
I know this sounds like a lot, while it is a lot, I break it down into easy-to-understand information.
As stay at home dads, we have a lot on our plates already, let me make it easy on you and give you everything you need upfront, you do not have to look everywhere trying to figure this out as I did. I got tired of reading through articles that promised useful tips, but they really did not help me out.
One of the scariest things a man can experience in his life is to quit his job and stay at home…on purpose. I am here to help you out.
Dealing with kids as a Stay-at-Home Dad
Whether you have a newborn, a toddler, or kids in school, as a stay at home dad, you are taking on a new role. With a new role you need to make some adjustments to your parenting.
If you had a more laid back approach to your kids, this will all change very quickly once you are home with them all…day….long.
Becoming the primary caregiver doesn’t happen overnight, but through time you learn how to be the best parent to your child.
1. Get to know your kids
This may sound very basic, but that is where you need to begin. Getting to know the ins and outs of your kids is the first step – who they are and what do they need.
Learn their preferences for life and keep in mind all kids are different.
If you have a newborn, your wife probably had the bulk of responsibilities when it came to the baby. That is what usually happens when a child is born. Then once mom goes back to work, you need to navigate it and work it out.
Handling a newborn is probably the scariest and most complicated time as a stay at home dad because you have to figure out what they need since they can’t talk. In addition, the transition from being with their moms to having someone else handle all of their needs is difficult. But you can and will get through it.
Getting to know older kids is fun, and there is plenty to discover. Plus, kids change over time, so from this point, you get to grow and progress with your children.
2. Learn about your kids’ favorite things
Your kids change so much, even over a week or month. That means it is up to you to keep up with what is trending in their lives.
Learn about what they like when it comes to things like:
This helps you determine the activities you do, the shows your kids watch, the things you buy, and even the types of foods you incorporate into your day.
When you know things that your kids like, it makes your life easier; you just know what to do.
Then there is the other side of it – if you know what they want, you can also introduce them to new things that you can recommend based on their likes.
3. You are in charge
Do not forget that when you are the one at home, you are the one in charge. Be ready to make decisions on your own and trust in your instincts.
If you are the way I was, I depended on my wife’s advice and guidance for everything. But now I know what situations I can handle on my own and my wife has trust in me.
I still call my wife for big decisions because we are a team, but day-to-day, I am confident in my choices.
4. You can say yes
When you are with your kids, and they want to do something, do not squash all their dreams.
If they want to go outside and play or want a special treat, it is okay to say ‘yes’ to these things. Saying ‘yes’ to them, even for the smallest things, a few times a day brightens their day and keeps both of you happy.
Besides, what is wrong with a few minutes of playing?
5. You can say no
On the flip side, you can say ‘no’ to things too.
Even if they get disappointed every once in a while, that is okay. If you are trying to stay on your routine and it is time to do a chore, and they want to play, it is okay to do the chores first and then play when it is time.
While we are on the topic of saying ‘no,’ it is okay to tell people in general ‘no’ to their requests.
Sometimes people think if you are home, you automatically have time to do them favors. If you do not have time, it is okay to tell them ‘no’ or let them know when it is convenient for you to help them.
6. Bond with them
It is easy to give your child an iPad or put on another movie to keep them distracted and to allow you to get some stuff done.
However, spending that quality time with your child instead is incredible.
Make it a habit to play with them, teach them, and talk to them. Those bonding moments make your relationship more durable, and you understand each other better overall.
7. Discipline them
Letting young children do what they want is an easy thing to do. Correcting their behaviors and ensuring they are respectful is much more difficult.
Disciplining kids can be rough, they can have tantrums, or you can feel guilty for being too tough on them.
When dealing with young kids, it is easier to correct them fast, so that way, their behavior does not become a habit.
Do not give them another chance to display that behavior, and when you make a decision about a specific behavior, make sure it is a decision both you and your child can stick to and keep that stance.
8. Prepare for the day ahead
Sometimes a little planning can make the difference between a day that feels out of control and a day where you get everything you want done.
To understand what a successful day is, you must know what you want to get done. If you start the day off with no goals or ideas of what to do, then you will be on the wrong path.
