I recently read this post on the Sunshine Dad blog about ways you could tell he was a stay at home dad (SAHD). Inspired by his list, I’ve had a go at writing one myself.
Here are five ways you can tell I am a SAHD just like Brad Pitt*;
Yes, this is possibly an unexpected entry, but the summer of 2015 has been a surprisingly good one. I have spent so much time outside with the kids I’ve built up a very impressive sun tan. As a resident of the British Isles I suspect this will be the one and only time I can make such a claim. I am, therefore, going to seize the opportunity.
This also appeared on Sunshine Dad’s list, albeit under the heading I have a beard, which doesn’t quite apply to me. I used to be clean shaven. After the arrival of baby number two, I fell into the habit of keeping the stubble on my face to about 3mm in length. It was quicker, easier and didn’t look too bad.
Mrs Adams told me stubble suited me. She has become so used to the look I get complaints when I have no hair on my face. Some readers will be aware that I recently grew a beard. To my surprise I conceded that it suited me…a lot. I don’t, however, like the beard look enough to keep it full-time.
I can be scatter-brained.
This usually manifests itself when grocery shopping, especially when in charge of both children. In these circumstances they will repeatedly interrupt my train of thought and so the shopping goes awry. I understand why this happens. The kids are bored and so they misbehave and play up causing me to forget things.
It’s not unheard of for me to buy everything on the shopping list apart from a vital ingredient for a meal I’ve promised to make. You know, I’ll buy shoe polish, cling film and apples but forget to buy risotto rice after having said I’ll make chicken risotto.
This often leads to sharp words from Mrs Adams when we end up eating fish fingers because there’s nothing else in the house. Although I’m in the wrong, I’m generally unsympathetic and point out that she goes grocery shopping with both children about, what, oooh, once every 400 years?
I am the family’s social secretary
Many people make the mistake of speaking to my wife when trying to arrange social engagements. They assume that, because she’s a woman, she’s responsible for such matters. Although the family calendar hanging on the kitchen wall is a collective effort between my wife and I, I am the one who polices and enforces it. I may be scatter-brained, but I am the only member of this family who has any idea where we’ll be at a given date over the next 12 months.
Forgive me, but I’m going to get serious for a moment. Once upon a long time ago, I worked for the charity Age Concern England (ACE). This organisation, which has subsequently merged with Help the Aged to create Age UK, campaigned for the rights of older people.
ACE conducted an interesting study into male social isolation and unearthed a problem with older men who, throughout their married lives, relied on their wives to make all social arrangements. It was found this was quite common among many couples. If the wife died first, however, the widower was often left leading a very lonely existence having lost the confidence to arrange to meet friends or even know how to go about asking people to meet socially. I’ll just leave that thought hanging in case you see this as a potential risk in your own relationship…
This is something else I share with Sunshine Dad, although for different reasons. Prior to having children, I refused to wear trainers in public unless I was running. I just thought they looked far too casual.
When my first daughter was born, I invested in a pair of Merrell trainers and these instantly became known as my ‘dad shoes’. I now own a few different pairs of trainers from different brands and have even learned to love deck shoes for their smart/casual look. Deck shoes can also be slipped on and off at speed, which is useful if you’re a dad at soft play / swimming pool / about to dash out of the door on the school run. While I’m still a bit fussy about where and when I wear trainers and deck shoes, they are now a part of my day-to-day attire.
I can think of many other ways you can tell I’m a stay at home parent. I’ll leave it there for now, but do leave a comment below telling me what you think. Are you a stay at home mum? Would your list be any different (save for the point about facial hair)? Stay at home dads, do you relate to this list?
*Okay, Brad Pitt isn’t strictly speaking a stay at home dad, but he does take over main caring responsibilities when Angelina Jolie is off filming and vice versa.
Pic credit; SpreePix from Budapest. Reproduced under Creative Commons agreement.