The Life of a Stay at Home Dad

Cristian with some old guy.
Cristian with some old guy.

Before becoming a Stay at Home Dad, I had no idea of what to expect.  It was so bad I did a Google search to find out what SAHD meant.  Working without a road map the first months were a bumpy ride but its gotten smoother along the way.  Taking care of Cristian is the toughest job I’ve had, multitasking and improvising are only two of the skills needed for the job.

Since little information exists regarding Stay at Home Dads I decided to share a few details on the glamourous lives we lead.

Taking care of him was easier before he started walking
Taking care of him was easier before he started walking

Start Me Up – I’m up at 6:30 every morning.  Jumping or staggering out of bed depends on how the baby slept.  He’s usually up once a night.  He rolls over and goes back to sleep after snatching the bottle from my hand—on a good night.  Teething and ear infections have a way of throwing things out of whack.  I start my day with a cup of coffee and some quiet time with Esther as we straighten up the baby’s toys.  How Cristian slept the night before determines how strong I brew the coffee.

All the tools needed for starting the day off right
All the tools needed for starting the day off right

Daddy’s Wardrobe – This varies from dad to dad but it’s not business casual.  Most parenting books don’t offer wardrobe suggestions.  Since a lot of my day is spent chasing him around the house, the playground, and keeping him out of the bathroom, he loves bathrooms, I wear the same gear I wear on training runs, a tech t-shirt and sweats.   They’re light-weight, comfortable and washes easier than a cashmere sweater, because you will be drooled, spilled and pooped on.

No more CNN Daddy, I want to watch Sesame Street.
No more CNN Daddy, I want to watch Sesame Street.

Is TV the Babysitter? – Everyone thinks Stay at Home Dads binge watch Netflix while the baby plays.  In addition to being a Stay at Home Dad, I’m also a Work from Home Dad.  Working as a consultant and freelance writing gigs keep me busy while Cristian watches Sesame Street or Baby Genius.  That doesn’t mean he spends all day in front of the TV.   I read to him, we play in the park, and he comes along on my daily errands. That said Cristian’s watched more CNN than the average toddler—we both agree HD isn’t doing Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton any favors.

Sleep When They Sleep – I mentioned this before but it bears repeating.  I’m convinced anyone offering this advice never took care of a baby. Maybe they had a nanny or they’ve forgotten how demanding babies are.  A baby’s nap time is like hitting Lotto.  Here’s your chance to do a load of laundry, take a quick shower, or catch up on whatever you’ve fallen behind on.  Use the time wisely.  I’ve written and published blog posts during Cristian’s naps.

Everyone’s An Expert – Stay at Home Dads are still considered an oddity—much like caged animals at the zoo.  On any given day, I’ll hear comments and receive unsolicited advice on all things baby.  Everything from it looks mommy dressed him today, to how cute you’re babysitting, to he looks hungry.  Okay that last one was from Grandma who thinks everyone looks hungry but you get my point.

Multi-Tasking Required – Most job descriptions these days require strong time-management skills and the ability to multitask, they’re also prerequisites for any SAHD.  One any given day I’m chauffeuring Cristian to playdates, My Gym classes, or the park for an hour, while maintaining a full work-load and finding time to write. Am I babysitting or parenting—maybe a little of both depending on the day.

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35 thoughts on “The Life of a Stay at Home Dad

  • March 26, 2016 at 5:07 pm
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    This is one of those posts I have been looking forward to reading. Thank you for it David! I am yet to be a mother, but I do believe each one of the stay-at-home-moms when she says just how hard taking care of a baby can be and it’s a relied to (digitally) meet a guy who recognizes the challenges of the task.
    Perhaps you can be one of the people who help change the perception of the wardrobe of all women who run after kids all day long.
    Once again – awesome post! Will be following your blog!

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    • March 26, 2016 at 10:54 pm
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      Thank you Nina! Enjoy your life, travel and blogging. Enjoy every minute because life changes when you become a parent, not in a bad way, but your focus and priorities change. I enjoyed your blog as well. -Frank aka I’m Not Grandpa

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  • March 26, 2016 at 6:30 pm
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    Great post here! I don’t have a kid yet but I spent a lot of time with my 2 younger brothers (15 & 8). I pretty much helped my parents raise them. It’s not an easy job but it sure worth it.

    It’s beautiful to be there with a child and watch him/her grow each day. It’s quite the bonding experience. It’s not an easy job, but it sure is worth it.

    When the day comes when Christian is all grown up, you should show him this exact blog post. You’d share a lot of laughs for sure and he will appreciate your efforts.

    Thank you for sharing this. I wish you the best my friend. Keep it up!

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    • March 26, 2016 at 10:50 pm
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      Thank you for the kind words! Helping your parents raise your younger brothers says a lot about you. It will also be useful when you have one of your own. I was the younger of two, so fatherhood has been a crash course. As a blogger it supplies me with a lot of material.

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    • March 27, 2016 at 12:05 am
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      Thank you Katrina! I don’t know about inspiration, I’m just raising my son and blogging about it.

