My Week as a Stay-at-Home Dad

I’ve title this “My Week as a Stay-at-Home Dad” but what it really should be called is “My Single Week of Doing All the Stuff That My Wife Has Done for the Past 8 Months But With Added Moaning” but I felt that would be a slightly long winded title.

Looking after a baby is actually a lot like my day job. I’m a postman. I can see why you would think that has nothing to do with babies. But I like my job, even if it can be pretty difficult at times. It’s also incredibly monotonous. I do the same thing over and over again, and when I come in the next day, I basically hit repeat. That’s essentially what I’ve done this week. A lot of repetitive, monotonous, occasionally enjoyably work.

Monday

I’m not going to write a whole lot about this day purely because it has its own post. So if you want to read about that, then feel free to head to the above link. So in lieu of writing a repeat, here’s a picture:

Zone of Saftey
The Zone of Safety

That’s basically how I have things set up with Isabelle in the kitchen. You can’t be ready to catch them all the time, and giving her that ‘Zone of Safety’ as I’ve called it, helps protect them from the inevitable fall. Although in fairness, she doesn’t fall all that much these days due to the fact she’s pretty used to being on her feet.

Tuesday

I’ll admit that the novelty very quickly wore off as I entered day two. Instead of all the nervous excitement of wondering what it was going to be like, I was left with the feeling of “oh, I have to do all of this again.” 

I also had the added aspect of having a lot of visitors, which, although it does break up the monotony of the day, does have the added part of giving me something else to think about other than what to do with Isabelle and when. Isabelle was, however, gifted with a Unicorn hat, here she is showing her excitement:

I also realised that just because Rachel is home, it doesn’t mean that I’m done for the day. I still have to actually continue doing the whole ‘dad’ thing for the rest of the day. Not only that, I think the idea that Rachel was now done with maternity leave, and this was going to become a regular thing really did dawn on me, and I started to hate the idea of it. I realised that my days off were now going to become babysitting days. I know I shouldn’t use the phrase babysitting, as a dad looking after is daughter isn’t babysitting, it’s just… well it’s just parenting. But in that moment, that’s how I felt. And I didn’t like it. That night, I knew the next day was going to be tough. I had already set myself up to fail.

Wednesday

Wednesday morning I found myself really struggling, as I knew I would. I was short with Isabelle, I didn’t really enjoy being at home with her, and I remember lying on the kitchen floor in the early hours of the day thinking “I really don’t want to be doing this.”

I also got rather stressed whilst changing Isabelle after the bath. I got to the point where I felt like I had to put her in her cot so I could just have five. I did grab the camera and try to take a few pictures, and this is one of my favourites:

img_20180117193022
Isabelle having five in her cot

In the end, I did what I always do these days, and turned to the blog to get some sort of release. Instead of writing about it, which would be difficult to do with Isabelle when she’s seeking danger, I did some videos and put it up on the Facebook page. All of a sudden I was getting quite a few comments of support and plenty of others being in the exact same mindset as I felt. Here’s the video:

After I posted it and got talking to others in the same boat as me, I started to feel better. That and a visit from Rachel’s mum which helped break up the day. By the time Rachel got home and we were into the night, I was actually looking forward to the following day instead of dreading it.

Thursday

I knew going into today it was going to be a good day. I had learned so much from the previous days, and I was going to take all that I learned and apply it to today. The main thing I had learned was centred around nap time. On Wednesday I was a little bit irritable when Isabelle would seem sleepy but then not sleep when I held and rocked her. I would pursue the nap, rather than allowing Isabelle to do something else until she was actually ready. But not today. Today I simply let her be. I allowed her to dictate what we were doing and when she was actually visibly tired, I would start with the nap routine.

Iz and Dogs
Isabelle trying to play, the dogs trying to nap

Friday

I’ll be honest. Friday felt like just another day. It didn’t suck, and it wasn’t awesome. The true reality of being with a baby all week is that a lot of the days kind of repeat themselves. At this point in Isabelle’s life, and with no car, there’s not a whole lot we can actually do.

We did manage to get out and about again, which I’ll admit, I mostly do for selfish reasons. I walk a lot as part of my day job, and when I don’t get that exercise I do feel worse for it. So getting out, and listening to podcasts, does help me to reset and relax. It also helps that Isabelle tends to nap during this time, so it really is a win-win.

