Nervous stay at home Dad — The Bump

Nervous stay at home Dad

Hi Everyone,

This might get little long but bear with me cause I could really use some tips or advice.  When my DH and I decided to start trying we had agreed that he would plan to be a stay at home Dad, or at least cover daytime childcare.  His job is contract in nature and occurs mostly in the evenings or on weekends, while mine is a rather standard full time job and provides our health benefits.  While we're not opposed to daycare, the costs would entail either he switches jobs or we take out a loan from our parents (who all live out of state).  Either way the daycare discussion seemed unnecessary, since he seemed  genuinely happy about the prospect of being the primary care giver.

Jump to today.  I am due in October and we are now beginning to meet with pediatricians.  While meeting one yesterday, they inquired about our childcare plans.  I smiled and looked at DH, who hesitantly and with not much enthusiasm said "I think I am".  Now to be fair DH is a rather shy person who tends to be very quite around new people.  Regardless though I was sort of shocked.  While it had been a little while since we had discussed it, he had not hinted that he was having second thoughts, or was unhappy with the planned arrangement.  When we got home I asked if he was having second thoughts about staying home and he said he was still good with the arrangements.  When I asked about the response specifically he said "Well just cause I'm staying home doesn't mean I'm going to be good at it."  I know I should have tried to keep the discussion going, past reassurances that I thought he'd be great, but I was so surprised that I didn't quite know what to say.

Do any of you out there have any recommendations or advice on how to boost DH's confidence?  Any books, blogs, or online Dad groups that might be helpful?  I truly and honestly believe he will be a great Dad and very good at all of this, but equally googling "nervous stay at home dad" brought me to numerous articles about depression in stay at home dads (google honestly needs a positive response filter).  Maybe I'm overreacting, or maybe once the baby's here and he gets into the swing of it we'll be fine, but at the moment I'm not quite sure what to do, if anything.  Thanks for any help you all can give.

Re: Nervous stay at home Dad

  • I feel like most parents, and dads especially, are nervous about becoming caretakers. Speaking personally, it took my husband several months for taking care of our daughter to become natural. Some of that was her preference for boobs and some was just that she saw me more often while I was home with her. It may be a rough couple weeks getting started but eventually it will be smoother sailing. I always remind my husband that all parents are just making it up as they go along. Maybe he can look for local groups to start making sahd friends now, like babywearing classes or library play dates. Or take a baby care essentials class together and strike up a conversation with other parents.
    ME: 31  DH: 31 DD: June '16 :::: Married since 2011 :::: USN Wife ::::
    **Ticker Warning**
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  • Thank you for posting this. While my husband isn't going to be staying home all the time, his schedule has more days off during the week and he is nervous about watching our baby on his days off once I go back to work. He has occasional anxiety and panic attacks, even before I was pregnant, and being alone with her for a few hours so I can get groceries has been very stressful for him. I told him it  come with time and it will get easier as she gets older (5weeks tomorrow) and he becomes more comfortable. You're not the only one feeling the way you do! Thank you for posting!
    I'm also following this post for advice from others!
  • New here...and this post is fairly old.  You've already had some time with the LO and I hope your DH is knocking it out of the park or whatever solution you all have come to is working well.  When DS1 was born my SIL watched him until he was was about 18 months.  I became part time SAHD between classes and a part-time job.  He went to daycare the other days.  It was scary as hell and at the same time best thing ever.  I found that between being sleep deprived and needing to figure it out, fortunately it just happened.  I did cherish those hours I was at work or class as a much needed break.  I can also say that over the last 4 years DW was a SAHM and it sucked to work all day and come home to her checking out of parenting.  It's hard, but you'll find what works for you.  We finally had a CTJ moment and agreed that work is hard, SAH is hard and division of labor starts when we both "clock out" of our primary "jobs" with reasonable exceptions of course.  We were both working at different types of hard and then home life how are we going to all keep our sanity and do it.  Just being mindful about the impact on the other went a long way.
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