If you start the day and have a simple list of things, you want to accomplish, then you will be able to check those things off and feel proud of your accomplishments.
They can be easy things to do like:
- Pick up the living room
- Teach my daughter the color gray
- Cook a fantastic dinner
- Sweep the back porch
9. Always be ready to go out at any minute
Several different things can happen that will make you get up and head out. You get a call and get invited out somewhere, or an emergency can come up at any time. Regardless of the reason, always have your diaper bag ready to go.
Have snacks available that can be taken out on the fly. Have outfits ready just in case the kids get dirty.
10. They are always watching you
Keep in mind no matter what age your kids are, they are always watching and listening to everything you say.
So watch what you say around them and try to be a good role model.
They will pick up on your good and bad habits. They also repeat everything they hear.
Your routines and what to put in them as a Stay-at-Home Dad
As you progress as a stay at home dad, you will begin to realize the benefits of having a routine of some sort. Having expectations for your day overall will help you get through it and make the most of it.
Having at least a basic idea of what you want to do daily will provide some order not only for you but for your child as well.
Kids enjoy knowing what is going to happen next.
You will also find that kids like to do things over and over (like watching their favorite movie). This goes for things they want to do throughout the day.
If you gave them cheese and crackers at the park, they are going to want cheese and crackers next time you go.
They have expectations of you too and tend to go with the flow more when they know what is coming next.
If they know it is clean up time, they will be more inclined because it is what you do every day, rather than you trying to make them clean up out of the blue, and they do not know why.
11. Why are routines important?
I know that always being told how ‘routines for kids are important’ can get annoying.
I felt that way, too, it took me a few months before I formally started having a routine. The times that I just did what I felt like doing were rough times.
Not having a schedule and not having things laid out to do put me in a rut, and that is when I questioned whether I would be able to make it as a stay at home dad.
If you can, avoid getting into a rut – do what needs to be done because you can spiral fast. It affects your life, mentally and physically.
12. Work on your day the night before
The night before, map out what you want to do.
It can be informal where you just make a few notes in your head. Or you can be a little more organized by writing everything down. Sometimes I grab my phone and put things in the note section of my phone and refer back to it during the day.
There are times when I make daily plans, and if I have goals, they will be more so things I want to accomplish during the week.
I have an entire article about my baby/toddler daily routine to give you more ideas: Stay at Home Dad’s Daily Toddler Routine from Foo Fighters to Bath Time
13. Monitor your child’s sleeping for ideal times
It is vital to include sleeping in your routine.
Think about questions like:
- What time do you want you and your kids to wake up?
- Do they need naps?
- What time do you put your child to sleep?
Kids are always changing, so two naps may work for a baby, but that may no longer work for a toddler.
If my daughter naps too much, she keeps my wife awake; if she does not get enough sleep, she is cranky the entire evening.
So keep tabs on what works best:
- How much sleep did your child get on the days when she was in a good mood?
- What was her rest like the days when she was cranky?
Try to plan your routine around those good days.
14. Eating is critical
If you feed your child at random different times of the day, and there is no consistency, then your child will not be consistent in how she eats.
She may eat a lot at breakfast, but nothing for lunch.
When you plan her meals accordingly, you can get her to eat a better amount. Space meals to what works for your child.
Plan your snacks too.
When my daughter and I fall off of our routine for some reason, we go crazy eating snacks, and they are not healthy snacks at all. She also gets into the habit of asking for snacks all day, that is definitely not a habit you want your child to get into.
It is also hard to pull a young child out of bad habits (and yourself).
15. Playing or entertainment
Playing and keeping your child entertained is probably what you will find doing with your child the most.
Kids can have a short attention span at times, and they crave entertainment.
Kids get bored, and they get complacent. If you allow them, they will become little zombies with their screens, and you want to avoid that as much as possible. For all of these reasons, the next section in this post includes ten different ways to entertain your kids.
16. Stay on top of your child’s education
You do not have to be a research professional to figure out that kids are pretty brilliant.
From the baby to toddler age, kids learn at a rapid rate. You do not want to waste that precious brainpower going on.
Include some educational time in your routine.
Even if it is just a half-hour or so try to find different ways to teach your child.
