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21 Things I Learned Being a Stay-at-Home Dad

Arden's Day Blog

Arden's Day is a type I diabetes care giver blog written by author Scott Benner. Scott has been a stay-at-home dad since 2000, he is the author of the award winning parenting memoir, 'Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal'. Arden's Day is an honest and transparent look at life with diabetes - since 2007.

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21 Things I Learned Being a Stay-at-Home Dad

Scott Benner

If you were just thinking that what this Father's Day really needs is an Internet post full of life lessons from a stay-at-home dad who wrote a book (that won a literary parenting award), boy, did you click on the right link. If that's not what you were thinking, I'd read this anyway because not only do I say vagina about halfway down the page, but also there's some meaningful stuff on this list. Let's face it, who would you rather take advice from, an award-winning author who says "vagina" or those stuffy expert types? Happy Father's Day!

21 Things I Learned Being a Stay At Home Dad for the Last 14 Years.

By Scott Benner
  • Plainly, sorting the laundry, folding the laundry and putting away the laundry is the scourge of my existence.
  • I'd always wanted to have children, but I was unprepared for how the news that I would soon be a father would affect me. I immediately began to imagine all the things that I would need to do and instantly felt the pressure of another person's life depending on me.
  • Putting a baby in your wife's belly gets you an invitation to her OB/GYN appointments.
  • I don't know how to best say this, so I'm just going to blurt it out. If you have never seen, or had, a pelvic exam, let me tell you something -- it's not how you imagine it.
  • When your wife (or really any woman) asks for your opinion about baby accessories, she is just being polite. I may be overgeneralizing, but they don't care, even a little bit, what you think. And, to be honest, it's probably better that way.
  • I didn't initially expect that I would become more emotional than I already was, but this job will change you.
  • Don't eat Doritos before you coach your wife through childbirth and definitely don't forget to have your mother leave the room when the baby arrives... my wife is still annoyed that my mom saw her vagina.
  • Once you've feel it, you'll never forget how warm and thick baby vomit is.
  • You can drop a baby without hurting them -- if you get a lucky bounce.
  • Everyone should watch a lion eat with their 2-year-old.
  • Dangerous elements aside, don't try and control which experiences get to be part of the recipe that creates who your children will be one day.
  • Endless decisions are made and carried out by our moms in homes all around the world. Each step holds the hope of survival, growth and prosperity, but as important and plentiful as these women and their work are, it goes unseen by most.
  • You can't bank sleep, so enjoy it when you can.
  • There is no such thing as gender specific tasks.
  • When my children become adults and find themselves reflecting on our time together, I want the feeling to endure more than the words themselves. Like the difference between being told that you are loved and the feeling of being hugged by a person who loves you. I want them to feel my hug wrapping around them... always.
  • Most guys wish that they had a closer relationship with their fathers. Break that cycle.
  • Life really is about the pauses in between the moments.
  • Being told that your child will require an infusion of man-made insulin multiple times throughout the day and night to stay alive is devastating.
  • Don't stop and don't give up.
  • I was estranged from my father for most of my life and only reconnected with him in his last few years... I wish we had found each other again much sooner.
  • If you open your heart, your family will fill it with a glorious feeling that transcends description.

Excerpted (blurbed really) from LIFE IS SHORT, LAUNDRY IS ETERNAL by Scott Benner. Copyright © 2013 by Scott Benner. Excerpted with permission by Spry Publishing LLC.