Stay @ home daddies - The evolving face Of fatherhood!

  • By Dr. T Deepa Porkodi

There was a time when bringing up a child was the mother’s sole responsibility. Fathers were the bread-earners; and that was their only duty. Times are changing and more and more fathers have realized their importance in the upbringing of a child and thus today, choose to play an active role on the home front too!

The prospect of transitioning from a full-time employee, to a full-time dad, can be daunting. Look at the brighter side though no deadlines, no boss pressure, no rush hour traffic; plus a front row seat to watch your kids grow up! Doesn’t seem that daunting now, does it?

Today, by choice or by necessity, many men find themselves playing the role of a full-time father to their kids. Bringing up a baby is a costly affair; and in today’s times the disparity between the incomes of the spouses, is gradually disappearing. Hence, young parents are more open to taking the decision of who will stay at home to take care of the baby, on a practical level, rather than sticking to traditional roles of society.

So, for all you stay-at-home daddies, here are a few tips and tricks:

  1. Be proud of your decision:
    No matter how times change, there will still be few people who look at you staying at home with the kids, while your wife goes to office each day, and think of you as an unemployed loser! Whether your decision to stay at home was made due to a need for lifestyle change, or because it suited your financial plans better, it is a decision you should be proud of. You get a front row seat to watch your kids grow. Now how many fathers can boast of that?
  2. Chalk out your duties:
    When a woman stays at home and takes care of the baby, it means she has a double responsibility. She is in charge of the baby and also the house. What all would you be willing to do? Besides taking care of the baby, will you help with the cooking, cleaning, laundry and the other daily household chores? When you sort out the work, it helps.
  3. Figure out your own ways:
    The way moms bring up the kids may not necessarily work for dads too. You need to understand what you are comfortable with, first. Establish your own routines and schedules. Your wife, being the woman she is, may object at first to your ways. But in the end, it is you who will be spending maximum time with the baby and when she sees things working out perfectly, well, she won’t have any objections.
  4. Build a support system:
    Stay-at-home dads are a new entity. There will be times when you too will need guidance and reassurance. Form a group of similar stay-at-home dads. You can meet regularly and exchange notes on how to bring your child up, discuss and solve any difficulties you may be facing. Being part of a group is a positive approach.
  5. Ask for help:
    You don’t have to be Superman, dealing with all the work alone. There will be occasions when you will need the help of a baby sitter or a cleaning lady, so that you can get out and get some work done yourself, like paying the bill or shopping for groceries. That’s how moms do it too!
  6. Make time for yourself:
    Amidst all the baby chores and the housework, do make it a point to take some time out, for yourself. Read a book, listen to some music, hit the gym with your friends; do whatever relaxes you. Too much of playing the ‘super dad’ will burn you out! Recharge your batteries every once in a while.

With almost 2 million stay-at-home dads in the U.S. alone, the concept is no longer novel. It is slowly gaining popularity and acceptance.