Do so through:
- Educational apps
- Reading together
- Teaching the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, etc .
17. Bathing daily is a good fun habit
Set a time for your child to bathe, it is another good bonding time. When it comes to baths, when your child is old enough to play in them, it just becomes the most fun time for them.
Have fun toys ready for your child to play with and watch your child’s imagination go wild.
I bathe my child towards the end of our day on the days we stay in. That means she can play outside and can get muddy. Or if we do an activity involving paint or cooking ingredients, if she gets dirty, that is okay too.
If we go out, I like to give her a bath earlier in the day, so she leaves the house clean and refreshed. Unless we go to a park, she always gets messy at the park.
18. Add relaxing into your day
Sometimes having a routine can just feel too regimental and ridged. To help balance it out, schedule some relaxation time into your day.
I do not guarantee you will be able to relax, but you can try.
Sometimes kids cooperate and will entertain themselves, but other days they need attention, or they just refuse to give you a break.
19. Getting ready for mom
Another part of the day you can incorporate is getting ready for mom to come home. You get dressed in clean clothes and pick up your messes around the house. That is also an excellent time to start getting ready for dinner.
My daughter and I use this time to get ready for our evening. This part of our day usually comes after bath time.
20. Do something special on Fridays
On Fridays, you should do an activity that is extra fun, end your week together on a high note.
It could be a fun breakfast that you make together or go out to a place for lunch.
Fridays are the days I tend to not follow our routine to a tee, just because we are excited about the weekend and get a head start on it early.
Entertaining things you can do with your kids as a Stay-at-Home Dad
Kiddos always need to be doing something, they never just sit down and chill. In fact, if you do have a child with a decrease in activity, make sure she isn’t sick.
This is a list of the many things you can do with your kiddos to fill in their days.
21. Get fresh air
Going outside is a kid’s favorite thing to do.
They love the fresh air, change of scenery, and playing in the dirt. If you have a decent backyard, keep it clean for your kids. Have plenty of toys out there for them to play with, it will keep them busy for a long time.
Going to the park or any other outdoor type of recreation is good too.
Based on the season, you can always find something to do. As I am writing this, we are in March, which is an excellent time for kites. No matter what you do as long as you are with them, they will love it.
22. Do crafts your way
There is a never-ending amount of craft ideas online to keep you entertained, finding all the materials might be the toughest part. Like if you need 5 toilet paper rolls cardboards, that can take months to collect.
When it comes to crafts, make sure to plan ahead. Try to do one a week, and if they get too frustrating, take a break from them.
You can also incorporate doing things you love into craft time. Like if you are good at fixing things, you can teach your kids how. Or, if you like to dehydrate foods, rather than doing it by yourself, you can get your kids involved.
Bottom line, there is no ‘right way’ to do crafts!
Even if you attempt to do something and it is just a ‘fail’ that is okay. It is the time you spend together doing something that matters. The term Pinterest fail exists because many crafts are hard to do.
23. Movies and shows
Allowing your kids to enjoy some movies and shows is excellent.
Your kids’ favorite movies and shows will become your go-to for several reasons.
If you find an educational show that your kids enjoy, that is even better. Letting them watch their favorite movies while you fold laundry and put stuff away is totally normal, and it keeps them in one spot.
24. Bake and cook together
Kids love all the things in the kitchen. They love snacks, playing with dishwater, and they especially love cooking stuff with you.
Baking is a fun thing to do together, and decorating cakes and cupcakes are definitely a favorite for kids.
When you have time, you can also have them help you prepare food and snacks. It is great for them to learn how to make food and to get involved.
25. Music and dancing
Sometimes you just need to wiggle your stress out and enjoy some good tunes. Playing music can also change the mood of whatever may be going on in your household. It is definitely a game-changer and something you can do daily.
We like to listen to rock music, and we rock out with it. My daughter has her favorite bands too. But I also introduce her to other types of music, and she enjoys it all.
If you need some motivation to clean your house or to get things done, blasting some music always helps.
26. Go places
Getting out of the house is a great thing to do during the week.
You can go do all sorts of things like:
- The zoo
- Riding bikes
- The movies
- Even a mini road trip to a nearby town
If you go early enough, you can avoid crowds everywhere, that is a significant benefit of being a stay at home parent. You kind of have the world to yourself at times.