I also managed to nail the ‘dressing the baby’ part that most dads tend to struggle with. If you want proof, then here’s this:

Fashion IZ
You know that matches

Well I guess that’s it. I think I managed to mostly enjoy this week, even if I did have the odd rough patch. It’s currently Sunday evening and I’ll admit that I’m feeling a little stressed. I’m having some issues with the vlog version of this week which is really starting to get to me. I put quite a bit of work into making and editing the videos for this week, and to not have it uploaded is a little frustrating for me.

EDIT: It’s now Monday night and it’s now uploaded! I can sense your excitement. Here it is if you’re interested. It’s a little long, but I think it’s the best one I’ve done thus far, even if that isn’t saying too much:

Anyway, I’ve already rambled more than enough. I guess from here on out our lives are going to be different. Rachel is back in work, maybe she’ll do a post about that, and we’re lucky that for the next few weeks she has a lot of annual leave to take and won’t be in all that much until March/April, so I’ll get to ease myself into her doing 12 hour shifts. She has one this week. So already I have the prospects of a full day of me and Isabelle on the horizons. I dare say I’ll be fine.

 

72 thoughts on “My Week as a Stay-at-Home Dad

  1. I agree with you about the blog being a bit of a break from the monotony. It does get easier as they get older and interact more with you and are able to go out and do more. #MondayStumble
    Nat.x

  2. You’ll get there I promise. I remember thinking, ‘if I have to do that puzzle one more time…..’ but you do and it’s ok. Think of it as your job; you are her Dad and it’s ok not to enjoy all of it! My only other piece of advice is try to get out the house each day either to baby gym, swimming or just for a walk. You will both feel better, enjoy! #anythinggoes

  3. We love the ‘zone of safety’ and my daddy used to do this with me. Going to pop over and have a look at the vlog to see how you get on. Don’t be too harsh on yourself about the vlog editing. We rarely hit schedule!! #AnythingGoes x

    1. I guess, do you find the editing side frustrating? It’s been a bit of a pain trying to find the right editing software as so far I’ve just done everything off my phone. The latest one was just too long to be done on there efficiently. Thanks for reading!

      1. Yeah the editing does take time especially with little ones!! We use iMovie which is nice and simple for us. Fair play for doing it on your phone, that would be too fiddly for us, you must be a whizz now x

      2. I use iMovie too! Just the phone app version, then I had to use Filmora to be able to upload it. I dare say it’ll all trail and error x

  4. It’s a strange sort of bubble, isn’t it, being at home with a little one. And the days do sometimes blend into one! I love your point about your mindset being so important though, so often if we think the day’s going to go badly it does, but if we decide early on that it’ll be a good day then it often goes that way too! Love her Friday outfit by the way! x

    1. Thank you! I love the multicoloured tights! They do match almost anything. And a lot of things we do in life is hinged on our mindset going in, and we’re our own worst enemy a lot the times. But we just have to keep learning I guess. Thanks for reading! 😀

  5. This is my first time on your blog, and I’ve really enjoyed this post. Well done on surviving your first week as a stay-at-home dad. I barely remember those days with my first born that all seemed to blend into one and trying to fit mundane stuff around the dreaded nap time. My daughter’s arrival two years later definitely broke the monotony of it all. Soon Isabelle will be older and you’ll have this nailed in no time!
    #PointShoot

  6. Those dogs I am in love! Days do repeat themselves with babies, I used to do anything to just get out and about so i didn’t go nuts, although I totally still went nuts! #pointshoot

    1. I will try to get out, weather permitted. It’s the evening that has turned into the hard part now. But that’s the next thing to get through, there’s always a new challenge I guess

  7. I must say I love your absolute honesty on this and I am glad you have turned to blogging to help ease the long days. I can certainly identify with how you are feeling. Thank you for linking up to #PointShoot 📸 I loved the cot photo!!!

