2020 has shaken up life schedules in an unprecedented way. I have been posing as a stay-at-home dad (SAHD) with everything shutdown. I gained a lot of respect for the dads that have been doing it all along. Surviving the spring and summer both more tough and amazing than I could have imagined.
March: “WooHooo Corona-cation!”
In the spring, schools closed, work stopped for a while, and all four of us (mom, dad, two boys) were left staring at each other in isolation.
I jumped at the opportunity! This was exciting, and I began making a bucket list for all the things I wanted to do with the kids I hadn’t made time to do in regular times
While I dropped everything for ‘fun activities,’ household tasks were left unchecked, and my plans often bumped into whatever my wife had planned with the kids. We had a blast at times; other times, I found myself wandering around the house aimlessly.
April: “The Burnout”
We had a blast with Lego challenges, lots of crafts, and nature walks. But after 3-4 weeks, nobody wanted to do anything. It was the realization that this wasn’t just a two-week thing that would pass by.
Then we couldn’t get the kids outdoors. I didn’t want to wake up and make plans. It was clear that all of us just yearned for a routine and some clarity for the future. We were finally letting go of our old life but weren’t looking ahead to anything.
May-June: “I guess I’m a substitute teacher now.”
Eventually, school got started again, but it was virtual and lacked live instruction. As the household’s resident technical expert, I took full responsibility of their virtual learning. It was the schedule and routine we all needed. After getting their workstations and technology setup, I was even giving tech support to their teachers. It was the most invovled I’ve ever been in my kids’ education (likely the most I ever will). It was terrific to understand their daily school life and get to know the faculty and staff.
Much Respect to the Real SAHD’s
As a (fake) SAHD, the biggest challenge was defining my role, especially with my wife being home at the same time. I struggled to decide when to help in the household and when to take care of myself or tackle handyman tasks.
What is a SAHD?
The definition of a SAHD from the National At-Home Dad Network does not rest on employment status, but the role the dad plays in caregiving instead.
STAY-AT-HOME DAD (noun): A father who is the daily, primary caregiver of his children under age 18.
Have you recently considered or become a SAHD?
Have you picked up more roles at the house with this economic shake-up? Did you become the primary caregiver? Are you considering it? Leave a note below. We would like to shift to more offerings for dads throughout the week and workday since schedules haven’t meant much in 2020.