27. Find free resources
There are a lot of free things to do out there.
Many businesses will lure you in with free stuff, and community organizations work hard to help out the community (that is you).
Support them by showing up to their events and enjoy some free fun.
There are also free museums and places that offer discounts for kids early in the day. If kids eat free, just pay for yourself.
28. Play with them
The cool thing about being a stay at home parent is you get to play with your kids.
You can be the parent you always wanted. It is okay to take a break from your chores and just play. Your kids will love you for it, and it can be fun for you too.
29. Let them play alone
Encouraging them to play alone is a good thing. I find that when my daughter plays alone, her imagination goes wild. She makes different voices for her toys and really gets into it. Plus, it gives me a short break.
Try to get your kids into the habit of playing alone at least once a day, if possible.
In fact, giving them opportunities throughout the day to be independent is essential. You do not want your child to grow up depending on others for everything.
30. Read to them
Kids love storytime, you can incorporate it into their day. If your kids are older, you can set aside time for them to read by themselves.
Another thing to do is go to the storytime at your local library. Going to the library once a week can also be a great activity to do with your kids, and it’s something you can do until they are teenagers even.
Tending the home and errands for Stay-at-Home Dads
There is plenty you can do at home to keep busy. You may actually be surprised with all the things you can work on – in and out of the house. It will also make you wonder how anything got done when both you and your wife were working.
There is so much you can do, so I broke it down into major honey-do categories that you will find yourself doing the most.
31. Why taking care of the home is a part of being a Stay-at-Home Dad
If you think that being a stay at home dad is only about taking care of your kids – you are misinformed.
Being a stay at home dad means also tending to the house, pet, taking care of your spouse who is working and so much more.
If you only take care of your child, then you are doing your family a disservice because you can do so much more to add value to your time at home.
32. Clean daily, do not let things get out of control
Yup, time to roll up your sleeves and clean. Doing a few things at a time helps. Dishes are what I do daily because those suckers will add up so fast, letting them pile is no joke.
Pick up the little messes you make daily.
For everything else, you can rotate the types of cleaning you do.
As in on one day vacuum, the next day dust, the day after clean the bathrooms, etc. If you stay on top of everything, it is manageable. It is when you stop totally that things get out of hand. So clean in moderation.
When your kids get older, you can even include them in your cleaning regimen.
33. Fix things yourself
You know all those things you wanted to do around the house but never had time to do?
Eventually, once you get into the flow of things, you will be able to fix things around the house and even do some home projects.
It helps you save money because you can do things instead of having to hire someone to do them. I mostly YouTube stuff I do not know how to do, from plumbing to doing electric wiring, you can do anything even with limited knowledge.
34. Yard work is doable
Doing your own yard work is fulfilling.
You get to go out and get your hands dirty, and your kids can help you. My daughter mostly plays in the dirt, but her intentions are to help.
It is a choice to do your own yard, and for some reason, when you have an opportunity to do it yourself, it makes the work more satisfying.
I will be honest, I did not always do the yard myself.
It was probably one of the few things we continued to pay someone else to do. However, that someone was my uncle, he passed away suddenly from cancer about half a year ago now.
Now, not only do I clean my own yard, I helped my aunt continue working jobs that she would have canceled if I did not help her.
35. Be strategic with your laundry
So laundry is this never-ending, black hole of clothes that keeps getting dirty. There is absolutely no way of getting around it. With that being said, there are plenty of ways to deal with doing the laundry.
You can do one load a day and just keep it going until you finish your laundry for the week.
Or you can have specific days for the laundry, for example, Monday is for towels, Tuesday is for kids, Wednesday is for yours and your partner’s clothes.
Another option is to have a day dedicated to doing laundry. For this, you need to continually keep an eye on the clock to keep the washer and dryer running.
Regardless of how you choose to do the laundry – my biggest laundry tip is to always put clothes away once they are dry.
If you put that basket somewhere and do nothing with it, that thing will sit in the spot you put it in forever! Typically, nobody puts their laundry away without being asked.
