The situation is ever increasing where fathers are staying at home and doing the parenting, now that women are getting better and better jobs and are able to support their households.
The 2012 US census reported that 189,000 families were families where the father was the stay at home parent; and another 500,000 who have freelance jobs that enable them to work from home and still be the major caregiver.
Some argue that this number is inaccurate due to the somewhat strict definition of a “stay at home dad” that they are using. These individuals argue that the number is as high as 1.4 million.
Whatever the actual number of stay at home dads, it is no secret that there needs to be more articles written on this, and more help offered to these dads and the unique problems and situations they find themselves in.
The following are some common problems that stay at home dad’s home may face.
It may be difficult to go from a two income family home to a single income. You may have thought you have planned well but there are always unplanned things that come up. New stay at home dads often find it difficult to stick to the limits of one income.
The best thing you can do for your family is to sit down with your wife and come up with a very specific budget before you decide to do this. You should also have an emergency plan in case something goes wrong.
Probably one of the biggest problems that fathers who are transitioning from the work force to being the stay at home father faces is loneliness.
You go from being at a place of work where you have adults to speak to every day to one where you are dealing with children all day; this certainly is a challenge.
Whereas mothers often form bonds with other mothers in the neighborhood, this is a much greater challenge for stay at home dads.
Where most neighborhoods have several stay at home moms it is very rare that one neighborhood has one, let alone two stay at home dads.
Furthermore, if stay at home dads form too close of a relationship with the moms in the neighborhood this could lead to problems. One way to combat this loneliness is to set up play dates for your children with other stay at home dads.
There are also sites online for stay at home dads (SAHD) that you can access and share your thoughts with.
The fact that you are no longer the bread winner for the family may cause you to question what your role is. This may lead to depression.
Try to look at the positive aspects of this new set up. For example concentrate on the fact that you are getting to spend more time watching your kids grow up and having a much more profound effect on how they will turn out. Remember that you are providing for them in a different, but just as important, way.
Despite the fact that SAHD’s are becoming more common there is still a lot of stigma associated with being one especially from the older generation which holds fast to the traditional gender roles. You will be out of place at the “Mommy and Me” swim class but the time you spend with your kids will be well worth it.
Most women seem to do better at multitasking which seems to be a requirement for any parent taking care of the children.
You need to be finding the missing sock or sneaker while you are making breakfast and answering the phone all at the same time. You don’t need to be great at multitasking to be a good parent.
Make priorities and realize that as long as you stick with the most important goal, keeping the kids from any harm, you will do just fine.