Traditional gender roles have been changing for quite some time. The number of women who become breadwinners and the number of men who stay at home and take care of the children have been gradually increasing since the late 20th century. Being a stay-at-home dad has become more common. Here are six tips for stay-at-home dads that might make coping with their new role easier.
Tip #1. Discuss responsibilities with your spouse. It is very important to be absolutely clear about responsibilities, because misunderstanding might lead to conflict and resentment. Of course, your main responsibility is taking care of the kids. But are you expected to cook dinner, do laundry, clean the house, shop for the family? How are you going to share responsibilities on weekends? You need to discuss such things early on.
Tip #2. Establish a routine. Your daily routine should work for both you and your children. Maybe your spouse would do things differently, but it is you who stays with the kids, so the routine is up to you. Of course, you need to involve your spouse when they're at home. A daily routine makes everything easier. It doesn't mean that you need to do everything by the clock, but you need to settle into a certain rhythm and keep your days structured.
Tip #3. Meet other people and connect with other parents. Many stay-at-home parents become lonely and isolated. Well, we can't have that. You need to get out of the house and meet new people. Don't hesitate to mingle with moms in the park or on the playground. We are sure they will be glad to chat and share parenting experience. Besides, you can connect with other stay-at-home dads on special websites, where you can ask and give advice.
Tip #4. Ask for help when you need it. You're not a Superman and you don't have to do everything on your own. Sometimes you will have too much on your plate, and you will need to ask for help in order to stay sane. Ask your kids to help you with the housework. Of course, they will do small things like folding laundry, but you will have one less chore. You might need to ask your neighbors to babysit while you run errands or hire a cleaning lady. Don't hesitate to do it if your budget allows.
Tip #5. Remain your kid's dad. The fact that you are a house dad doesn't make you their mom. You are still their father and you can have your own dynamic. The fact that you do the job that is done by women in a traditional society doesn't make you less of a father figure. Just be yourself, your kids will appreciate it.
Tip #6. Find time for yourself. Of course, most of your time will be dedicated to parenting from now on, but parenting doesn't have to consume your entire life. You absolutely need to find time to meet your friends, pursue your interests and hobbies, work out, etc. You should also spend time with your spouse, just the two of you. Establish a date night, find a babysitter and don't let your romance die.
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