More than 23 million men are either work-from-home or stay-at-home dads. Here tips from Christian Health Care Counseling Center for this ever-growing population.
Clearly communicate with your partner on responsibilities.
Discuss expectations and responsibilities early and often regarding all aspects of parenting. Include expectations about cooking and home care, contributions to parenting at night and on weekends, managing relatives, etc. Setting clear expectations up front will reduce conflict and resentment.
1. Find time for yourself.
It is extremely important to carve out personal “me” time for yourself to still get together with your friends, hit the gym, or pursue a hobby.
2. Stay-at-home dads need to take their job seriously.
As with any other job, you should navigate parenthood with the goal to be the best dad you can be, the same way you strive to succeed at any job.
3. Consider the future.
Continue networking within your field or area of expertise, staying sharp and keeping up on current events.
4. Connect with other work-from-home or stay-at-home parents.
Isolation is one of the chief complaints of work-from-home and stay-at-home parents. It’s so important to socialize, network, and share your tips and frustrations with other dads. Join a local parenting group.
5. Establish a routine.
Having your child(ren) on a consistent schedule (eating, napping, bedtime routine) is important for them so they know what to expect every day and for you so you can confidently plan your day.
6. Get out of the house.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed at home with housework or parenting responsibilities. Getting fresh air is so important for you and your child(ren). Make sure you get out once or twice a day to take a walk with the stroller through a park, run a few errands, enroll in a parent and child class, or to hit the local library or bookstore.
7. Seek advice or help.
Ask for help when you need it, whether it’s hiring a cleaning person to help with housework or calling another parent for advice.
8. Embrace the experience.
Sometimes it may be hard to realize, but staying at home with your child(ren) during the first few years of his/her life is a wonderful opportunity. You not only get to observe and witness the major milestones, but you get to share and enjoy the small wondrous moments that happen every day!
9. Shatter stereotypes and inform society.
You demonstrate through parenting that fathers can be nurturing, competent and caring.