The Life of a Stay at Home Dad
Happy being SAHD
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Along with caring for kids and households, many SAHDs are also active in the community, volunteering at schools, authoring blogs and taking part in the wide-ranging networks that support fathers who choose to be the primary daytime caregiver. Bernholdt, for one, blogs at Dadncharge.com, has an essay in the new celebrate-fatherhood book Dads Behaving Dadly and created the Philly Dads Group.
The networking is important, Welch says: “Being an at-home dad can be an isolating experience; there’s a need for social interaction. [Dads are] not always welcome in mom playgroups. Getting input from guys in the same situation can give you important and practical information.”
What do the kids think about their SAHDs?
“My kids think it is awesome, often being the only kid in class whose dad is helping out or attending their performances,” Bernholdt says. “When my son was in Kindergarten, he was asked what he wanted to be when he grew up. Instead of the usual police officer or firefighter, he said, ‘I want to be a stay-at-home dad.’
“I think that changing perceptions about not only me staying at home but my wife working is important,” continues Bernholdt. Agro agrees; his kids also don’t think it is atypical for a dad to be at home.
“No matter whether you are a mom or dad, you have to have patience. Without that virtue, you won't last long in this business,” Bernholdt says. “There is no definitive answer when it comes to determining whether moms or dads are better at this. In the end, we are all just trying to parent to the best of our ability. I have had the privilege of getting to know many stay-at-home dads who are just as tender and loving as any mom I have ever met, and I am proud to be in their company.”
Mary Ann Romans is a local freelance writer.