Traditionally, women stayed at home with their children while the father worked to provide for the family. However, these trends are shifting toward more women focusing on their careers while the fathers stay at home. If you’re a stay-at-home dad, you know that it can be an extremely rewarding experience that also comes with some challenges. Whether you’re new to staying home with your kids or you’ve been a SAHD for a while, there are many things you can do to make life easier for everyone. From bonding with your child to learning how to establish daily routines, read on for some helpful tips and advice that will make being a stay-at-home dad an amazing experience you’ll treasure when you look back on this precious time in your life.


Stay at Home Dads Statistics

The number of full-time stay-at-home dads is on the rise in the United States. In 2016, 17-percent of dads stayed at home, which is a 10-percent increase from 1989 when the idea was still considered to be less than the norm. Today, approximately 1.4 million dads stay at home with their kids, and the peak was 2.2 million in 2010, right after the end of the significant US recession. This is a massive increase from just a decade ago when the number was closer to half of that. The trends for SAHDs are constantly shifting, and it looks like more fathers are opting to stay home with their kids than ever before.


Why are men becoming stay-at-home dads?

You may wonder why more men are choosing to become stay-at-home dads. Some of the reasons include:

  • More options for remote work, freelancing, and the ability to work from home full-time
  • Possible job loss may lead to staying at home with the children and rethinking the typical family structure
  • Women are opting to return to the workforce and have greater earning opportunities
  • Some fathers may be ill or disabled but can still offer to help watch the kids and maintain the home
  • Many fathers want to be more present in their child’s life, and being a stay-at-home dad is a great way to do so
  • Retired males may choose to be a SAHD while their wife continues to work outside of the home.

What are the benefits of stay-at-home dads?

There are many benefits to being a stay-at-home dad. While they may not all apply to you, here are some of the most common benefits that being a SAHD provides.

  • Elimination of childcare costs: Paying for daycare can be extremely expensive, but being a stay-at-home dad helps your family save on these high costs. The average cost of childcare in America is approximately $10,000 annually, so it’s easy to see why having a parent at home full-time can be a real money saver.
  • Bonding with your child: Spending a lot of time with your child is a beautiful way to create a strong bond. Whether through homework, reading stories, or simply being together, stay-at-home dads have a unique opportunity to start and maintain a strong bond with their kids.
  • Stronger relationships with your partner: Being at home with your children full-time may also improve your relationship with your partner. You won’t have to worry about long days and nights at the office, and you have a chance to get chores and home maintenance tasks done. It also promotes a happy and healthy family environment, which can also do wonders for your relationship with your spouse.
  • Redefining social norms: The “norm” was that women stayed at home with the kids while the father worked full-time. Being a stay-at-home dad means you’re helping to redefine common social norms and try something new.
  • Positive outcomes for children: A strong relationship with a father is an important part of healthy childhood development. When you’re a stay-at-home dad, you’re helping to encourage a much more positive outcome later in life for your child. Being involved in your child’s life can help improve their self-confidence, health, and overall well-being.


Tips for survival

While there are plenty of benefits to being a stay-at-home dad, it also comes with many challenges. Here are some tips to help you survive this period of your life.

