Published on: Parents.com
The Stay-at Home Dad
Whether it's the fledgling economy or a simple sign of more modern times, a growing number of men are deciding to stay at home with the kids and let their wives deal with rush hour traffic and casual Fridays. Case in point: In 2005 the US Census Bureau reported there were 98,000 stay-at-home dads nationwide; today, that number is closer to 2 million -- and climbing. "A stay-at-home dad is still considered a rare specimen," says Barack Levin, a stay-at-home dad and author of The Diaper Chronicles. That can make the transition from full-time employee to full-time father a daunting one. Luckily, we have some survival tips to make those first few months easier.
Be proud of your decision
Although there are more SAHDs out there, that doesn't mean there won't be some people who don't understand the concept of you staying home while your wife goes to the office each day. "There are people out there that when they see a man staying home with his kids, they automatically think, 'he's an unemployed loser,' " says Levin. "You have to be comfortable with your decision and not let it get to you." So whether it was a financial move or a lifestyle change, hold your head up high and let everyone know you're happy being Mr. Mom.
Decide on your duties
Before you officially become "stay-at-home dad," you and your wife should sit down to discuss exactly what that title entails, says Armin Brott, a stay-at-home father and founder of MrDad.com. Sure, you'll be taking care of the kids, but does your job description also include cooking dinner every night, doing the laundry and running all the errands? "Create a list beforehand so they'll be no arguments later on," suggests Brott.
Published on: Parents.com
No one has to tell you that when you become a dad, your life is forever changed. In the months leading up to my son's birth, I politely smiled and nodded as well-meaning people kept trying to prepare me for fatherhood by telling me the same tired cliches: "Say goodbye to your social life!" or "Get plenty of sleep now, because soon you'll be wishing you could." (As if it's possible to stockpile sleep for later use). Sure, there is some truth in their advice, but there's also a bright side to the social and psychological changes you go through after becoming a dad. Read on to learn seven ways your life will change when Baby arrives, and how to embrace the differences.
Your "me" time disappears from your schedule.
Most guys need a little time to space out -- to think about nothing in order to recharge. Once you're a dad, you have to be creative to get this time back in your life, and you'll probably feel like you need it more than ever, no matter how much you love spending time with your new addition. You may have to wake up 30 minutes earlier for work, or partner up with your wife to help each other grab a few do-nothing breaks. Designating regular time for yourself isn't selfish; it's essential to being a focused dad.
You are now responsible in a way that you have never been before.
Now, you may constantly realize just how seemingly unqualified you are for the job of fatherhood; you may question your ability to care for a child, and your worthiness, every step of the way. But rest assured--you're not the first dad to feel this way: We didn't come programmed on this whole parenting thing, but we were programmed to wing it.
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