36. Cooking can be learned and creative
Do you know how to cook? If you do, that is great! Then cooking should be no issue for you.
If you do not know how to cook, no worries, cooking is a skill that anyone can learn. Not everybody becomes a brilliant chef, but typically you can learn enough to survive.
You can start off by trying out a few quick and easy recipes, if your family likes certain meals, you keep those in your rotation. Then you start to learn a few more and do the same.
Once you get comfortable around the kitchen, you can start to try more complex recipes and see what works.
Feeding a toddler is difficult, so that is when you get creative. Chop up foods into shapes using cooking cutters and make faces on all of her meals, things like that get a toddler eating.
37. Stay on top of vehicle maintenance
One thing to add to your to-do list is vehicle maintenance. Do things like getting the safety inspection and sticker (if your state requires one), oil changes, and keeping an eye on the tires.
You can also try to fix problems on your own or take it to a professional.
These are precisely the types of things you can handle to make life easier for everyone. Anything you can do to take things off your wife’s plate will be of value.
38. Shopping gets you out of the house
An excellent adventure to get you out of the house is to take on the shopping responsibilities. Kids love going out and exploring the world – even if it just means going to a local grocery store.
Just make sure to keep tabs on everything you need throughout the week. Write lists, and if you are budgeting, be conscientious of how much you spend and what you spend it on.
39. Appointments are best made in the morning
I have found that getting doctor’s appointments and other similar errands work best in the morning while people are working. Offices are usually a bit more empty.
If your child is the type that likes to sleep in and you can find a sitter, you can get plenty done while she is sleeping.
40. Take a lazy day every once in a while
Life is crazy and you may end up feeling like you have not been able to take a break in forever.
Which is why it is okay to have a lazy day from time-to-time.
Take a day to just have fun with your kids. A day where you let your routine slide a bit can be useful for letting loose. I have a day like this every other Friday or so.
There have been times where I have had lazy weeks, sometimes I do get in a rut, but I can snap out of it. It happens, just do not let it get out of hand.
Guy-to-guy advice from real Stay-at-Home Dads
Sometimes you just need to hear advice from someone who has been through it, and that is what I am here for. I struggled early on as a stay at home dad, it’s not easy, but it does get easier.
The work you put into your daily lives, and what you do is what you get out of it. There are days when I do not want to do anything, and you know what I always regret not taking action on those days.
Here is some advice I can give you based on my experience and what I have learned from other stay at home dads.
41. It is okay to feel overwhelmed
Doing anything new is daunting. However, becoming a stay at home parent is a category in its own.
Your lifestyle changes, responsibilities increase, your work-life becomes non-existent, and the dynamic of your relationship shifts – it is a lot to handle.
Just because it is overwhelming does not mean you can’t get through it.
In your life, I am sure you have been through tons of challenges that you got through – this is just like that. It is hard, but follow these tips, and you will get into the groove of it.
Before you know it, the time will start flying by, and your child will suddenly be ready to go to school.
42. Do not let the role define you
Yes, you are a stay at home dad, and that is great (it really is), but it does not mean that is who you are.
Everyone is much more than what they do during the day, and everyone can take on several roles. While this role may be your main one, for now, it definitely will not be forever either.
Do not lose your identity to it, just add it to one of the many things you do in the span of your life.
43. Keep doing your hobbies
Do not stop your life.
Just because you’re leaving work or taking on this new duty, it does not mean everything else has to change. As you progress in your fatherhood duties, you will be able to balance everything else.
Whether your hobby is biking or playing video games, it does not matter as long as it makes you feel like you.
Keep doing the things you love, they will keep you happy and they will also give you a break from being at home.
44. Get connected with other Stay-at-Home Dads
This tip is fun. Find other stay at home dads out there – we do exist.
On Facebook, you can find a few stay at home dad groups, and they are healthy and have new content daily. All the guys on there answer questions and come up with good ideas. They are also brutally honest – so do not expect anything sugar-coated-in there. Plus, as you learn more about being a dad at home, you can share your learnings too. It is also a good place for support and to vent.
If you can find stay at home dads in real life, that also helps. They exist, too, I promise. You guys can have play dates and do other things together.
