1 Combat isolation. Without the traditional outside contacts of work and leisure, branch out in nontraditional ways. Volunteer at your child’s school; talk with other parents at the park or playgroup, even if they are all women; set up playtimes with other stay-at-home dads.
2 Keep cool about crying. Often as first-time providers, stay-at-home dads aren't prepared for the stress of extended crying fits from a child. Weston, Mass. resident Roy Van Cleef says when his son’s crying starts to get overwhelming, he puts Shea in bed for awhile, and then listens to his iPod for a few minutes to de-stress.
3 Be confident. Show your wife that your methods work, too. My wife criticized me for letting our child cry in her room for as long as 20 minutes. While it took Maggie several days to adjust, my wife eventually agreed wth my method when we both got to sleep through the night.
4 Redefine a day’s goals. Stay-at-home dads must still realize the value in what they are doing and not get caught up in the usual measures of success, like money earned. Belmont resident Fred Skoler recommends looking at a full day of child-rearing as success in itself, which may not yield tangible day-to-day rewards but has lasting long-term benefits.
Brad Kane is a father and freelance writer in Marlborough, Massachusetts.
Updated August 2012