Dad’s Corner

TrevortwinsflaBeing a stay-at-home dad was both the most difficult and most important thing that I’ve done since my five year old twins were born.  The funny thing is that I didn’t plan to be a stay at home parent.  In fact, my wife and I had a very sturdy plan: she would stay at home and I wouldn’t.

The opportunity to become a stay-at-home dad presented itself to me rather unexpectedly.  My wife had been staying at home with our twin boys for three months when we suddenly found ourselves discussing her going back to work.  It really made a lot more sense.  Her job was much more flexible, and allowed for working from home occasionally.  She was also paid more, meaning less of a hit financially if I was at home instead of her.  So before I knew what had happened, I had agreed to be the stay-at-home parent.  Yikes!

I had no idea how hard it would be staying at home with two crying babies, waiting anxiously for my spouse to get home.  It left me feeling a little vulnerable at times.  I was the one who looked after every need, I was on call for sick children, I was pooped on, peed on, vomited on…you get the picture.  What saved me in the end was following a schedule for feeding and naptime.  It gave me my sanity and helped me ensure that I got the occasional break.  But there were some pretty dark days.  I have some particularly difficult memories of a stomach flu that both boys got.  Between the two of them they were sick for about a month straight.  I was ready to jump off a bridge by the end of it.

Hocky-dad-w-both-on-lapAlthough it felt like war in the trenches at times when I was at home, I do look back fondly on the whole experience.  I was quite fortunate in being the parent to hear and see the firsts (first steps, first words).  My boys also became very attached to me.  I was the number one parent they looked to for help, a cuddle or a smile.  I still have a very strong relationship with them five years later, even though I am now back at work full time (the boys are in Kindergarten and daycare now), and I know that will continue as they get older.  It makes me happy I put in the time at home when I could.

If you are a stay-at-home dad, or are considering such a move, I have some advice:  Get help, don’t be afraid to ask for assistance, get out of the house when you can, go to the library or community center, try to hook up with some other stay-at-home dads, and finally don’t be too hard on yourself.  When I stayed at home I was a bit of an oddity.  But there are more and more dads staying home now, especially fathers of multiples.  Consider how important it is, and what it will mean to you and your children as you grow up together!

Trevor Ormerod is father to five-year-old MZ twin boys, Alex and Simon. 

He is a full time Program Resource Consultant
working with a public school board in Ontario.