45. Follow the news and things you enjoy
As mentioned above, keep doing the things you enjoy. Staying up-to-date on news and current events is another thing you can do to keep your mind occupied.
Spending all day with a young child, especially a toddler, means watching Frozen countless times and limited conversations, so it helps to have a few non-kid moments throughout the day.
46. Have guy time
While it is great to spend time with your family, it is also good to have guy time too. It does not have to be a night out drinking or being wild.
For instance, I get my time in when I hang out with my friend. He has a daughter a few years older than mine, so we go for bike rides and grill. The girls entertain each other, and we all have a blast.
I also spend time with some friends without my daughter. We typically do things like go to the dump and other “man” duties, but it is still fun.
47. Ignore the social stigma
There is some social stigma, it is online in articles more than anything else. Maybe some television shows portray stay at home dads in a negative light too. But other than that, it is not so bad, and it is not so hard to ignore.
There are plenty of men out there who are doing great as stay at home dads. So be inspired by them.
We are doing this for several reasons, and for the most part, it is not because we can’t find a job – even if that is your reason, there is still nothing wrong with that either.
My point is, make the most of it.
48. Ask for help
First of all, seeking help is a virtue. Being able to share with someone that you can’t handle something will be the first step to working your way through it. So do not feel defeated if you have to ask for help along the way.
As a dad trying to navigate through murky waters, there will be plenty of people who will give a helping hand.
I have three sisters, and they have all helped me out in one way or another. Whether it be asking advice about my daughter when she got sick or dropping by to help me out with my daughter when I could not handle it.
I asked for help from my wife, we even dropped by her work a few times when my daughter, an infant at the time, was inconsolable. This was rare (maybe three times total), but it definitely helped me out on the days I really needed her.
I get a sitter from time-to-time when I have appointments or when I need to do things, and it is not best to have my daughter around. These occasions come up only once in a while, but I am extra productive when I know someone is taking care of my daughter.
49. Find ways to make money
Another way to keep your sanity is to figure out ways to make some side cash. I walk dogs and do odd jobs.
There are plenty of ways to make money, for a list of them check this page out How to Make Money as a Stay at Home Dad
I find the time for my side hustles in the early morning and late evening, mostly when my wife and daughter are sleeping. It does get into my sleep, but it is worth having time with my family during the day and some extra cash.
50. Keep up with your work skills
Just because you are no longer working does not mean you have to give up your occupation totally.
Keep up your skills by doing side jobs if your profession allows.
Keep in touch with old coworkers, stay in the inner circle of your former workplace. Keep networking with people in your industry.
Do all these things if you want to go back to what you were doing before.
If you feel like you want a total career change, then start researching and learning what to do in that career field. Start networking with the people in the new field and getting involved in any way you can.
Start your new career now, not when you are ready to go back into the workforce.
Relationship tips from Stay-at-Home Dads: How to deal with your wife or partner
Working on your relationship is huge when it comes to being a stay at home parent.
There is much to discuss, and you must remain on the same page for your relationship to survive.
In fact, if you two work through the struggles, your relationship can be stronger than ever.
It works both ways, I handle all things home and childcare related, so when my wife gets home, she does not have to worry about those things. We have more free time to spend together, and she really appreciates everything I do and makes it known.
We support each other, and that is all we need right now.
51. Discuss expectations
As with most relationship decisions and lifestyle changes, it is crucial to discuss expectations and to agree upon them.
As you begin to develop your plan to be a stay at home dad, you two must not only talk about the obvious like finances but also figure out what you two need and want from each other.
Discuss things like:
- How long you think you will stay at home
- What she can expect from you
- How are you both going to make it work?
- Her career goals
- Your career goals
- What do you want to get out of this experience (like the main outcome)
- Reasons why you both want a parent at home
There is plenty to discuss.
52. Dividing responsibilities
Being at work all day is exhausting. Taking care of kids all day is exhausting.
Who has the harder job? It is hard to determine for most couples – with that in mind, you both have to keep an open mind when dividing responsibilities.
We divide based on what we do best:
- I cook all meals seven days a week
- I do chores five days a week
- She keeps track of our bills and budget seven days a week
- She does the chores she can handle on the weekends.
You can do the same, figure out what you are best at and what you have time for and own it.
