Episode 3 Live Q&A: Adam Stockley (Stay at Home Dad)

Adam Stockley, stay at home dad, tells it like it really is to have the shoe on the other foot. Is it any different for a man to be at home? He has provided these answers to the questions asked by our Huggies Club members as part of the Mums & Bubs live Q&A session.

My husband is a stay at home dad also, but he classifies his job as JUST feeding and looking after the kids. That means not doing the washing, or cleaning the house, or paying the bills. i do that when I come home from work! Can you give me any advice on how to get him to really help out at home?

As a home Dad I try to do as much as I can, which includes washing, ironing, paying bills etc, it’s not always easy as Scarlett takes up most of my time. Maybe expalain to your Husband that you need quality time with your family when not working and these jobs are all part of being the home Dad!

How did you make the decision with your partner to stay at home? Was it just financial?

The decision of role reversal was partly financial, but when the idea came up I jumped at the chance, I gave up my job as an Electrical Fitter and love my new role.

Do you, or did you ever suffer any criticism for role reversal? Did your partner?

No, we haven’t suffered any criticism, everyone has been very supportive. I think this situation is becoming more common these days, there are now 2 more stay at home Dad’s just from our Mum’s group!

Does your wife feel guilty that she is not spending as much time with the kids?

My wife Marie did feel a little guilty when first returning to work, but not so much any more as she knows Scarlett is with me rather than Scarlett being in day care. I try to get everything done at home so we have as much time together as a family as we can.

Do you do the housework as well?

Yes, the housework is done, I don’t enjoy doing it but it’s got to be done! Marie still does the cooking when she comes home, but I’m quite lucky as she quite enjoys it.

How do you keep mentally stimulated?

Being home with Scarlett is such a routine: Milk, solids, morning nap, milk, solids, arvo nap, solids, bath, milk and bed!!! So we get out as much as we can on walks, swimming, shopping, Mum’s group etc. to keep stimulated. Also I play golf every fortnight and poker sometimes on a week night just to get that time away which I really.

Do you ever feel isolated as a stay-at-home-dad? My husband is becoming a stay-at-home-dad in two weeks when I return to work fulltime, and I’m worried that he’s going to be lonely. He doesn’t really want to join my mothers’ group. Are there any dad’s groups out there?

I do feel isolated at times, especially as we have no immediate family but you just have to find things to do to fill your time. I don’t know of any Dad’s group’s, maybe that’s something worth looking into for the future.

Does your wife complain that things are not as clean as she would like them? I’m very guilty of complaining about how my DH does the housework and we always end up in argument and him saying, “well I won’t help you again”. Can you give me some tips on how to get him to do things my way but not get in a fight?

My wife complains now and again of my cleaning standards but whatever I do is one less job for her.

DO the other mums treat you the same as if you were a woman. I mean do they have the same conversations as they normally would at mothers group, you know like sex and periods, how much their partners annoy them. Or do you think it changes the dynamic a little?

Other Mum’s in group treat me as normal, some still breast feed when I’m there as it is only a natural thing to do. Topics of sex and periods happen when I go home I think as they don’t get brought up when I’m present!!

Hey Adam, I’m a stay at home dad I’ve got 2 girls under 2. I was wondering if other than “Mothers Group” r there any other dad parenting related support groups around. thanks wayne

I don’t know of any Dad’s group yet, I never looked into it as it’s really good in my current group.

You must feel lucky to be at home with your Kids. I’m off sick today and it’s the first time I’ve spent a week day at home in about a year. I didn’t realise my wife was so busy and that she got to have so much fun with the kids, they are at playgroup now. She’ll make of me for watching Mums & Bubs that’s for sure.

I do feel lucky, Scarlett changes every day and it’s very rewarding.

Do you miss contact with your workmates? What did they say when you told them you were giving up work and when do yo think you’ll go back?

Yes, I do miss the interaction with work mates. My company were very understanding about my decision to leave work, not sure when I’m going to return, depends on when Scarlett starts going to day-care, maybe in a few months.

Are there are many other poker playing dads who aren’t working?

I don’t know of any other Home dad poker players, I always play in evenings when Marie is home from work.

Do you find it difficult to always be ‘the bloke’ at morning tea?

I’ve never found it difficult with being the only Dad in Mum’s group, a bit weird at first but all the Ladies have been great. But now we have 2 other home Dad’s so the balance is pretty even now.

Adam, How can i help my husband understand/appreciate what I do when at home with our daughter? And he doesn’t seem to understand the routine aspect?

