These days, more and more dads are taking on a bigger role in child rearing out of necessity or desire, while often also working from home or from an office. In fact, the National Stay-at-Home Dad Network claims there are about 1.4 million dads in the U.S. (that was a 2009 estimate, and that number had apparently doubled from 1999). The number continues to grow, with some more recent estimates at around 2-million.
The network stresses stay-at-home-dads (SAHDs) are not defined by employment status, but notes studies have traditionally left out dads who work part-time or rotating shifts with their partners (the true definition is a dad who is a primary caregiver on a daily basis to a child under 18). In any case, here are seven tips for dads wading into the childcare/work mix (some of these tips come directly from this writer, who is a SAHD of 2.5-years)…
1. Divide and Conquer
Parents.com says if you are making the decision to be a SAHD, you should sit down and have a real talk with your significant other about what that will mean. For example, while you’ll be taking care of the kid(s)—which is a full-time job in itself—will you also be expected to do the grocery shopping and cooking?
The site suggests writing down tasks that need to be completed and dividing them up so there’s no resentment down the road. This doesn’t mean there can’t be compromises (you cook 3-days per week, for example), and of course you need to accommodate special situations if your partner is unavailable for some reason. Just remember: you’re on the same team.