Ross Good (aka The Stented Papa), a stay at home dad since needing four stents at the age of 37 and cofounder of Booky Wook, shares his parenting wisdom
So you and your wife/partner are chilling out watching the box. Then the bombshell is thrown! She turns around and calmly slips this sentence into the conversation…
‘You know I’m away with the girls this weekend – right?!’
And as cool as a breeze you reply… ‘Oh yeah, of course I remember! Absolutely no probs baby!’ ...but you didn’t remember, did ya?! And the reality kicks in and you get ‘The Panic’ because you realise, it’s just you and the nippers all weekend!
Ok so, let’s not flip out just yet! As a full-time SAHD, I’ve got your back man. Panic not. Just check out my list below. It should help you – and your nerves – survive the weekend in one piece!
1. Plan for it! Seriously, when Mama gets back and asks the nips how they got on, this could be the difference between you looking like a demon or it being a major balls of an operation. Don’t just try to wing it. Get your phone out (or whatever you makes notes on) and make a list of activities the night before.
2. Prep like a Boss! Depending on where you live, research what’s on first. Online, papers etc. There’s always a number of activities on.
Top tip: Pack a bag with all the essentials - rolls, snacks, water, nappies, baby wipes, change of clothes, etc – be ready to expect the unexpected, especially when you have a baby with you!
3. Check in advance... There’s nothing worse than a disappointed nipper roaring crying in the car because they can’t go in just because you didn’t check ahead.
4. The Toilet: For Jayzus sake – make sure the nips go to the jacks before you leave! Getting from A to B can take forever sometimes and the last thing you want to hear after five minutes on the road is ‘Dada, I need a poo’
5. Fun: Ensure the activity is age appropriate! Your day will suck if not. You want everyone to have fun, which goes for you too btw. Let go and have fun. Mess around, tell jokes, play the clown.
6. Phone down! Engage with your nips, not your phone! You’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll feel afterwards. Send Mama a few photos/videos (to prove you’re all still alive!) but don’t waste time by having your head stuck in the phone. Do that when the kids are in bed.
7. Exit Time: ‘It’s time to go now‘ – five simple words that can trigger the end of the world for most nippers. You need a distraction and you need it fast! Jellies usually work for me. Food at their favourite place and a movie once home usually does the trick.
8. Don’t tell your Mum about this… Never ever say this to your nips! Kids have zero filter. They blab. And they will tell Mum about all the things you told them not to!
9. Dads Don’t Babysit - seriously you don’t. Are you getting paid for this? You’re NOT the babysitter. They are your children. Be their hero at all times. It’s what they’ll remember when they get older.
10. When your other half gets home: Meet up with the lads. Have a few well deserved pints and tell them the house is still standing. You survived. Your nips survived. Mum had a buzz and all is groovy. More importantly tell them you all had a blast. Tell them that. ‘Cause it is class being a Dad.
Ross - aka The Stented Papa
This article has been shortened for print. Read Ross’ full post on www.thestentedpapa.com