Antiquated stigmas dictate that a man’s value is not measured in how well he can care for an infant throughout the day, it’s measured in how much money he can bring into the house to support his family.
Which is why it can be such a gut punch to the system for men to admit that their full-time job is to stay at home with the kids in a role reversal of societal norms. For fear of being labeled everything from Mr. Mom to Daddy Daycare is enough for most fathers to feel a bit emasculated.
But the fact of the matter is that Stay at Home Dads (SAHD) are becoming less of a punchline and more of a reality for many families.
The National At-Home Dad Network says almost 1.4 Million dads are the ones changing the diapers and feeding the babies in the middle of the day as the primary daytime caregiver for their children.
As a work-from-home writer that happens to have a kid hanging around my general vicinity throughout the day, you could probably slap me with the label of 1) hypocrite – for not stepping up to the plate and calling this what it is and 2) an actual real life SAHD.
I get it. I’ve been there, too. Even the acronym for Stay at Home Dads, or “SAHD,” reads like a long drawn out version of the word “sad.”
It can be overwhelming and sometimes even a bit lonely without opportunities for conversations other than the usual “toss daddy the ball” or updates into the well being of your child’s favorite pup from Paw Patrol.
Wearing a baby backpack to the store in the middle of the day attracts stares and looks of confusion from the people not used to seeing a male stepping into the role as the primary caregiver for a baby.
But there’s nothing to be down in the dumps about over being a rockstar dude that takes care of the kids.
Many stay at home moms have plenty of online resources or just anecdotal evidence from friends and family members that can help them succeed in the daily grind.
But even though the trend is building for more involvement from dads who stay home, it’s still pretty barren out there for advice on how to win the battle of baby care.
It’s important to put some systems in place to create the right habits to succeed.