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    • March 28, 2016 at 2:53 pm
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      I don’t know if I’m an inspiration but it’s been a great experience and has given me material for a blog.

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  • March 27, 2016 at 1:58 am
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    Had no idea what SAHD stood for either! However I don’t think stay at home dads are an oddity still! Society is more accustomed these days to variety when it comes to gender roles 🙂

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    • March 28, 2016 at 2:51 pm
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      I agree with you that gender roles are changing and I do know many SAHDs but we get the odd look or two from time to time.

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  • March 27, 2016 at 3:43 am
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    I was a hands-on dad too when my two kids were growing, but I had my then wife with me too. I could not imagine what I could do and cannot do if I were alone. I agree totally that taking care of babies were easier than toddlers who could walk and there were countless times my heart would stop for fear of accidents.

    You keep up with what you’re doing and you’re doing a wonderful job, dad!

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    • March 28, 2016 at 2:56 pm
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      Thank you Robert! I felt the same way the first few weeks but it passes. That said you have to constantly be aware of where he is and what he’s doing.

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  • March 27, 2016 at 5:16 am
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    I love dads blogging abt their experience and I think in Italy we need more of them, since motherhood is stille eclosed in a light of divinity while fatherhood still looks like… almost and incident. Your little boy is STUNNING he makes you feel in your 30ies!

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    • March 28, 2016 at 2:49 pm
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      Thank you Sabrina! Things change over time. 20 years ago, I never expected to be taking care of my child. I actually feel 50, its not until I see my white hair that I’m reminded of my age.

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  • March 27, 2016 at 5:33 am
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    Great post loved reading it. Well i don’t have a kid actually i am a kid. but i loved this post..

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    • March 28, 2016 at 2:47 pm
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      Thank you Anupam! Don’t rush to have kids, you have plenty of time. Enjoy being a kid.

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  • March 27, 2016 at 6:03 am
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    He’s adorable! I’ve heard a lot about that sleep when they’re sleeping thing. Great post!

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    • March 28, 2016 at 2:45 pm
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      Thank you Lily! I’m lucky, he looks like his mother! Right now, I’m reading and replying to comments. You have to use the time wisely.

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  • March 27, 2016 at 6:43 am
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    Raising a kid is not an easy job no matter if you re the parent or grandparent. Awesome post , love reading your blog

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    • March 28, 2016 at 2:44 pm
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      Parenting is not easy because your responsible for a life and you don’t want to screw it up. The benefits are tremendous.

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  • March 27, 2016 at 6:10 pm
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    Great post Frank! Looking to read more of your posts. Embrace your experience as a first time dad and write about it. A blog your son can look back to one day.

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    • March 28, 2016 at 2:42 pm
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      Thanks Sharon! I’m enjoying the current situation. I’m curious how long it will be when he says no more pictures Daddy.

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  • March 28, 2016 at 5:39 am
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    What a great post. It’s noble of you to be a stay-home-dad. I don’t know how it feels to be a stay-home-dad but what I do know is that my wife really likes it. She gets to take care of the baby and would not trade it for the world.

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    • March 28, 2016 at 2:40 pm
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      Thank you Allan! It’s not so much an issue of being noble, it’s more of a necessity at the moment. My son is a great baby with a big personality which helps.

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  • March 28, 2016 at 10:42 am
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    Being a stay-at-home-dad sounds really good to most people. However, I am sure that there are days you wish you could leave and go to a job! You have a unique experience to be able to spend that much time with your son. There are a lot of us out here that wish we could go back and spend more time with our children when they were young. Value every minute of it. It will be gone before you know it!

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    • March 28, 2016 at 2:38 pm
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      There are pros and cons to the situation. I’m grateful I get to experience my son’s firsts but there have been days where I needed a break when my wife got home from work.

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  • March 28, 2016 at 12:18 pm
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    It’s a challenge for all dads. But, I think that “more” experience fathers have more wisdom and knowledge, so they handle all tasks great. Nice inspiration for all men

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  • March 28, 2016 at 12:25 pm
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    I absolutely commend you for your hard work. You are doing a great job!

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  • March 29, 2016 at 5:29 pm
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    This is a great post, especially “we both agree HD isn’t doing Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton any favors”. I always imagine if my husband was a stay-at-home dad he WOULD be binge-watching Netflix. 🙂 Your little guy is lucky to have the best “sitter” in the world!

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    • March 29, 2016 at 5:44 pm
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      Thanks Melissa! I don’t know about the best sitter in the world. If he’s not seeing a therapist in his twenties, I’ll consider it a success.

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  • March 30, 2016 at 3:43 pm
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    Great post! I can relate to this as I’m a freelance blogger and SAHM. I don’t think I raised before that regardless of gender, we all go through the same stuff everyday!
    Anyway looking forward to seeing more!

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    • March 30, 2016 at 3:52 pm
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      Thank you Laura! I agree, somethings are universal regardless of gender. The joy when the baby sleeps the night is one of them.

      Reply

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