There is one thing that is most difficult about being a stay-at-home dad. It’s not giving up the $100k/year salary; not the isolation; not suppressing my career goals; not dealing with stereotypes; not spending endless hours crouched over a play blanket.
No, the single hardest thing is not having boobs.
When Ruby cries, chances are it is because she’s hungry. But I can’t just lift my shirt and satisfy her; no, I need to prepare a bottle. That takes two hands, at a minimum, because we don’t want to spill the precious fluid. So, I need to put her down — which generally turns the crying into screams.
If the milk is cold, we’re looking at a 10-minute wait to warm it up. And what if we’re out of the day’s allotment? Defrosting freezer milk can take 30 minutes or more.
And even worse, what if Mom’s coming home in an hour? Do we wait it out? Pull some valuable freezer milk from the bank? Every afternoon, I need to do some tricky baby’s mood/my mood/expected time of mom’s arrival calculus.
And because our freezer milk supply is somewhat limited, I’m loathe to use it. This means I try to stretch out the feedings, and give smaller feedings at a time, in an attempt to make the milk last longer. I’m sure you can guess, from the tone of this post, how well this is working.
Because I’m not personally equipped to satisfy the most basic of my baby’s needs, my time with Ruby is that much more difficult. It’s really the only aspect of being a stay-at-home dad that makes me question the arrangement Kate and I have.