There is a growing trend for dads to stay at home while the mother works the 9 to 5 life. This change shows that ideas about who should look after children are becoming more flexible.

Young daddy explaining little son how to play with joystick teaching his kid to play video games having fun together

However, the thought of a dad being the main caregiver is still not very common. Many people still think that men should work outside the home, not stay with the kids.

This can lead to an uncomfortable situation for some men that decide to stay at home. Adding to this, some stay-at-home dads can get lonely. Moms who stay home might find friends who are in the same situation more easily, but stay-at-home dads are often the only ones in their peer group. What this all means is that mental health as a stay-at-home dad is not easy to maintain with so many challenges. In this article, we will go over several tips to help you keep your sanity.

1 – Understand the challenges

Stay-at-home dads face unique challenges that can affect their mental health and happiness. One big challenge is how they see themselves and how valued they feel. Society often has fixed ideas about what men and women should do.

When a dad stays home, he might feel proud for being closely involved in his child’s life, like when choosing green baby swaddles for comfort and safety or preparing a healthy meal and snacks for the child. Yet, he might also feel unsure because many still expect men to be the main earners for their families.

Another issue is feeling alone. Stay-at-home dads can find themselves without many people to talk to during the day. Most parents at the park or at school gates are moms. This can make finding friends who understand the stay-at-home dad experience hard. Not having much adult conversation can lead to feeling isolated and cut off from the world outside their home.

Finding support can also be hard. There aren’t as many groups or resources for stay-at-home dads as there are for moms. This makes it tough for dads to find advice or share their experiences with others who truly get what they’re going through. When help is hard to come by, dads might feel even more alone in their challenges.

Understanding that these will be the challenges you’re likely to face will help you confront them to maintain your mental health.

2 – Recognize the signs of a struggle

Recognizing the signs of mental health struggles is really important for stay-at-home dads. Common signs include feeling sad or down more often than not, losing interest in activities once enjoyed, and feeling tired all the time despite getting enough sleep.

Other signs might be getting easily irritated or angry, problems with sleeping, either too much or too little, and changes in appetite leading to weight loss or gain. Anxiety can show up as constant worry, trouble concentrating, feeling tense, or having physical symptoms like headaches or stomach aches without a clear reason.

Stress might look like feeling overwhelmed by daily tasks that used to be manageable, snapping at loved ones over small things, or feeling physically run down, leading to more colds and illnesses than usual. It’s also common to experience doubt about your abilities as a parent or partner which can lead to feelings of worthlessness or guilt.

3 – Build a support network

Building a support network is an important way for stay-at-home dads to deal with isolation and share experiences with others who understand their unique situation. You’ll need to put some effort into finding others who are in the same boat as you.

There are many forums, social media groups, and websites dedicated to parents and specifically stay-at-home dads. These can be great places to share advice, ask questions, and make connections with others in similar situations.

Check your local community centers, libraries, and churches for parent groups. Even if they don’t have specific groups for stay-at-home dads, they might be interested in helping you start one. Attending general parent-and-toddler groups can also be a way to meet other parents, including dads.

When dropping off your kids at school or attending playgroups, take the opportunity to talk to other parents. Even if most are moms, they can be welcoming and supportive, and you might find other dads among them or learn about dad-specific groups.

If you can’t find a group that fits your needs, look into starting your own. You can use social media, community bulletin boards, or word of mouth to invite other stay-at-home dads in your area. Even a small group can provide meaningful support and camaraderie.

4 – Make a plan for self-care

Making a daily plan that includes special time for looking after yourself is very important for dads who stay home. A good plan helps you know what you should do each day, which can make things feel less stressful. When you have a set time for different things, like taking care of yourself, you feel more in control of your day.

Taking care of yourself helps you feel better in your mind. Doing things you enjoy, like working out, reading, or having a hobby, gives you a break and helps fight off worry or sadness. It also makes you more productive. When you know you have time to rest and work, you do both better. You’re more focused during work time and enjoy your rest time more.

To add self-care to your day, first think about what makes you happy and relaxed.  Taking some time for yourself ultimately makes you a better family member. You have more energy and patience for playing and talking with your kids and partner.


Being a dad at home comes with its own set of challenges but it’s important to remember that looking after your mind is as important as looking after your children.

Being a stay-at-home dad is something to be proud of. You’re doing an amazing job, and your role is truly important in your family’s life.

, The 4 Essentials To Help Maintain Mental Health As A Stay-At-Home Dad, Days of a Domestic Dad