Are Stay at Home Dads as Rare as Unicorns?

Don't worry son, Daddy has it under control.
Don’t worry son, Daddy has it under control.

Becoming a father was an experience filling me with a pride I’d never felt before.  When the initial euphoria passed my emotions ranged from happiness to concern.   Realizing I’d be responsible for caring for this this fragile little thing my biggest worry was please don’t let me screw this up.

Esther and I started out as tag-team parents.  She gave me my initial parental crash course—SAHD 101.  It was all new to me, my first time feeding, changing and bathing a baby, it went well but I was working with a net—Esther was there to grab the reins if there was a problem.

Esther’s returning to work from maternity leave meant it was time for me to fly solo.  Easing my transition she packed the baby bag and left three outfits for Cristian daily.  I eased her separation anxiety by texting her status updates and pictures of the baby throughout the day.

In addition to my initial anxiety, a few family members were concerned—okay maybe more than a few.  Trips to Grandma and Grandpa’s always seemed to coincide with aunts, uncles and cousins stopping by for a visit.  Although many wanted to see the baby—sometimes it was more than that.  There were too many offers to feed and change the baby.   I guess they thought I didn’t know what I was doing.  If I knew this in advance I’d have loaded Cristian up on prunes for an extra gooey diaper.

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Coming from a large family means my family tree is filled with many older cousins who are more like aunts and uncles.   My generation’s male children were the first taking a greater part in the parenting responsibilities than our fathers did. The older guys never fed or changed a baby.  Looking at us they must be wondering where did we go wrong.

Initially my aunts were confused by all this shared responsibility.  My brother, for example was an excellent Dad from Day One.  It didn’t surprise me—my aunts didn’t know what to make of it.  Watching their confused expressions the first time they saw him giving his daughter a bottle, you would have thought he split the atom.

It’s been 16-months and I still hear “how cute” from aunts, uncles and even a few neighbors when they see me taking care of the baby.  If my brother feeding and bathing his daughter was a surprise then I must be a Unicorn.  I mean I’m home taking care of him every day.

What the older generation hasn’t grasped is this isn’t about being cute—I’ll leave that to the baby.  I’m not alone, there are many like me doing the same thing either by choice or because of their current situation.  I’ve thought about leaving the baby home on the couch with a bottle and the remote while I go out, but it probably wouldn’t work out so well.  So maybe not.

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10 thoughts on “Are Stay at Home Dads as Rare as Unicorns?

  • February 26, 2016 at 2:14 pm
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    LOL – maybe not quite as rare as a unicorn – but I love the analogy! 🙂 My husband was the stay at home dad for a couple years, and received a lot of the same reactions. I think it’s just refreshing to see families in which responsibilities truly are equally shared. It’s sweet to see any parent providing top notch care for their kiddo – but there is something about a dad… probably just because it’s outside of society’s norms. I also just have to say I LOVE the name/branding of your blog.

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    • February 26, 2016 at 2:26 pm
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      Thanks Meg! We live in a day of shared-responsibility. It’s a good thing because a child is part mom and part dad. I’m glad I was able to make you laugh!

      Reply
  • February 29, 2016 at 3:31 pm
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    I love your blog and your writing style! So quirky and full of humor 🙂 Even those of us who don’t have kids can find your stuff relate-able and enjoyable.

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    • February 29, 2016 at 11:19 pm
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      Thank you Carly! It’s good to see someone gets my humor. Please check back for more.

      Reply
  • March 3, 2016 at 3:45 pm
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    How awesome you get to stay home with him! My husband works but is definitely hands on when he is home. I think the shared parenting role is awesome! Looking forward to more!

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    • March 3, 2016 at 3:49 pm
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      Being a SAHD is great, although some days don’t always seem that way. It helps when both parents are involved so it works for us.

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  • March 4, 2016 at 6:47 pm
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    What a great post. We just became first time parents 9 months ago. I have been a stay at home mom since June and my husband is about to become a stay at home dad from September, We will be reading more from you. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

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    • March 4, 2016 at 6:52 pm
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      It looks like we are in the same boat. Blogging parents. It’s been a great experience but every now and then I need a break for the sake of my sanity. Working as a team helps.

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  • March 16, 2016 at 8:29 pm
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    Great job Frank and best of luck. My son is a stay at home dad to two boys, now 4 & 2 and he has done this since they were born. He is doing a great job despite the intensity and frustration of raising two energetic boys. Being home with your child is a hard, but rewarding job.

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    • March 16, 2016 at 8:53 pm
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      Thank you Molly! Wow your son is taking care of two, I find one pretty challenging. It can get tough on the other hand it’s a great source of material for a blogger.

      Reply

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