- I am a stay at home dad for my two kids.
- My wife and I decided that one of us would have to stay at home after we discovered that our unattended son was drooling.
- Being at home with children is not easy, and there are no sick days or holidays.
As my son got ready for bed, he put his arm around my neck and whispered, “You’re the best dad in the world.”
While many fathers will receive Father’s Day mugs proclaiming them “the best” or “No. 1 dads,” I’ve already earned the most important accolade. This is doubly significant because I was lucky to be the best father in the world. full time job as a stay-at-home dad.
Affordable daycare is a struggle for many in America. Good, a reliable kindergarten is even harder to find. After we discovered that our son was drooling and unsupervised in kindergarten, my wife and I made a difficult decision.
What if one of us stayed at home? What if it was to me? As a teacher, I worked hard for much less money than my wife. The choice seemed logical. Yet it remained a terrifying prospect. I felt like I was giving up on the career I worked for. I also wondered if I could handle the pressure of being at home with the kids all day.
it’s not an easy job
Being a housewife is not easy. You are a teacher, entertainer, zookeeper, circus trainer, cleaner, chef and more. There are no sick days, the work is constant, even at night.
Sometimes it’s screaming, mind-boggling torture. Some days you need a break. And there is a stigma against fathers doing work that is not valued in our society.
I grimaced during comments about my “retired” or “unemployed” status. I grimaced at places that only offered changing areas in the women’s restrooms. I froze under suspicious looks when I, the only dad, came to the time of the library stories.
More fathers are choosing to stay at home
There are over 1.5 million stay-at-home fathers in the USand that number continues to rise, especially as the pandemic has changed working conditions for many. CNBC reported 17% home parents were pre-pandemic fathers, according to Pew Research Center Reporta percentage that has doubled over the past decade.
Shannon Carpenter, author of the recently published book “The perfect housewife dad,” encourages men who choose family first to abandon stereotypes and embrace their love for the best job in the world. Communication with Carpenter introduced me to the concept of “father adventure”, and that’s when the joy really exploded.
Leaves the house once a week. Playgrounds and libraries are not enough. We need do things like kids and dad together. Daventures are the best moments for communication and learning, as well as the biggest benefits at work. I go to zoos, museums, beaches and more.
Even in the midst of a pandemic, I strived to make sure everything was amazing. On our first day of complete isolation, my son and I built a rocket and visited the planets with a song he made up about them, which he still sings. We took a virtual tour of the Louvre and then paused to bake banana bread because, like many people at the beginning of the pandemic, I was convinced that banana bread would save us.
Becoming a parent changed my life. The decision to stay at home as a parent enriched him immensely. I have a thousand memories that I would otherwise miss. I cherish smiles, laughter, songs, games and, yes, even screams. I cherish them all because I cherish my children.
My son is right, I am the best father – at least for him – and I really have the best job in the world.