53. Talk to her about how your role makes you feel
Be honest and open about your role as a stay at home dad. Talking through it will help you figure out what is working and what isn’t.
It keeps her informed on what to expect from you and gives her an idea if it is working out or not. It is not for everyone, but you can figure it out together.
At first, I didn’t think I could do it.
I told my wife and myself I would do it for just 6 months, then it changed to a year, and now it’s open-ended. I will basically do it for as long as we can afford it.
But talking it over and discussing it with my wife often is what helped me realize what I want to do.
54. Keep your relationship exciting
Becoming a parent, in general, takes away from the romance between you and your partner. It strains things, and you can even forget your feelings from before.
As long as you work on keeping your relationship exciting and romantic, you can beat those odds of losing your feelings for each other. Which happens to couples, whether one stays home or not.
We keep our relationship alive by doing things for one another, here are some tips:
- Cook her special meals
- Give her time alone on the weekends
- Massage each others aching bodies
- Set time aside for sex
- Date nights
- Give each other compliments
- It’s okay to be yourself (aka sloppy, haha) but it is also fun to look good for one another
- Stay fit and healthy for one another
55. Help your wife get ready for work
It’s a scramble for everyone in the mornings, we have all been through it. One thing you can do to help that morning rush is to make breakfast and lunch for your partner.
You can also start the car and load it up for her in the mornings.
At nights my daughter only wants my wife, so when I know she had a rough night, I go out and get her favorite coffee, I also do that on days when I know she is going to have a longer day than usual or when I know she needs that extra push.
Just in general, be supportive of her work. If she has to work extra hours or late, be supportive of it rather than complaining. Do not add to her guilt (yes, mom guilt is very real).
56. Keep in touch with her while she works
Communication has increased immensely over the decade, yet working parents still wonder how their kids are doing during the day.
When you have a stay at home parent – it is easy to keep in touch.
You can text all day, call each other, and even FaceTime. It makes things extremely convenient if your spouse is wondering, missing, worried, or just wants to see you and your baby.
57. Figure out how to deal with your evenings
Before day one even begins, start to work out what happens once your partner gets home from work. This is where most conflict can occur.
You will be tired from a full day of home and childcare duties, she will be exhausted from a full day of work.
Both of you will want to relax – figure out who does what and how things get done. For instance, when my wife gets home, she takes over the kid duties, and I start dinner in the evenings. We both relax once we start dinner, so we keep it as fair as possible.
Work it out and make sure you agree on what to do after work.
58. Determine what childcare things your partner wants to handle
For any parent to give up a chunk of their childcare duties is a big deal, which is why it’s critical to figure out what the working parent handles and when.
For instance, on the weekends, my wife handles bath duties and has one-on-one time with our daughter on Sunday mornings. It is a constant, so we know it is going to happen.
59. Let her have a say in your routines
What you do with your child during the day matters, and your wife has the right to have input in how you spend them.
It’s good for both you to come up with the routine together.
She will have a better understanding of how busy you get during the day and why you may be just as tired as she is in the evening.
It’s really healthy for your relationship if you two decide what types of activities your child is doing and be in agreement on it. It nips a lot of arguments in the bud early on.
60. Enjoy her time off together
Working is exhausting, and moms miss their children while working.
You can make the time your partner has at home extra special by being there. Time spent together as a family will bond you guys and serve as a reminder of why you are sacrificing an additional income.
Be there because you can, no overtime, no traveling, no boss – nothing is separating your family.
Being a stay at home dad is fun, interesting, and always keeps you moving.
There is no reason to doubt your abilities as a parent or caretaker, we surprise ourselves often, and this is one avenue many men are excelling in. You can do the same.
If taking care of others is new to you, then it may take a while to get used to, and that is okay.
We all learn and figure things at our own rate.
Think of any new job you have ever started or any new things you have ventured into, it is just like that.
However, now you know what to do and how you can really work towards being the best stay at home dad. Your wife and kids will not ask for much, but you can give them the world in your own way.
It takes balance and an effort to turn it into the experience you want. An experience you will always have, even when your kids are grown up, you will still have these memories and can share with them about the time you all were inseparable.