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March 22, 2005

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Jennifer

I am a mom, and I have to tell you that I couldn't get my butt back to work any faster! It is a hard job staying at home! Harder then anything else you ever did. Sure, you are in the comfort of your own home, but that means little. Good luck getting a shower or any "me time". I have mucho respect for those stay at home parents. Good luck!
Jen

Meredith

Another Mom here chiming in... I love most of this new job. Although I've only been at it for seven weeks so we're still honeymooning here. Love aside, I feel like a different person. Now I'm a person who juggles the intricacies of a home. I struggle a lot with the stereotypes of being a homemaker even though I don't mind the tasks. I do mind the repetitive nature of the work and the lack of adult stimulation. I don't get much me time anymore but I find myself more productive with the time I get. So far, blogging has been a great way to "hear" and "talk" to adults out there.

I wonder what challenges you will face as a SAHD that are similar and different from us ladies out here. I know you said you wouldn't be keeping a blog but that's unfortunate. It could be a good resource for you.

Meredith

Another Mom here chiming in... I love most of this new job. Although I've only been at it for seven weeks so we're still honeymooning here. Love aside, I feel like a different person. Now I'm a person who juggles the intricacies of a home. I struggle a lot with the stereotypes of being a homemaker even though I don't mind the tasks. I do mind the repetitive nature of the work and the lack of adult stimulation. I don't get much me time anymore but I find myself more productive with the time I get. So far, blogging has been a great way to "hear" and "talk" to adults out there.

I wonder what challenges you will face as a SAHD that are similar and different from us ladies out here. I know you said you wouldn't be keeping a blog but that's unfortunate. It could be a good resource for you.

Jennifer

I agree Meredith. If I had a blog or access to blogs when I was at home I wouldn't have been running back to work for some adult conversation!

Leta

I've been at home (mom) for 9 months now. Some days I love it, some days I hate it.

do you still have time to do your own things? Not really. Nap time is a good opportunity for this, and other than that I try to snatch 10 or 15 minutes here and there for myself when I can occupy the baby with something. Some evenings my husband will watch the baby alone so I can have an hour or two to myself.

How resentful - if at all - were you? It just depends on the day! At first I was resentful as hell. But I've adjusted to my situation.

Did you feel socially isolated from other people, trapped in your own house? Sometimes. But I try to schedule something to do every day, even if it is just running to the store. If I don't, then I start to feel like I'm the only person in the world at home with a child. We also go to two library groups for infants, which has been great. They are only half an hour long, but its a great place to meet other parents of kids the same age as yours.

You will establish your own routine, and your own way of doing things that works for you and your baby. I think it is wonderful you are doing this, and an opportunity not many dads have. My husband would jump at the chance, but he makes a lot more money than I could, so he has to be the worker bee.

Here's what I tell my friends about parenting: I wing it. Every day, I get up and just try to survive that day, and only that day, and most of the time I feel like I'm flying by the seat of my pants. Some days its a great ride, some days not so much.

Lisa

Check out www.rebeldad.com. It gives tons of information for stay at home dads and has lots of resources, including locations of dad's groups. You are not alone! Also, check out your local ECFE (early childhood and family education) classes. These are usually offered through your city or local public school. They accept parents of either sex to accompany your child and they even offer a dad's only class for dad's to come with their kids and talk about dad related issues.

Good luck!

Cobalt's Daddy

I stayed at home for 2 months, while mom stayed at home for 4. We both now try to work 4-day work weeks and leave The Boy with another SAHD. I can honestly say that I look forward every week to my one day alone with Cobalt and the dogs. We take long walks, hang out, talk, play, cook, etc. It's the best.

Of course, I'm not doing it 5 days a week, although I think I wish I could. The 3 days that Coby is with Zuby is great, too. Zuby's dad says its not too bad with a 7 monther and a 4 monther. But Cobalt's not crawling yet. Anyway, I know he likes to watch a little TV, take long walks, and play guitar with them.

So I'd suggest taking advantage of the time you have with the boy to get out and do...museums, parks, restaurants, etc. Don't worry, relax, and enjoy.

Sal

I'm in charge one day a week now, but I was totally involved since she was born. She's 14 months old now (meaning: more demanding). Five days a week could be somehow nerve racking, but it is because we in general are very self centered before the little one arrives (my judgment). So, make up your mind first, realize that is not all about you, and you'll be fine. At least, I'm doing great repeating myself: "it is all about US".
As per resources, I used to take my little one for long walks in her carrier (Baby Bjorn), and she loved it. Libraries are great! YOur little one might be a little young for playgrounds, but just the change of environment would make it. Do you have a fellow new dad? Get together with him. I found out that SF is full of new dads who are in charge, Good for us! (I agree that moms will give you the weird look when you arrive to the playground with your baby. If board rooms are full of women now, why not men in the playground?)
These blogs are great for venting, so keep the good work and stay connected.

B Watson

Poppa Large -

You have most certainly represented while filling in for my man MetroDad. I feel your pain and understand your plight. I am a bit surprised that the mom groups would not accept you. That's insane, and you can be sure that I would have said "so much for equal rights." If you really want to have that as an outlet, I would push on it. Another option would be to find the local stay at home dads in your area, and form your own group. There are certainly far too few resources targeted at the stay at home dad...heck, dads in general. Did you read the 15 pages dedicated to "fathers" in "What to Expect When You're Expecting?" That's par for the course for the industry. There is a sea change going on right now in the demographics, and to me that smells like hugh opportunity. Good luck, and big ups to you. You ought to get a blog set up and let us know the address...you're hella funny.

