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Cayman Parent | Articles | Community | Q&A: Ask Stay at Home Dads

Q&A: Ask Stay at Home Dads

Being a ‘Stay at Home’ or ‘Work from Home’ Dad is something we are seeing more and more often nowadays. Many times, your partner may be working whilst you, the Dad, manage the household. This situation may be tricky for some people, and that’s why we asked four amazing stay-at-home-dads some questions about what its like to be in this position, relationship dynamics, top tips and tricks, and how to make the most of your spare time in such a full-on role.

Jason Mears

– Jason Mears served in the British Army for 14 years and worked as an Engineer before becoming a Stay at Home Dad 2 years ago.

What do you find the most rewarding part of being a Stay at Home Dad?

When my son was small, I was away on tour a lot. I felt I missed him growing up, so the second time round it’s amazing being with Charlotte and watching her grow. Supporting my wife in her job is also very important to me.

Was there anything about becoming a Stay at Home Dad that surprised you?

How easily we have adapted to it. Sarah was always more career focused and I’ve always been the chef. The process of organising myself each day is not too different from when I was working.

What’s the most surprising thing you learnt about yourself since becoming a Stay at Home Dad? 

How bad I am at folding things… Sarah still does the laundry as I seriously can’t fold things properly.

Would you recommend becoming a Stay at Home Dad to any of your friends who are considering it?

Definitely, I don’t think there is anything wrong in your partner working whilst you manage the household. I believe all jobs in society should be gender neutral. It’s about being partners in running your home and bringing up your family.

What are your top tips for making friends as a Stay at Home Dad?

Make time for yourself, join some clubs otherwise it becomes very isolating. Don’t be afraid to talk to other parents at drop off and pick up too. What do you do in your spare time away from the children? I enjoy DIY, cooking and fitness. I have also started a Psychology with Counselling degree which I am finding immensely satisfying.

Marc-Oliver Chenevert

– Marc-Olivier Chenevert worked as an accountant in London before becoming a Stay at Home Dad and home schooling his 8-year-old twin boys and 3-year-old daughter.

 

Are there any important pieces of advice for anyone about to become a Stay at Home Dad?

You need lots of patience! You also need to be happy with a certain level of isolation from other adults as you will lose the social network from your workplace and there aren’t many stay at home dads around. I would also say that It requires a strong relationship to start with and both partners need to be 100% committed to the new arrangement.

What do you find the most rewarding part of being a Stay at Home Dad?

I can support my wife in her career by allowing her to achieve her full potential. She knows the children are well looked after. I hope that being more present for my kids will help them become rounded individuals, but only time will tell. I certainly enjoy being part of their everyday life.

Have your friends (male or female) ever judged you for deciding to become a Stay at Home Dad?

I’ve never received any negative judgement from friends. Many have a positive view about stay-at-home parents, be it male or female, especially when their other half works extended hours. Most of them say they wish to spend more time with their children but they wouldn’t be able to cope with staying at home full time. I take that as an indirect compliment!

What are your top tips for making friends as a Stay at Home Dad?

As parents, so much time is dedicated to our kids. Being present at school and staying at birthday parties certainly helps with getting to know other parents. Participating in sports groups also helps with meeting new people.

What do you do in your spare time away from the kids?

I don’t have much spare time because I homeschool and we spend time together on the weekends but I do enjoy an early morning run or open-water swim on my own though.

Paulo Fierro

– Paulo Fierro has been running his software development company from home for 10 years now which has given him the flexibility to spend more time with his son.

What’s the most surprising thing you learnt about yourself since working from home?

I found that I had a lot more self-discipline than I was aware of.

Are there any important pieces of advice for anyone about to become a Work from Home Dad?

We have a rule. If the door is closed, please don’t disturb. My wife also has a light in the hallway outside her office which turns red when she’s in an important meeting.

What do you think are the main benefits of being a Work from Home Dad?

For me it’s the impromptu hangouts with my son during the day. I pop out to get some coffee and he sees me and wants to show me what this cool truck can do and we play for a few minutes, or I take a break in the afternoon and splash in the pool with him. Those little breaks leave me happy and energized which makes me even more productive.

Has your relationship changed at all with your wife since you became a Work from Home Dad?

Not really as we have our own dedicated work spaces. I feel like we’re closer, because we spend so much time with each other.

What did the Covid-19 lockdown teach you about yourself and parenting?

Luckily, we already work from home so there was no transition or extra work setting that up. Our son is 2 years old, so there was no schoolwork to deal with. But taking care of children and working at the same time is impossible. My wife and I took turns but it meant we didn’t really spend much time together as a family since any spare time was spent juggling work. It turns out though that I like baking!

Will Lazier

– Will Lazier worked in IT for law firms and banks before becoming a Stay at Home Dad to his two children since they were born.

What do you find the most rewarding part of being a Stay at Home Dad?

I get to be the guidepost for my kids. Every time they need direction or support I get to be the one exposing them to ideas and parts of life that are brand new to them. It is definitely rewarding.

Was there anything about becoming a Stay at Home Dad that surprised you?

It’s easy to become isolated. When they were first born it became way too easy to get into a routine centred solely around the children. That caught me off guard. Also, I had to figure things out and ask for support to solve new issues all the time. I still do. It was humbling at first.

Would you recommend becoming a Stay at Home Dad to any of your friends who are considering it?

I would recommend it to anyone suited for it. It is a job. It is hard work. It is rewarding. If you have the right demeanour and personality and patience then it can be the best thing you do.

Any important pieces of advice for anyone about to become a Stay at Home Dad?

Make time for you. Much more than a 9-5 job, it is too easy to slip into being just a parent 100% of the time. Get out and see some grown-ups from time to time.

What do you do in your spare time away from the children?

I enjoy some quiet time. I like to build things and then fix the things I’ve just built. I’m also still very much a computer and video game nerd. A night out with the lads from time to time makes the next day of parenting harder but is vital for my sanity!

 

 

 
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