Father and Daughter

8 things I was never told about being a stay at home dad

Kia ora peeps 

When our daughter Harper turned 1, Nikki decided to head back to work as a Dietitian and we decided I would take some time off to be a stay at home dad.

Yep, it was pretty early on when I realised it wasn’t all flat whites and daytime TV (although there was plenty of that happening too).

To be honest I had visions of me absolutely dominating it. In my mind I would have her eating all the brain foods she needed, writing her first novel and would be singing the house down with twinkle twinkle before her 2nd birthday.

As you can probably guess, I really wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of nappy explosions, public tantrums and learning the subtle art of bartering using Peppa Pig as currency.

So here is a list of 8 things was never told about being a stay at home dad:

#1 - You won’t win (even when you think you are)

The thing about toddlers is that they either absolutely love it or hate it. It doesn’t even matter what “it” is referring to. When you start getting the feeling your all over it. Your not. 

#2 - Old people will love you, guys will think your a pansy and other mum’s will often avoid making eye contact.

I think most people assumed Harper was off sick from daycare or I am giving mum a well deserved break.

#3 - You will do stuff you swore you wouldn’t

Seriously though. Pre-parenthood, nothing used to gross me out more than people sniffing kids rear ends to affirm they’d gone number 2’s. But now, I quite happily find myself resorting to the common “parent hack” of inhaling their kids particles a second or even third time, to avoid the extra 2 seconds it takes to pull her pants down and actually look.

#4 - You will become a zombie

I finally understand what people mean when they answer “nothing” to the question, “what are you thinking about?”. I’m not even kidding. I would often have a sudden realisation that I have been staring at square of wallpaper for the last 30 – 40 minutes.

#5 - You will do and hear some weird stuff

Yesterday I had to put sudocrem and a nappy on a ukulele, because apparently it had a sore bottom. And last week I dreamed I was slowly being eaten by Anthony Wiggle (he’s the seedy old one) while the rest of the Wiggles sang “fruit salad, yummy, yummy”. It’s like I’m stuck in some sort of sick acid trip. 

baby sleeping in her cot

#6 - You will become obsessed with what she eats and when she sleeps

Ask any parent. The success criteria for basic parenting is based on these two things. If they are fed and rested your a champ. If you screw these two things up, you get a Not Achieved. 

Take pasta for example. Harper loves it. But only when its cut in a certain way and only on Tuesdays and Sundays. 

She can sleep, but only when she has her shusher (white noise) blaring, Beckie #1 (her bunny) Beckie #2 (her replacement bunny), Walter (the weird looking bear we picked up from the hospital) and her manky blankie in her bed with her.

#7 - Swallow your pride and accept all offers of help

Your one person village isn’t fooling anyone. Accepting help is good for you, your child and probably makes the person offering it feel pretty good about themselves too. This includes offers of babysitting, hand me downs, (*plug alert) help with dinner. Don’t think about it just get amongst it.

#8 - You will feel like you deserve a medal

But seriously. No one cares. All you get is a strong left bicep and an early night. 

So there you have it. And to wrap it all up yes, I’m a battler. 

But before you make judgement, have a think about what you envisioned it would be like not having to go to work.

I know, it sounded dreamy to me too. 

One thing I have learnt is that absolutely no one has the moral license to judge any parent for the decisions they make. I know I’m not perfect. That’s evident in the fact my daughter has just clocked Banana’s in Pyjamas on Netflix for the second time.

But, along with all the not so glamorous surprises of being a stay at home dad comes the rewarding stuff. I get to see her do all the cool stuff too.

She gives me an excuse to act like an absolute nutter again.

I love it how she wants cuddles from daddy whenever we visit the doctors or a thunderstorm rolls through. 

I even think she has taught me how to be fun again and to just go with it, not think too much and not to beat myself up for not doing things I think I should be doing. And trust me being a business owner there is always something I could be doing. 

Because she’s right, nothing is more important than what is going on right in front of me.

And I’m stoked to be there doing it with her.

Mum, Dad and Baby

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