-B

Amanda

I'm barely a SAHM myself having only recently quit my job. But I can tell you that you may enjoy it more than you think. My husband always balks when I leave our son in his care, but raves about it when I return. Something about them being alone together improves their interaction. There are no boobs in the house, so neither of them can come running to me for help/comfort, etc. They have to figure it out on their own and they seem to have fun doing so.

chip

I was a stay-at-home dad for the first two years of my daughter's life. It is hard but so rewarding I don't regret doing it for a second and wish I could have kept doing it longer. You definitely have to do a shift in thinking about a lot of stuff, and you'll often be frustrated and maybe even bored, but the benefits are great!

And I'll second the suggestion to check out the Rebel Dad website, it's got great resources.

And be sure to check out his bloglist, there's a whole community of stay-at-home and involved dad bloggers out here.

Lori

I have been a stay at home mom for 27 months now. You can check out my blog, it has been a source of sanity for me. I crave adult conversation and me time. I get very little of either. As a stay at home parent you will be rewarded beyond belief with your child's daily accomplishments. Not many parents get all of their kids' "firsts". Good luck, it is not an easy job.

Dollymama

We pretty much all have to work it out on our own wits and patience. You're in mighty good company there. Be thankful you are having to do that as a woman who just gave birth 2 days ago and the hubby is now back at work! :)

The child care books are the same for moms and dads. And, basically, my advice is to find a fit for you and blissfully ignore the rest (other than keeping it in the back of your brain for the day when what has been working for you now needs to be tweaked).

I think the SAHD movement is a growing one. A little more looking around on the internet and in your area may find you more than you expected.

I've been a mom for almost 13 years and I have 6 children. When I had 1 I did manage to do some things I liked to do, although all my interests mainly revolved around being a mother. When I had 2-5 I mainly did regular life, since I was also homeschooling. Now I have 6 and the youngest is 2 and I am getting to do some very interesting things that have very little to do with being a parent. It's a breath of fresh air for me.

I think every journey is different. Some love staying at home. Some hate it. Some need more breaks than others. And sometimes you fall into different categories at different times of your life. You'll find your thing. You'll see. Come back and tell us about it when you do!

Tom N.

I only do SAHD one day per week, which isn't at all the same thing as 5 days a week. But I'll second the suggestion mentioned above: Get out of the house! Maybe not every day, but do it frequently. Before our daughter arrived, I was happy to work from home and go a day or two without stepping foot outside (yeah, I'm a geek). But when you're spending the entire day with a baby, time . . s t a r t s . . . . t o . . . . . ss ll oooo www. . . . . . . . . . . . dd . oowwwww. . nnnn .. . . . . . . . . I remember some days looking at the clock, seeing "4:00pm" and wondering how I was going to survive another 2+ hours until my wife got home.

Getting out of the house helped. It helps even more if you can find someone nearby who has a child close in age to yours. Take the kid grocery shopping, find a park to sit in (even before s/he is old enough to play in the park), etc.

Grace

Yes, schedule regular outings. Definitely do a library story time. Right after we'd play at the park (which was next door to the library) along with a bunch of other kiddos. Consider doing a parks&recs baby class or a Gymboree Play & Music class. When my daughter was in Gymboree, there was a firefighter Dad who'd bring his twin boys in. Then I'd schedule errands on different days just to get out. Hope it all works out!

moderndaydad

I've been a SAHD for 8 months now, with no plans of stopping. It's a lot like everyone else describes it, good days and bad, but the good way outnumber the bad. Get out of the house at least once a day and you'll be fine - it's not nearly as overwhelming as you might think it will be. Having a blog (and another focus) helps a lot too. And I have absolutely no doubt that it's the best thing for my daughter, which really is the most important thing of all.

On an aside, I just wanted to say that I personally find the term "Mr. Mom" to be insulting. The term presupposes that women (or moms) are the only people qualified to be the primary caregivers - which is the same as saying that not only is a dad going to be inable to do it, but that a dad shouldn't be doing it at all. Honestly, I think anyone who calls you "Mr. Mom" is giving you a not-so-subtle dig. The "SAHD" title is cumbersome and quite frankly sucks, but it's the best we've got.

Poppa Large

As someone who lived through what's felt like a zillion years living in the most politically correct city on the planet (Berkeley, CA), I can appreciate the point you're making about the term "Mr. Mom." Nonetheless, I'm cool with it. I'm not saying I'd wear a t-shirt with the phrase on it. Or that I'd actually rent the movie.

More Diapers

Hey dude, I'm about to join the club, too. Look forward to reading your adventures...

More Diapers

Oh, and BTW... the most politically correct city on the planet is Cambridge, MA. It's also the home of the most people who feel their entitled.

amt

all moms need a break. My mom spent her Mother's Day cleaning my new apartment, she's that sweet. I'm signing her up for a contest that is giving away free cleaning services until 2010...check out www.libman.com if you are interested in putting down the mop!

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