Maybe get your Husband to do it for a couple of days and he will realise how much hard work it is. Routine is so major for us, keeps the baby happy and cheerful.

hi Adam I would love to get more things done around the house during the day eg house work. But my daughter doesn’t sleep during the day do u have any tips how to get her to sleep so i can do the cleaning?

A good routine makes Scarlett sleep well, and when she’s asleep I never have the house dead quiet, a bit of noise like the vacuum seems to help with sleeping. Good Luck, just try to stay patient with your baby and try and sleep when baby sleeps so your ready for the next shift.

Hi Adam. My husband and I are thinking about him becoming a stay at home dad and I was wondering what types of things did you have to consider before you made that decision?

Make sure your husband is 100 percent committed to being at home, it’s a big difference to working. You can never switch off and it doesn’t mean sitting watching the footy all day!

Hi Adam, I am the stay at home mum of our 11 week old son whom my husband adores! He wants to be very involved but works all the time. He doesnt get up in the night as i am breastfeeding and he arrives home too late for bath time! What other suggestions do you have from a man’s point of view on how to best involve my husband in his son’s care? Thanks Belinda

That’s hard as your Husband works long hours, maybe try and spend as much time as a family together at weekend’s. With an 11 week old, this is the hardest time of your lives, it’s very hard work but once your through the 5-6 month stage it gets a little easier.

Do you think you will stay home with all your kids when you have more? And why didn’t you consider sharing the role and both working part time?

Yes, we plan that I stay home for our next child in the future. Sharing the role would be too much juggling around with 2 jobs and Scarlett. Our situation works well, Marie earns more than me so that was the main reason for our change in roles.

My husband plays soccer with a SAHD and they give him hell. Whereas all the mums think that he’s great. DO you get teased a lot by your mates?

Not really, they are very jealous in fact. I do get less time to go to the Pub and things like that but I don’t mind, I have my fair share of ‘me’ time.

Why is it that when I’m at the park pushing the swing for my baby and chasing my toddler around after getting my 5 year old off to school, that no one gives me a second glance and no one rushes up to me to say wow you’re doing a great job, but as soon as a Dad walks through the gate of the park everyone talks about what a great job he’s doing. I think this is all very lop sided. What do you think?

Good point, I get a bit of attention from people at shops, especially older ladies! I think because women are expected to do the job where as men aren’t, but I don’t think I’m doing anything out of the ordinary, just being a Dad.

Do you think you will stay home with all your kids when you have more? And why didn’t you consider sharing the role and both working part time?

Yes, we plan that I stay home for our next child in the future. Sharing the role would be too much juggling around with 2 jobs and Scarlett. Our situation works well, Marie earns more than me so that was the main reason for our change in roles.

My husband plays soccer with a SAHD and they give him hell. Whereas all the mums think that he’s great. DO you get teased a lot by your mates?

Not really, they are very jealous in fact. I do get less time to go to the Pub and things like that but I don’t mind, I have my fair share of ‘me’ time.

Why is it that when I’m at the park pushing the swing for my baby and chasing my toddler around after getting my 5 year old off to school, that no one gives me a second glance and no one rushes up to me to say wow you’re doing a great job, but as soon as a Dad walks through the gate of the park everyone talks about what a great job he’s doing. I think this is all very lop sided. What do you think?

Good point, I get a bit of attention from people at shops, especially older ladies! I think because women are expected to do the job where as men aren’t, but I don’t think I’m doing anything out of the ordinary, just being a Dad.

How did u get involved in your mothers group and was it just luck that other stay at how dad’s attend the same group

The Mum’s group is from where my wife originally went, and from the group 2 other husbands now stay home too,so soon it could be Beer n Bubs!!

Hi Adam, I think it’s great that you are a stay at home dad. I’m sure that being one makes you a lot more understanding of the job at hand!! My partner struggles with this and doesn’t understand how hard it can be at times. I don’t just sit around, watch TV and have coffees with friends!! Do you have any advice which I can use to make my partner more understanding and supportive? He helps out with our baby when he can (apart from during the night which can be frustrating) but even though I work both looking after baby and at night on call every second week, HE still feels he needs a break…. Thanks heaps.

This is a common situation, maybe leave your husband for a few hours to realise that we don’t pick daisies all day!

I bet you’re from an affluent area and not from the blue collar suburbs. I don’t see any blokes at the park with their kids during the week or even on the weekend. They’re always at work, in the TAB or the pub. How do you think we can ever change the way that these guys think about ’women’s work’????

I’m out in the Hills district, so not really affluent, lol. It’s hard to change some peoples ways, just try and get him involved as much as possible to give him confidence that he can help out.

For more information see Episode 3 Being a dad or Parenting .