Father’s Day Special (SAHD): "It has made me realise just how hard it is to raise a child!"

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Most of us are probably familiar with the term SAHMs (stay-at-home mums), just how many SAHDs (stay-at-home dads) do we know? We took a sneak peek into the lives of four dads who made the change to stay home with their children. Find out how these daddies go about their days with their little ones!

This Father’s Day, we celebrate dads and their love for junior. We put the spotlight on four dads who took a leap of faith and embarked on their journey as Stay-at-home-dads (SAHDs).

In this article, we chat with Tyler McKibbon, father of a bubbly little girl, to find out what he cherishes most during his time with his daughter and how he’s managing studies on the side too.

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Tyler McKibbon (31), father to Amelia (18 months)

Journey as an SAHD: 8 months

Hi Tyler, can you share what led you to make the decision to stay home with Amelia?

In 2013, I started a part-time online Diploma in Teaching. I was working as an English teacher at that time and my wife and I decided that once we had a baby, that I would stay at home and finish my diploma because my wife only had 5 months off from work. We both wanted one of us to be able to stay home with our daughter as we do not have a helper. I quit my job and continued working on my diploma until Amelia was born.

So, what were the key challenges you faced when making this decision?

The only challenge was finding the time to finish my teaching diploma, which I am just finishing up right now.

Are there days where you question the decision to stay home with Amelia?

I love my daughter so much that I never really questioned the decision. Obviously, there are hard days, but never did I wish that I wasn’t at home with her. Amelia was a very calm and easy baby to take care of, so I was blessed to be at home with her.

So, what is a typical day with Amelia really like?

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Time for manicure!

I wake up at 7, give Amelia a bottle. After the bottle, Amelia plays around while I prepare her breakfast. After breakfast, we go outside for a walk or play around the house. And then, Amelia takes her morning naps. During her nap, I clean the flat and study. After the nap, Amelia eats lunch and then we go out in the afternoon—grocery shop, swimming, go to friends place, or to a play area (Polliwogs). When we come home, Amelia haves her afternoon nap. After, Amelia plays and I prepare dinner for my wife and me. We then meet mommy at the MRT station, eat dinner, and then Mommy bathes Amelia and gets her ready for bed. Milk, story, bed at 7pm. That is a typical day.

What do you enjoy most about being a stay-at-home dad? Can you share some moments when you feel your decision to be an SAHD has truly been the right one?

I enjoyed being home and being able to hang out with my daughter during such an important time in her life. The bond that Amelia and I have is something that I cannot explain. The joy she brings me everyday is priceless. I was able to see her crawl for the first time, take her first step. One day, I asked her if she was hungry and she walked to her high chair showing me that she understood what I was saying to her. That is a very fond memory. Even through tough times, when Amelia was sick and I would cuddle her all day on the couch, I remember just looking at her and wanting to take the pain away. These are moments that I cherish and will always remember.

Has being a stay-at-home dad changed you in any way?

It has made me realise just how hard it is to raise a child. I have so much respect for people who stay at home and raise one or even multiple children. It is a busy, tough job.

With most of your time dedicated to Amelia, how do you unwind and enjoy “me time”?

Naptime was “me time”. I used to play ice hockey once a week to get out. “Me time” was hard to manage. In Amelia’s first year, I spent a total of 10 days away from her.

Is there a point in the near future where you think you will stop being a stay-at-home dad?

Yes, my stay-at-home dad days are over. I will graduate soon and hope to get a full time teaching position at an international school in Singapore.

Have you ever regretted being a stay-at-home dad?

Not at all.

To fellow fathers who are thinking of becoming stay-at-home dads, here’s what Tyler has to say:

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Daddy Tyler goofing around with Amelia on a day-out.

Just go with the flow. I was quite timid to leave the house for a while but once I did, it was quite liberating. Find other stay-at-home dads to hang out with. Once I met another stay-at-home-dad, we hit it off straight away and it was nice to have a mate to be able to call when in need of a rant or a beer. Get a bicycle with a baby seat.

We hope you enjoyed reading these heartfelt responses from the stay-at-home dads in Singapore. In a typical Asian country, where men are mostly deemed to be sole breadwinners, it is nice to see that the world’s perspective is changing, and that more and more fathers are sharing the parenthood role with their spouses these days by being the primary caregiver. Kudos to all fathers, and here’s wishing our children’s first superheroes, the first men our daughters love, and our rocks in the family: Happy Father’s Day!!
Click here to see the rest of our related articles in our Father’s Day Special interviews!

Father’s Day special (SAHD): “My in laws and aunties kept asking if I was looking for a job soon!”

Father’s Day Special (SAHD): “I put a lot of emphasis on discipline; other dads call me Sergeant.”

Father’s Day Special (SAHD): ” I get to be there for all the little things!”

It was interesting to see how fathers get more involved in their children’s lives and family. Do you know of any other SAHDs? Share with us too!