Is being a stay-at-home dad for you? Here is a question that 1000’s of dads must ask themselves. Guys must ask this question when faced with the upcoming birth of their child, job changes within your family, or just asking if you have the patience to deal with it. Most answers remain unknown until you try it.
Unfortunately, I cannot answer this question for dads thinking about being a stay at home dad. I will say, that being an at home dad has been an extremely positive, rewarding, and life changing experience for me. I have enjoyed the first 10 months so much that I have decided to spend another year at home with my son! People ask me all of the time what I do everyday. No day is ever the same, but here is a semi-brief description (stream of consciousness) of a day in the life of this NYC Stay-at-Home Dad from yesterday…
My son woke up extremely cranky and hungry at 6:45am. My wife got him from his crib, soothed him for 10 minutes, and left for work. Then, I diaper changed & fed him his breakfast – a bottle & oatmeal. After breakfast, I wash and sterilize the bottles for the day while my son usually goes to the bathroom (stinks now that he is on solid food). I clean him up and get him dressed for the day. We play for an hour – rolling a ball to each other, stacking blocks, and guarding him while he crawls around the apartment (they have a knack to crawl over to the things they should not be touching). I put my son in his stroller for nap #1* and headed towards Central Park. He napped from 10am – 11am while I walked the loop in the park. I changed his diaper on a bench and fed him his yogurt while answering 10 survey questions from a middle school student from the Bronx. Next, we raced to our 11:30am gym class at Gymboree where we practiced crawling, standing, and parachute time. We stayed at Gymboree for their open playgym, another 45 minutes after our structured class to socialize with other parents and enable my son to interact with other kids.
*nap time is a short window for me to shower, eat breakfast, blog, answer emails, & make plans for the day
We headed across the street to the outdoor tables at Starbucks – to give my son his 2nd bottle of the day. Next, we stopped at the deli to get a sandwich/lunch for me. Then, we went food shopping at the organic store to buy some new food (turkey, apricot, pasta) for my son this week. the weather was holding up so we went to the park next to our building for some swing and slide time. At 2:30pm, my son was wiped out so we went up for nap #2 in his crib. He napped for an hour and woke up famished – bottle #3. Then, I strapped my son in the Bjorn (baby pouch) and went food shopping at the local supermarket – always a fun experience as he grabs everything off of the shelves, touches all of the fruit and veggies in the produce department, and carries our list. We get our groceries delivered (worth the $4) as I can’t carry 22 pounds on my chest and carry our 9 bags f groceries at the same time – I am not super dad!
We play in the apartment for a bit and head back down to the park to practice walking. It starts to rain so we improvise and play in front of the mirrors in the lobby. My son’s friend shows up and they play together for 20 minutes (making eyes at each other, banging on the counter, and screaming sounds aloud). Finally, we head up at 6:30pm (the witching hour when my son is his most fussy) to our apartment to prepare dinner for him – turkey with vegetables and rice cereal. My wife gets home from work at 6:45 to feed Jake his dinner. She leaves to get her haircut while I give our son a bath in the tub – this is a blast. Next, I change him into his pajamas, give him his final bottle, and wish him a good night sleep at 7:30pm.
Now, I spend some quality time with my wife and unwind from the day. We are very fortunate that our son is a good sleeper. Tomorrow is another day.