  8. Oh gosh she is so cute! It sounds like you had really got into the swing of it by the end of the week and you’re right ‘oh we have to do all this again’ is pretty much life as a stay at home parent! 🙂 x

    1. Yeah, I struggled a little this week when my wife went to 12 hour shifts. But that’s a good amount extra to what I did last week. Just another thing to get used to 😂 c

  9. They don’t warn you how monotonous it can be, do they? I can remember some days on maternity leave I was so bored thinking ‘Is this my life now?!’ But then they get older and start doing more and it gets less boring. Now mine is five and just answers me back all the time….! 😉 Enjoy the early days, they soon whizz by! #sharingthebloglove

  10. Rev T was a full time SAHD when the Tubblet was small and loved it. (So he tells me!) I suspect that your day is more typical than I’ll ever get him to admit. Good luck for next week 🙂 Looking forward to hearing about it

    1. Well I’m back in work this week. Did have her all day on my day off on Tuesday, which was hard work. My wife works 12 hour shifts now when she’s in, so that’s a very long time with Isabelle haha

  11. It’s been a long time since I’ve been home with babies but I do remember I tried the stay-at-home mom thing with my first born and it drove me nuts. I went from constantly working then partying on the weekends to being at home with just a baby all day, every day. It was isolating and I love my boys but being at home all day with no adult interaction can take its toll. I did a lot of walking during that time and got he and I out as much as possible but by the time he was a year old, I decided to go back to school. That was a whole new adventure but it definitely helped with the monotony. It gets easier as they get older though. #anythinggoes

    1. Yeah, I’m trying not to wish away the time, but I’m also very much aware that this will be more enjoyable when she’s older and much more of an actual person. It’s been a learning curve, and one I’m still learning. Luckily I still do work, so it’s not going to be every day doing this. But my days off will mostly be just me and Isabelle.

  12. My husband has been a stay at home dad for 18 months now and I know he struggles sometimes as well. I found the repetitiveness got to me when I was at home, so I tried to push myself to go out more and make things different. Thanks for sharing. #FabFridayPost

    1. 18 months! And here I am moaning about having a week of it! From here on out it’ll just be the odd day every week, so that’s a plus. Thanks for stopping by.

  13. Sounds like you are doing great loved the vid Thank you for linking to #Thatfridaylinky please come back next week

  14. Ow, ow, ow, ow! Haha your video! Being a stay at home parent can be pretty boring and each day can feel like you’re going through the motions, but your little one just loves being with you! Thanks for linking up to #ThatFridayLinky

    1. Yeah I thought that might make a funny intro to the video since I had so many clips of me being hurt 😂 and no problem, I’ll catch you next Friday 😀

  15. Well done on making it through! It’s a funny time when they’re that little – it’s adjusting to the monotony and the endless routine of the days that is difficult I always felt. It definitely gets easier once you’ve got your head into the right mindset, and even easier again once they’re a little bit older and you can do more with them. I know I really struggled adjusting at first, but once my little boy hit 15 months, I absolutely loved getting out and about with him on our days together. Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    1. Yeah, luckily I won’t have to do it all the time, it’ll be twice a week max, but when I’m doing it it’ll be an all day, 13 hour type thing 😂 so quite the challenge when I’m doing it! See you next week!

  16. Ha I love your alternative title – being a SAHM I probably would lol. I find even now that mine are 2 and 3 the monotony is still very much there. It’s a weird bitter sweet as at times there is no where you would rather be yet it can be so dull and you yearn to do something else. #pointshoot

    1. I think it’s just about adapting to this new way and learning as I do. At times I don’t want to do it, but then I know I get some enjoyment out of it 😀

  17. Wonderful post – I love how honest your writing is – I really hear your voice. You are going through the same thing as most mums, when it really dawns on you how over-whelming parenthood really is. It does get easier though and I really look forward to hearing more about it x

    1. I think I’d struggle with it full time. I know I’d adjust, and I know I’ll still have to do very long days at least once a week, but I’m ok with that

  18. I love this! It’s so good to see and hear it from a dad’s point of view. And having to record everything I think it’s a great memory to look back on. Well done Dad of the week! Bravo you made it to the end o the week! lol!

    Thank you very much for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost

  19. That photo of Isabelle in her cot is gorgeous. Being a stay at home parent can be so hard and the monotony of the everyday routine gets to me too sometimes. I mostly enjoy being a SAHM but I have to admit there are times when I find myself sitting on the kitchen floor (usually eating chocolate) and wondering why on earth I do it! Getting out of the house, even if only for a few minutes can often work wonders #sharingthebloglove

  20. Oh my days! How adorable is your little one! Makes the hard days worth it…kinda, sometimes, on occasion ha! I wasn’t a fan of maternity leave, day in day out with a baby, it literally sent me over the edge! It’s great to read a dads point of view, I really enjoyed it 🙂

Leave a Reply