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Daddy Do Right: Strategies For Stay-At-Home Dads

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

With men’s increasing desire for a greater balance between work and home, and women’s need to remain “independent”, it seems to make sense that men don’t mind staying home and helping out with the chores and kids.

But, pitching in “is” quite different than doing a complete role reversal. Yet, more and more men, with high powered, higher earning mates are doing it. And, for many it seems like a sweet solution and alternative to the traditional 9 to 5.

Still, when it comes to trading in your briefcase for a diaper bag, there are things you want to take into consideration.

1. Don’t try to fill mom’s shoes: Allow yourself the freedom of being you, rather than trying to lie up to being mom. Remember, you each have something special and unique to offer and contribute to your child.

2. Build your social circle: Women like to mix and mingle by nature, that’s just what most of us do. For guys, making small talk may mean also making more of a concerted effort. Get out and meet other moms and dads in a variety of settings. Remember, getting out is good for breaking the routine and isolation for both you and your baby.

3. Use your imagination: Get your mind out of corporate mode and start thinking and acting “like a child”. Remember, keeping kids busy and amused means doing it on their level not yours.

4. Think ahead: While you (and your mate) may work well “on the fly”, children need to a bit more preparation. Keep in mind that kids can get tired, bored and hungry easily and quickly and YOU need to keep it all under control, by being prepared. So, before going anywhere or doing anything, think of all the thing you “will” or “may” need and make sure you have it ALL with you.

5. Get it together: Organization is key when dealing with kids. It’s especially important for dads, since most men find things run better when planned and part of a regular “ritual” or “routine”. Consider noting things on a calendar, blackberry, etc for proper planning and peace of mind.

6. Don’t try to do it ALL: While you may want to maintain the mentality of running the house like you did your job, with the ability to “do it all”, its important to remember that with kids schedules often change and it’s not always easy to keep up with everything. Discuss with your mate how you want to split up responsibilities

7. Ask for advice: Sure you consider yourself a self-starter (at the office) but when it comes to caring for kids, experts and parents alike note the importance of asking for help and some helpful hints. Remember, stay-at-home parenting takes of lot of practice and getting use to, it doesn’t hurt to find out what has worked in the past and in the present for everyone else.

8. Don’t forget about YOU: It’s easy for parents to fall into the trap of forgetting about time for themselves. Take some time out for some “time out”, including a nap, a shower or bath, a book, to eat, and to exercise. Remember, making your new job “rewarding” may depend on the “benefit” package your provide for yourself.

Long Island Family Life & Parenting Articles > Daddy Do Right: Strategies For Stay-At-Home Dads

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