  • Maintain clear communication with your partner on responsibilities: As a stay-at-home dad, it might feel like your responsibilities are much greater than normal. Keep the communication lines with your wife or partner open, and let them know if you need some help. Setting boundaries and assigning tasks to each partner will make being a SAHD much easier for you and everyone in the family.
  • Get to know your kids: Now is a wonderful opportunity to take some time to really get to know your kids. Learn about the things they enjoy, and make sure you foster their creativity and imagination so that they develop a strong sense of self. When you’re with your child on a full-time basis, it gives you the chance to truly know more about who they are as an individual, improving your relationship with them.
  • Establish a SAHD Routine: Having a set schedule is important, so try to develop a daily routine that you and your children can both live with. Sit down and write out a daily routine that applies to you, your kids, and both of you together. When you have a routine in place, it’s much easier to maintain structure and order in the home and your life as a whole.
  • Find time for yourself: While being a SAHD is demanding, it’s essential to make sure that you take some time for yourself, too. Whether it’s planning a night out with friends to watch the game or just doing something alone, always try to remember that you deserve a break and a chance to get to do some of the things you love.
  • Stay on top of your child’s education: If you are homeschooling, it’s vital to make sure you’re following the right curriculum for your child based on their age and grade level. If you watch your child before and after school, be sure to have an active role in their education by talking to their teachers, helping them with homework, and assisting your child when they need help with complex subjects.
  • Plan your day ahead: Aside from a routine, it’s essential to plan for each day in advance. This will make it easier to stick to a schedule, and you’ll be able to remember the important things that need to be done much more easily when everything is laid out ahead of time.
  • Plan fun activities with your child: Don’t forget to plan a few fun activities you can do together with your child. Whether it’s heading to the park for playtime, going to the movies, or working on fun hobbies at home, this is a vital part of developing a solid bond.
  • Play with them: Remember that you’re not a babysitter but rather a parent who happens to spend all day with your child. While you don’t have to play with them all the time, set aside a bit of time each day so that you can join in on the fun.
  • Clean daily: Make sure you do some minor housekeeping and cleaning each day and try not to let things get out of control. Not only will this help you feel better, but it also takes quite a burden off of your partner too.
  • Connect with other parents: As a SAHD, it’s essential to feel connected with others who are doing the same thing. Look for local meetup groups or find some stay-at-home parenting groups online, so you have support and a sense of community. It’s also a terrific resource for insight and information from other parents who stay at home with their kids.
  • Connect with moms, too: Don’t be afraid to reach out to some stay-at-home moms if you need advice. They can offer you tips and tricks that will make staying home with your kids easier.
  • Seek advice or help: If you feel overwhelmed or out of your league, don’t hesitate to ask someone for help or advice. Getting help can make it much less stressful when things start to feel like they’re out of control. You can find help through other parenting groups or even reach out to a therapist if you’re struggling.
  • Embrace the role: Being a stay-at-home dad is a privilege denied to many. Take this opportunity to embrace the role and keep in mind that you’ll be there for significant milestones in your child’s life and develop a strong bond that not all parents can create.
  • Push yourself, don’t punish yourself: It’s perfectly fine to push yourself to be the best parent and caregiver you can be. However, there will also be times when you may make a few mistakes. Remember not to punish yourself or be too hard on yourself when things aren’t perfect. Just brush yourself off and keep forging ahead.
  • Do what works until it doesn’t: If you find a routine that works for you and your kids, stick to it. However, if things suddenly stop working for your family or your schedule, then it’s time to adapt and change your routine to something new. Stick to the things that work and move on from the things that don’t.
  • It is okay to feel overwhelmed: Remember that it’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed at times. Between feeding the kids, keeping up with housework, and doing your job, the SAHD life can be tough. Don’t forget that you’re not alone and that it’s OK if you are feeling overwhelmed occasionally. Take a deep breath and remember to take some time for yourself if things feel out of control.


How to Make Money as a Stay-at-Home Dad

Being a stay-at-home dad offers new opportunities to make money. Here are some tips to help you bring some income into the home without leaving the house.

  • Blogging Starting a blog is a great way to tell your story and make some money in the process. Set up a blogging website, post new content as often as possible, and include some affiliate products you can promote to help you earn extra cash.
  • Online Store: You can start your online store virtually without ever having to leave your home or pay for a warehouse. Look into business models like drop shipping that only require you to set up and promote your website to get sales.
  • Freelance Writing Work: If you enjoy writing, look into doing some freelance writing jobs for money. You can write for clients directly or do work through an agency to make money from home.
  • Get Paid to Try New Products: Many companies pay people to try and review their products. You don’t have to be an Influencer to take advantage of this opportunity. Look for brands that offer money or free products in exchange for an honest review.
  • Mystery Shopper: Mystery shopping is a great way to get your everyday shopping done while making some extra cash. This job involves going to specific stores, buying particular items, and then relaying your experience back to the company in exchange for payment.
  • Teach an Online Course: If you have a passion for a certain subject, consider teaching an online course. This is a wonderful way to feel fulfilled while sharing your knowledge with others and getting paid in the process.
  • Write Product Reviews: Some companies pay for written reviews of their products. Look for referral programs that will pay you to test out products and then post your review on various websites.
  • Rent Out a Room in Your Home: If you have the space, renting an extra room in your home is a great way to make some extra money. Of course, you’ll want to discuss this option with your partner before you decide if it’s the right choice for you and your family.


Many men across the US are starting to defy societal norms and become full-time stay-at-home dads. If you think this is the right move for you, it’s a lifestyle that can be extremely challenging and very fulfilling in many ways. A SAHD has the chance to bond with their kids, spend more time with them, and develop strong relationships that will last a lifetime.