questionsany stay-at-home parents out there? advice?

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Parent's day out! Use them, volunteer for them, and have outings with other kids and parents. You have a life, however small, too. Don't forget to take a couple of hours for you a week. Also, remember your wife needs your time too. We tend to forget that anyone besides the kids exist or need us. Our world gets that small. A date night once or twice a month will ensure you don't look across the table one evening and wonder who that person over there is.

I stayed home with my daughter for 4 years, but she was older than Emerson (middle school).

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I have been a SAHD for 4 years now with two little boys (4 and 2). It has been the best thing I have ever done, but I can honestly tell you that it’s way harder being a SAHD because society deems it so. Our parents don’t REALLY understand the concept, and the same goes for my other guy friends who go to a job everyday. For this reason, it became extremely important for me to find another SAHD to communicate with. Our kids are different ages so we don’t get together so much, but it helps to have another “dude” to talk things over with. My wife also has a hard time with the role reversal as well. It is also VERY IMPORTANT to keep open lines of communication with your wife….more so now than ever.

As far as the parenting thing goes, tell them/show them that you love them everyday and you can’t mess it up….really, you can’t.

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Congrats man! Wish I could stay home but that said I would have way more work at home than I do at work/ my job.

Four years ago my wife was in real estate when we had twins and then the market tanked. At the time she made way more money than I did, as a systems engineer, but since the market was so bad we decided it was best that she stayed home. It was the best decision we ever made. I busted my butt and increased my salary and she took care of our home. Daycare just doesn't benefit children the way parent care does. Plus it's free!

It took her a little time to adjust but once she got her routine down it was smooth sailing. Her and the kids spend a lot of time at the Y during the week. They have a bunch of classes for kids and parents. Next year all four of our kids will be in school so she plans on getting back to work.

It's pretty cool that you put you career on hold to take care of the home front. Your kiddo will appreciate it most.

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I'm a self-employed work-at-home stay-at-home dad and my wife works fulltime at an office. I'm the primary breadwinner, though, so I can't afford to not get work done.

I've been doing it for two years, and I love it.

There are days that are less productive work-wise than others, and on those days my wife comes home to, "Take your demon child!" Then she cares for him in the evening while I catch up. Other days I can be surprisingly productive because he's really good at having fun without too much outside help.

But here's the thing that makes it worth it, no matter what: Every parent in the world makes mistakes and has regrets, but in our society it's rare for a dad to be able to honestly say, "I was there." I treasure the fact that no matter what I screw up in the future I know that I was there for him pretty much 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for his first years. A lot of moms get to say that, but it's rare for dads - and I wouldn't trade it for the world. I'm a lucky guy!

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I quit my job to be a sahm 2 years ago and even though I'd being lying if I said that I never regretted my choice, I know that it was breaking my heart to be a working mom. I quit my job (a mechanical engineer) when my son was 1 year old. He is now 3 and has a little sister who is 3mo old. My big piece of advice is find a mothers (parents... what ever) morning out program and enroll asap. Even though my 3mo is too young, my 3 year old goes and let me tell you, I need the time without him. He wears me out when I am alone with him all day and just having 4-5 hours on Tuesday and Thursday gives me the rejuvenation I need. I can clean, play with the baby, run errands... etc without a very energetic 3 year old. The next piece of advice I can give you is to create a routine. It's good for you and it's good for kiddos. For example, on Monday, we wake up at 8, eat breakfast and as long as my 3mo old is asleep, we cuddle until 9 when we watch sesame street until 10. CONT...

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Oh yeah... and it gets harder/easier the older they get. And it doesn't matter how you discipline... just do it consistently. Oh, and remember that they are sponges! I'm still working on getting my son to rid himself of one phrase that I said 1!!!! time on the phone. Uggg...

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Congratulations! What an adventure you have ahead of you.
Does it get easier or harder? yes!

We went from 2 incomes to 1 with our first child and I am once again staying home with our 7 month old. There are many ways to save money. How much of the daily home stuff are you taking on?

As others said, routines and a support system are vital for keeping everyone happy.
Do set aside time for yourself, with just your wife, and as a family of three each week. We do this and for us, it helps keep our family balanced.

During an especially trying day with my 1st child, someone advised me to just get through the next 15 min., then the next half hour, hour, etc. When you have a fussy day, and cannot figure out why, this can help you keep your wits.

Do you have a stroller and carrier? I use mine nearly every day and they are fantastic! With the carrier, I can get stuff done. The stroller allows us to get fresh air and a change of scenery.

Just know that you are not alone. Good luck!

