A Day in the Life: Going to work vs looking after baby


I’m 12 weeks into my experience as a stay at home dad (SAHD) and a few people have asked me how it differs from working full time. As well as having sick on me quite a lot now and my looks and virility having degraded by around 85%, the experience has so far been more rewarding yet more difficult than any job I’ve ever had. Here I’ve compared a day of being SAHD with a day of being at work.

0500 – 0700
WORK: Two hours of glorious and hitherto unappreciated sleep

SAHD: Shocked awake by screaming in glorious surround sound through the baby monitor and through the actual brick wall. Change a nappy so full of wee it can only be lifted with industrial equipment.

WORK: 45 minutes breathing in other people’s blow offs on the train to work.

SAHD: Boingy boingy boingy boingy boingy boingy boingy boingy boingy.

WORK: Arrive at desk.

SAHD: Attempt to shovel weetabix into a mouth opening and closing at random like a late game level of Sonic the Hedgehog.  Inevitable screaming fit when I can’t get it in quickly enough.

WORK: First coffee of the morning. Check emails, decide which ones are worded most politely and prioritise these for action.

SAHD: Fourth coffee of the morning. Attempt to dress a baby that would rather eat its own feet. Possible poo nugget.

WORK: As colleagues discuss their evenings trawl twitter saying “really?” every so often.

SAHD: As baby tries to eat his feet instead of going for a nap trawl twitter saying “Shhhhhhhhhh” every so often.

WORK: Trip to the kitchen for an elaborately brewed coffee.

SAHD: Give up on the idea of a cot nap. Allow baby to sleep on you quietly farting on your hand whilst you watch World’s Wildest Routine Traffic Stops.

WORK: Attend important briefing with senior management to listen to matters of vital importance.

SAHD: Listen to the baby blow raspberries directly in your face for 10 minutes.

WORK: Spend 30 minutes trying to word the opening paragraph of crucial report.

SAHD: Spend 30 minutes trying to remove a stubborn booger from little one’s nose.

12 noon
WORK: Brisk walk round the block in beautiful sunshine before sampling ethnic street food for lunch.

SAHD: Brisk walk for a wee. Three minute lunch break to cram in whatever food happens to be instantly consumable (blueberries with pesto anyone?). 5 minutes feeding baby his lunch. 45 minutes to clean it out of his ears and hair afterwards.

WORK: Meeting to discuss covering all bases in terms of moving forwards on the important issues whilst ensuring that in the other part of the forest we take a full 360 view and recognise the importance of giving a warm hand off to our key stakeholders.

SAHD: Cleaning up shit and piss.

WORK: Supreme effort to gear up for an afternoon of achievement.

SAHD: Supreme effort to gear up to get to Sainsbury’s.

An extended period of achievement, engaging clients, setting targets and knocking them straight down. Quick stretch. Further attainments.

SAHD: Tummy time, oooh look at the buildy blocks, OH MY GOD a cushion!!! Feely feely feel the cushion. Waaaaah thirsty. Mook. Poo. Waaaaah don’t want to be on the floor. Waaaah want to be on the floor. Peek a boo! Peek a boo! Ride the horsey! Waaaah. Power nap. Waaaah. Feel your face feel your face feel your face.

WORK: Shut down, gentle walk to the station and a snooze on the train home.

SAHD: Witching hour. Fidgety, irritable, tired, angry. Only alleviated by the warming glow of  Pointless.

WORK: Arrive home to be handed a calm and happy baby ready for cuddles on the gentle meander down to bed time.

SAHD: Welcome partner home and immediately hand over baby that has been crying and clawing at my face for the last hour and a half. Half an hour of ‘me time’ (i.e. time to have a wee).



11 thoughts on “A Day in the Life: Going to work vs looking after baby

  1. Ha ha. This I know to be true. My husband is on shared parental leave and is awesome, the stuff he has to deal with every day….from nappy explosions to vomiting to nail trimming to tantrum handling. He rocks. He would definitely relate to the witching hour – he lights up when I walk through the door then makes his escape to lie down upstairs. I know I have an infinitely easier deal sitting here at my desk having my lunch. But there are days when we both would swap places. Stay at homes mums or dads are the business. #chucklemums


  2. riverswritesblog says:

    Haha brilliant, and people wondered why I wanted to go back to work! I’m off to go and find out what pointless is now!


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