I’m now two weeks into being a stay at home Dad (SAHD) and feel I can now start to reflect on the initial period.
In the last fortnight, I’ve been to playgroup(s) for the first time, seen my daughter become increasingly better at standing up, introduced Gabriel to tomato soup and done thousands of laps round the settee with a car in my hand, in Gabriel’s game “again”.
The last few days have been the most testing day so far. Willow is teething and as a result a bit poorly. This had meant we haven’t gone to playgroup as planned but also that the kids are being a bit tetchy with one another as Willow is requiring more attention than usual.
These are the days that I have seen my (usually female but not always) friends complain about on social networking.
When you’re not in the middle of it and can walk out to work it’s easy to dismiss them but it is hard work.
I have increased empathy and sympathy now with anyone who is at home with a poorly relative!
In the last fortnight I have definitely become closer to the kids. It’s easier to make them laugh, to predict their behaviour and know better what they need and when. I also beleive they know me better and know what I want them to do. Boundaries are becoming clearer between us whilst we become closer making me a better parent.
I’ve also become better at disciplining them. When you don’t see your Children so much, you don’t want to discipline as its precious short term time lost (despite the long term benefit). With all day everyday together it’s clearer to see the benefits of reinforcing rules.
Personally, I have more time and feel much less tired. I have the time to talk to the children about things and I have more patience to let them do things for themselves. I can start things earlier and let them unfold naturally in their own timespan rather than rushing, which is good.
There is a lot of time spent tidying up and preparing for things and I again underestimated how much Michelle did when at home. It’s a 100% job from the minute they wake up to the minute they go to bed. If I’m honest, I’ve not been able to even attempt much of the cleaning up, I just don’t know how people find the time.
I’m really enjoying my new role so far. It’s good fun being at home with the kids. We are all still learning from each other and I hope the kids are enjoying it too!
Nb: It’s probably also worth noting that I haven’t shaved in the last fortnight!!!