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Usually, the 3mo old wakes up during this time, so I feed and dress her. Anyway, 10:00 is get dressed/ brush teeth time. Yes, 10am... not 8am. Could... but I like the cuddle time. This usually takes at least 30 minutes. If it is warm outside, we go outside for 1-2 hours until we are ready for lunch. So... 12-1pm or so, we eat lunch. Oh, and yes... during most of this time I do indeed have a baby on my hip. I then color/paint/draw with him until 1:30... when thomas the train comes on. We want that until 2pm (sometimes even the show after that until 2:30 if I'm tired). 2:30 is lesson time. We practice reading our letters, counting, doing puzzles... etc until 3-3:30. it just depends on how the 3mo old is doing. And if all goes well, quiet time starts when the lesson is done. Quiet time is where he has to play in his room
"quietly" for 1 hour. Sometimes he falls asleep. That's a bonus. This is my break time! I watch a show on my computer. If I'm really really (CONT...)

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lucky, baby girl will sleep during this time too. Anyway, that lasts at least until 4pm when I start supper. My 3 year old will show back up sometime during the hour and I'll figure out a way to let him help me make supper. Whether that is stirring something in a bowl or washing dishes (playing with water and dishes with soap) in the sink, he likes to help... so I let him help. It's a bit harder when the 3mo is awake because she'll only last 15 minutes or so without me in a swing or on a play mat or whatever, so juggling that is a challenge. Anyway, hubby gets home around 5-6pm, so I try to have supper ready when he gets home... then the rest of the night is random without preplanned activities. So... that is a typical Monday. Every other day is a different schedule. Like, on T and TH when the 3yr old is gone, I work on making relaxation videos (way different than engineering!) for fun. Just remember, being a sahd is a huge challenge and you need adult time too..Play dates. :)

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@kylemittskus: Most conflicts stemmed from the “milestones” that Emerson will hit that your wife won’t be a part of…all the little “first time” events that you’ll have to tell her about. Missing out on these is going to bother her BIG time, especially if her mother was a SAHM. I recorded EVERYTHING that I thought she would lament not seeing.
Another potential conflict is when she gets around other SAHM’s who do nothing but talk about being a SAHM. My wife would end up feeling either left out, or jealous. She overcame this by doing all sorts of activities with the boys when she got home from work: soccer, music, Little Gym, etc. She also handled the majority of the nighttime activities (bath time, bedtime). This way she felt she was participating. Honestly, our boys don’t even know that she’s not home during the day.
Good luck to you and feel free to contact me if you have any other questions...I've got oodles of "dad" tips.

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Work on your patience level....and congrats!

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Remember that EVERYTHING you do is teaching something. Make sure that you are teaching what you think you are.

As an example, a relative would always call her todler to her to discipline him. What she was really teaching was not to come.

As a primary parent, you can pick which battles you fight, but you MUST win every one. If it's not worth spending two hours doing nothing but repeatedly disciplining for a repeated offense, then don't start.

This one probably doesn't apply yet, but whatever they show an interest in can be done. It's not the 'what' that gets you in trouble, it's the 'when, where, and how'. Even atomic bombs can be tested safely.

If you think that you are liable to become a permanent stay-at-home-Dad, then you might want to start looking at homeschooling.

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@bbdickso1: I'm curious about the interactions/conflicts with your wife. If you don't mind, can you elaborate on what happened/happens, how you deal with it, how big of an issue it is, etc. I am still working at nights part time, but I'm not sure how long I'll be able to do it (mentally, physically, etc.). I am concerned, though, that my wife would be understandable jealous.

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You might want to look through this guy's blog. He's not totally stay at home, but seems to have some really great times with his kids. http://daddingideas.wordpress.com/2012/11/15/what-bath/

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I've been a SAHM/WAHM for about 17 years now. It works best for us. I've had times where I worked outside the house and no one was happy. Yes, we were not as financially wealthy as some of our peers, but that lack of having to pay for childcare, commuting, work clothes, eating out, guilt gifts mostly made up for it. Set up a general plan for who is responsible for what in the house. Now that you are a SAHD, you will probably be picking up more chore like responsibilities but that doesn't mean you have to do everything yourself.
Yes, it gets easier. Yes, it gets harder. Each age brings new joys and challenges. It's amazing when a baby crawls for the first time...until they head for the outlet. It's fantastic when a child can get up and walk...until you realize they just headed out the door. Be flexible. Somedays everything will go smoothly, other days you will have a hi-how-are-ya with Murphy.
Have fun. It's an amazing journey.

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@capitalggeek: I can't upvote this more than once or I would. That first sentence is key!

Also, make sure to try and figure out why your kid is doing something. It will help with a lot of frustration if you know that your child is "being bad" because they just want something perfectly reasonable (Like climbing on things to get their toy, etc.) Kids are very logical with the knowledge they have, they just don't have all the information for the situation.

Another thing, make sure to enjoy every stage because it doesn't last long. Remember spending time with your child is more important than the house being cluttered etc. I know people who worry more about appearances and have missed out on a lot of fun that could be had if they let go and got dirty with their kid. Also, if you give kids a chance to get messy in a controlled environment it is less likely they will do it on their own in ways you don't want. (mud pies in their sunday best, for example)