To be a Full-Time Dad a Sense of Humor is a Must

An excellent article by a fellow Stay at Home Dad

As written by Joe Schatz

Fatherhood Examiner

So You Want to be a Stay at Home Dad? Part III

With so many changes to the traditional work environment and with the economy tanking, we are seeing a lot of families make the choice to bring daddy home. So, if you are a dad out there considering becoming a SAHD, I am here to scare you straight. It is tough being a full-time parent. I, personally, think it is more challenging staying home with kids then it is to work. This series is intended to show potential stay at home dads the reality behind the choice to become a full-time parent.

Last Week’s Topic:  Toddlers and Babies are like Terminators

This Week’s Topic:  Having a Sense of Humor

Many people ask me, “What is the one aspect of your personality that has helped you most as a stay-at-home dad?”  I always answer the same way, “Who are you and why are you talking to me?”  Seriously, having a sense of humor is a very important part of the sanity equation for all stay-at-home parents.  If you have a tough time finding humor in children there really isn’t much that will make you laugh.

Dennis Leary, when asked about kids, said, “They are like a bunch of drunken circus midgets.”  Those words have resonated with me through the years.  As steward to a rag tag group of misfits, or children, it is always fun to see them in action.  The laughs are literally always there—you just need to look for them.

Babies are the Comedians

With the timing to rival any of the legendary comedians of past and present, babies are perhaps some of the most underrated entertainers on the planet.  Here’s a situation, you are out shopping with the baby and you bump into a friend.  You strike up a conversation with your friend while picking up your baby to keep him/her settled.  A few sentences into the conversation the baby rips into a particularly loud and forceful bowel movement.  It is loud enough for not only you and your friend to hear, but also folks throughout the store.  Your baby has just punk’d you—laugh it off.

Babies are ridiculous

Babies have a tough time in the new world around them.  Everything is a mystery.  Watching a baby eat new food for the first time is always funny.  They pucker, contort, spit and they do it all for your amusement.  Babies have a tough time getting around.  At first they can’t hold their heads up, then they learn struggle to roll which eventually leads to crawling and so on.  It is all ridiculous.  Perhaps the funniest of these stages is the learning to crawl stage.  Each baby I have known has had this brief but hilarious stage where they can somewhat crawl, but more often they simply lay on the ground and flip like fish.  Their arms and legs rise up in unison and then slam back down.  All of this gyration is usually accompanied by grunting of some kind—very, very funny.

Laughing Babies

I think one of the most contagious laughs is the belly laugh of a baby.  Our youngest daughter started doing full belly laughs at 2 months (very advanced) and to this day is one of the funniest things I have ever seen.  I mean, how did someone so young recognize humor?  To this day she is one of the funniest people I know and I swear she has a career in comedy waiting for her someday.

Toddlers: The Perfect Straight Men

Toddlers are just starting to get it.  They are walking, talking and fairly reasonable humans by around 2-7 years old.  What is great about toddlers is that they have a simplistic view of the world.  Many times, around our house, I will try to explain something to our toddler and they come back with a three or four word sentence summing it up.  For instance, I have just left the bathroom turning the fan on when my toddler asks, “Da Da whad is that noyz for?”

“Sweetheart, Daddy just used the bathroom and he had to put the fan on to help get the smell out of the air.  If anyone is going to use that bathroom again then the fan needs to be on.”   I explain.

“Its cuz you stink!” She deduces.  Yep, that about sums it up.

Toddlers and Slapstick

Toddlers are wonderful with slapstick.  I have seen a toddler fall and flip a bowl of cereal on their head. I have seen toddlers run into walls, doors, furniture and people.  Toddlers heads weigh so much that it is almost impossible for them to do anything effectively without tipping over.  A toddlers head reads like a road map of where they have been and how old they are.  It is akin to reading the rings on a tree.  Toddlers are also the great experimenters.  They will try almost anything.  They will jump from one couch to the next or hop on one foot in deep snow without considering for one instant that a possible outcome would be an injury or a face full of snow.  All of this experimenting and falling does cause us parents to get concerned, but after we find out they are ‘OK’ it is perfectly natural to laugh.

I could literally go on and on, but one thing to recognize here is that stay-at-home dads, perhaps more so then stay-at-home moms, can find humor in a lot of what our kids do.  Maybe because of our sense of humor do we have an advantage over our female counterparts, granted they have us in other departments like breast feeding but the bottom line here is it is healthy to have a sense of humor about being a caregiver and all situations you encounter along the way.

Do you think having a sense of humor is helpful for those who stay home full-time to raise their children?  Do dads generally have better senses of humor than moms?  Do you think babies and toddlers are funny?

So, can you hack it? Can you be a stay-at-home dad?  Can you find humor in the everyday grind?  Today we covered Having a sense of Humor, next Friday we’ll look at You and Your Diminishing Ego.

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