I have been ‘stay at home dad’, (sahd) now since March this year 2018, although I officially finished work March 2017.
You see, when I told my employer I had intended on leaving that coming Christmas they decided to let me go and pay me for the rest of that year, this way they could get someone else in. I wasn’t going to argue as Riley was due in the June and it would save Mummy being on her own with the two boys until I finally finished in December. So it all worked out well in the end, Mummy and Daddy had a whole year off together before she had to go back to work.
So what do I think of my new venture after 8 months??
After 40 years working, this is by far the hardest ‘job’ I have ever undertaken. It is safe to say I have a new found respect for stay at home parents.
One thing’s for sure, I find myself a man in a woman’s world and it’s safe to say, that I am still adjusting.
One of the reasons for my last paragraph is that of the ‘playdate’. You see, here I am a 56yr old man asking young Mums if they would like to meet up for a cuppa while the children play, it’s been a while since I asked a young lady for her phone number!!
I was fortunate on this one particular occasion back before the school broke for its summer holidays. Charlie had a birthday party some weeks before and so I had the mobile number of one of the mother’s already, she had confirmed attendance to the party for her little man with a text. So on the last day of term I picked up the courage to speak to this lady and asked if she would like to join me and the boys for a ‘playdate’, I explained I still had her number and I would call during the holidays.
So one Tuesday morning I messaged the Mum and asked if they would like to call round the following week, her son is just a few months older than Charlie. By 8pm that night I had not heard anything, I remember turning to Helen and saying, ” oh lord, she thinks I’m some kind of weirdo”, imagine the relief when I got a reply the next morning saying it was a great idea and they looked forward to it. The playdate was a success and we’ve had some more since then.
Fortunately I have a couple of other friends through old employment and have stayed in contact through social media, so I am building my own little network of Mums with kiddies. You see, I don’t know any other stay at home Dads’.
Then of course there is the local ‘toddler’ group, every Tuesday morning. Yes, you guessed it, I’m the only full-time Dad who frequents this village get together. There are some lovely people there, again, it took me a little while to adjust, Riley and I call there when we can.
It’s funny because it was at this toddler group when I first had mother’s saying to me, they wished that I could chat to some of their husbands because of some of the things I was saying.
I was explaining that I never realised how difficult I would find all this, the juggling of everyday routine around two little boys. How tired I would feel, how isolated and how mind numbing it all was.
Helen will often leave for work around 6.30am, not getting home till gone 7pm and more often than not will be away two or three nights a week. This leaves me, breakfast, school run, lunch, dinner, bath and bedtime and that’s if the day runs smoothly. I honestly don’t think many men could handle this, believe me, I just survive some days.
I think back now to how I would get home from work and look forward to a beer and a catch up with my mates on a Friday night, when in fact the mother of my children at the time, way deserved it more then me. Dont get me wrong, I helped around the house, but I had no real appreciation of what was really involved. You see, it’s not until you have led this life of stay at home parenting do you truly understand it.
I will leave this here for the moment as it’s my first real blog and I don’t want to bore people.
I hope you enjoy the read. Please feel free to leave comments and any blogging advice would be greatly received.