What I Learned About Being A Mom By Being A Stay-At-Home Dad

What I Learned About Being A Mom By Being A Stay-At-Home Dad

When I decided to become a writer, I also took on the role of being a stay-at-home dad to my own son and my two step-kids at the time. I went into the situation with complete confidence and while I don’t think I did a bad job, it certainly came with a steep learning curve. I totally appreciate all the stuff moms do now.

  1. Housework is endless—the house is literally always a mess. Obviously, I have to start here. You know the old adage a woman’s work is never done? It may be horrendously dated and sexist, but in principle, it’s true. I can’t pay enough dues to those with kids and a tidy house. I just can’t comprehend how that actually happens. No matter how often I cleaned things, they were dirty five minutes later. It literally defied explanation.
  2. Time really does fly but you’re not having fun. I recently read in a big science-y book that time is relative to the individual. Well, when you’re at home looking after the kids, it’s like you’re in a time warp where everything gets sped up, causing you to miss deadlines, burn toast, and generally finish the day with a house that looks like the FBI just searched it for drugs. How did this happen?
  3. Kids are little monsters. They’ll literally beat the living daylights out of one another if you leave them to their own devices. You need to have eyes in the back of your head and, in an ideal world, some form of high-tech surveillance system whereby you can still carry on watching them while escaping for a toilet break because you’ve put it off for seven hours because it’s hard to squeeze them in.
  4. Kids love to team up on you. If you’ve ever watched pro wrestling, you’ll know that sometimes in tag matches, you have two or three guys picking on one guy. Not very fair, I know, but if you’re looking after kids, they’ll definitely employ this technique. Mark my words—you need to be on your game or they WILL take you down. One will be kicking off because you haven’t made them a juice yet while another will be drawing on the new wallpaper. It’s impossible to keep eyes on them at all times.
  5. Staying up late is nearly impossible because you’re so exhausted. OK, the time you crash will be dependent on what time your little ones go to bed. For me, the last one was 8:30 p.m. When the last one goes, you sigh deeply. You then consider just going straight to bed. Then you convince yourself you can’t waste your precious “alone time” and so you put something on the TV. Ten minutes later you, remember that you have to clean the kitchen, sort the kid’s lunch boxes and sort the washing, which leads me nicely on to…
  6. You’ve never seen so much dirty laundry in your life. I put this as separate from housework because it deserves its own friggin’ category. You know that film from when we were kids, the Never Ending Story? Well, laundry is the real never-ending story. If there aren’t clothes in the washing machine then there are some in the tumble dryer. Literally, these kids seem to be under the impression that if you look at an item of clothing, it gets dirty and therefore needs to be put in the hamper. The cruel irony is that when something is actually dirty, it usually just stays on the bedroom floor for a week!
  7. You lose yourself. It is so demanding being a parent that you can and do end up feeling lost sometimes. It can put immense pressure on a relationship too as it’s hard to find things to talk about with your partner who works outside the house when all you’ve done all day is washing and cleaning!
  8. Sitting down to eat a proper dinner is a distant memory. When you’re single and without kids, these are times to enjoy a lovingly prepared meal. When you have kids, these times are spent trying to control the evil little bastards while your food gets cold. Meal times with kids are responsible for 75% of nervous breakdowns, I’m pretty much entirely sure.
  9. You WILL lose it sometimes. During the first 30 years of my life, I can count the amount of times I lost it on one hand. I’m a guy with a fairly even temper. I tend to be forgiving and understanding. Looking after kids, though, I lose it roughly three to four times per week. I used to disdain when I saw a mother ranting like a crazy person at her kids in the supermarket. Now I want to help!
  10. It’s the greatest job you can do. OK, so I may have put a bit of an unfair negative slant on the parenting gig. Unfortunately, I only have part-time papa status now due to my breakup, but I loved spending that time with those kiddies. It was amazing and while it was draining, horrific at times, and maybe even played a hand in the end of my relationship, I don’t regret it for a second.
Bolde has been a source of dating and relationship advice for single women around the world since 2014. We combine scientific data, experiential wisdom, and personal anecdotes to provide help and encouragement to those frustrated by the journey to find love.