Rais­ing a child brings its own re­wards, even if it doesn’t come with an at­trac­tive salary and paid leave.

Young Parents (Singapore) - - AGE BY STAGE 0 - 1 YEAR -

Don’t say “You’ll have an easy life now that you have given up work.”

Don’t say “I bet you feel strange be­ing stuck with your baby all day.”

Don’t say “I bet you can’t wait to be­come the bread­win­ner again.”

Don’t say “Your wife must be de­lighted that she can put her feet up and rest when she comes home from work.”

Some fa­thers are re­lieved to be re­leased from the pres­sures of the work­place, es­pe­cially if their wives have well-paid ca­reers. Rais­ing a child brings its own re­wards, even if it doesn’t come with an at­trac­tive salary and paid leave.

Say in­stead “I won­der if you miss work as much as you thought you would.” Why you shouldn’t say this Most stay-at-home dads nd them­selves in the mi­nor­ity at play­groups, which can be quite dis­ori­ent­ing for them.

Part of the chal­lenge for them is to feel com­fort­able in a role typ­i­cally oc­cu­pied by the mother, al­though the bal­ance is grad­u­ally evening out now as more fa­thers take ex­tended pa­ter­nity leave. Say­ing that he’ll feel strange only makes him more self-con­scious.

Say in­stead “I think you’ll adapt well to be­ing a stay-ath­ome dad.”

Why you shouldn’t say

this Ex­pec­ta­tions of shared care­giv­ing ap­ply no mat­ter who stays at home to care for Baby. Just as Dad is ex­pected to play his part when he re­turns from work – help­ing with feed­ing, chang­ing, wash­ing and play­ing – the same ap­plies to a work­ing mother.

A stay-at-home dad is re­spon­si­ble for car­ing for the baby while Mum is out, but it changes when she re­turns. Any sug­ges­tion that the care­giv­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity is his ev­ery hour of the day will be met with hor­ror.

Say in­stead “I ex­pect your wife gets in­volved as soon as she comes home from work.”

Why you shouldn’t say

this Maybe he is des­per­ate to get back to work so he can full the tra­di­tional role of an eco­nomic provider. Or, maybe he recog­nises that he de­rives as much sat­is­fac­tion from hav­ing prime re­spon­si­bil­ity for look­ing af­ter his child.

Why you shouldn’t say

this A stay-at-home dad is oc­cu­pied from the mo­ment Baby wakes up (and that’s as­sum­ing he doesn’t share night-feed­ing du­ties with Mum) un­til she goes to sleep (as­sum­ing the baby sleeps through a rea­son­able chunk of the night with­out wak­ing).

There is rarely down­time. When Baby is asleep, he’ll be

Say in­stead “Car­ing for a baby isn’t easy, but I think you’ll man­age ne.”

Why you shouldn’t say

this This sug­gests that only moth­ers are good at rais­ing chil­dren and fa­thers don’t have much to do with par­ent­ing.

Given that this fa­ther has cho­sen to stay at home to look af­ter his baby, he clearly feels ready to meet the par­ent­ing chal­lenges and doesn’t need your neg­a­tive com­ments, which at best will sour your re­la­tion­ship with him, and at worst will dent his condence.

Ev­ery par­ent makes a positive con­tri­bu­tion to his child’s up­bring­ing in his own way. Don’t say “Look­ing af­ter a baby is a woman’s job.” busy with other chores, such as wash­ing the clothes and pre­par­ing meals. So, he’ll re­sent your sug­ges­tion that he has cho­sen an easy op­tion.

Say in­stead “I hope you man­age to get a break some­times.”

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