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Stay at Home Dad Bloggers Discuss Being SAHDs

Over the years I’ve written a few things about being a stay at home dad. I’ve also read some articles on the subject and thought YES. THAT. and then cursed myself for not writing it first. It’s clear that although we’re all different, we share a common bond, experiencing many of the same joys and struggles, ups and downs. I asked a few of my blogger friends, who are stay at home dads in the their spare time (ha!), to contribute an article about being their family’s primary caregiver. Individually these are all great pieces, but together they really paint a picture of what it means to be a stay at home dad.

  1. First of all, let’s talk about the acronym: SAHD. Sad, sad, sad. But we’re not. We may, at times, crave adult interaction and our kids may sometimes drive us absolutely insane. But we love what we do and know how lucky we are that we get to do it. Sadly, we’re probably stuck with the SAHD moniker, but Dashing Dad offers a few fantastic alternatives in We Stay at Home Dads Need a New Acronym. I think my favorite is DOTH. It stands for dad of the house and sounds like a mix between an evil Jedi and one of the bad ass Dothraki from Game of Throwns.
  2. There are a lot of misconceptions about our ilk. I’ve been asked–we’ve ALL been asked–if I was “babysitting” or “giving mom a break” a thousand times. Usually, it is from well-intentioned people who are unfamiliar with stay at home, or even active, fathers. We get questions and comments no one in their right mind would ask a stay at home mom. Luckily, Billy Kilgore of Wrap Daddy came up with a list of 8 Things Not to Say to a Stay at Home Dad.
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  3.  Stay at home dads: they’re just like us! I mean “you.” Or, well, you know what I mean. The point is: we’re parents doing parenting things. It’s possible that you’ve seen a SAHD at the playground or park and you would approach him and say hi, if only you knew the proper etiquette. No worries. The friendly Canadian (I think that may be redundant) over at Hausbandry created a how-to guide for just such an occasion in 10 Steps to Successful SAHD Encounters.
  4. Our children are our source of strength and our greatest weakness, but we always want them to see us as the superheroes we aspire to be. The thought of anything bad happening to them is our Kryptonite. We used to be tough and cool. Now we get choked up watching car commercials (the one where the little girl is all grown up, but still a little girl in her dad’s eyes…I can’t, I just can’t). Double Trouble Daddy explains it perfectly in I Never Want to Stop Being a Superhero. I’m going to be sobbing softly in a corner, looking at baby pictures of my kids.
  5. Some days we’re Super Dad; other days we realize we have no idea what we’re doing. The important thing is we care; we want to get better and we’re trying. We’re members of Facebook groups, meetup groups and we go to conferences. At Home Dad Matters wrote about one such conference in Lifted, A Mile High. Not only was he there for his children, he was there for his fellow dads.
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  6. Most moms are totally accepting of dads in their playgroup, but stay at home dads can feel like the odd man out. Literally. It can be weird and awkward, especially during the breastfeeding phase. In my experience, it was weirder and more awkward for me than for the moms, because, of course, breastfeeding is totally natural and…BOOB, THAT’S A BOOB. I know, but don’t be a weirdo creep. If the mom you’re talking to starts feeding her child, either act as if nothing is happening, casually start a conversation with another mom, or pretend to be suddenly interested in whatever the hell your child is up. That’s just my little bonus tip. Man vs. Pink wrote the otherwise comprehensive Playgroup Survival Guide for Dads.
  7. Being a stay at home dad can be lonely. Even when we are in the playgroup and have some adult interaction, conversations tend to be child-centric. Stay at home parents, moms and dads alike, need something else. It may be a bowling league or a weekly night out with friends. Some rely on video games or golf to keep them sane. Other dudes blog. I know some of those dudes. One of them is The Dadventurer, who writes to fuel his creative side as well as interact with his readers and fellow bloggers. Though, as he laments in The Lonely Life of a Stay at Home Parent, it’s not always enough.
  8. We are conflicted. We love what we do, but we also love (at least some of) what we did. We see our friends and former colleagues achieve career highs while we’re literally being peed on. Of course there are going to be pangs of jealousy and moments of doubt. Not, however, during the moments that matter most. Although his former occupation is somewhat unusual, we can all relate to One Good Dad’s story, Staying Home – Watching My Kids Grow Up While Others Pass Me By.

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    Photo by Joshua Brandenburg
  9. There are a lot of reasons we became SAHDs. If it were just because we’re unemployed, lazy or had nothing better to do, the emphasis would rightly be on the stay at home part. Despite the acronym (see #1), first and foremost we are dads. We’re home so we can be there for all the milestones, tend to the cuts, scrapes and hurt feelings like only Dr. Dad can, guide our little free spirits and help them figure things out. All while they help us figure out a thing or two. The Unfit Father wrote about his decision to become a stay at home dad in the aptly titled Why I Became a Stay at Home Dad. Finances were, and always are, a factor and consideration, but it is about so much more than that.
  10. Even when the kids are at school, stay at home dads are busy, keeping the house running, making a few bucks, dropping off, picking up, volunteering, cleaning, taking care of the laundry, wash, rinse, repeat. There’s plenty to do, so stop asking. Just read A Dad Influence’s answer in What Are You Going to Do Once Your Kids are in School?
  11. We are all man, baby. Real men can be tender and nurturing, can make school lunch and clean the bathroom. Fatherhood isn’t what it used to be. Today’s dads–stay at home or not–are more active in our children’s lives. This isn’t something that should be denigrated; it should be commended. Dad N Charge wrote about some of the less-than-well-meaning comments he’s heard in Oh You Stay at Home? You Must be Gay.
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  12. At the end of the day, stay at home dads are awesome. It’s science, people. I’m actually a big believer that parenting should not be us vs. them, whoever the us or them are. HOWEVER…to close out this SAHD article, here’s a post I wrote that (mis)uses real scientific studies to prove that being a Stay at Home Dad Guarantees Happiness, Success and a Better Sex Life. Maybe it’s a stretch, but we SAHDs like to have fun.

 

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Published inParenting & Humor

4 Comments

  1. Kristie Stumpf Rork Kristie Stumpf Rork

    BRAVO! Great job, Dave, and the other daddy bloggers!

    • admin admin

      Thanks! Some great stay at home dad bloggers out there.

  2. It’s hard to tell people what I do. I do run two businesses from home, so I never tell people that I’m a SAHD for fear of the connotations that come with it.

    • admin admin

      I get that. You can go with Work at Home Dad. You make money and take care of the kids…you do it all, man!

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