Name: Steven Teasdale
Family Members: Steven, Sarah(wife), Charlotte(three-and-a-half) and Alexandra(11 months)
How long have you been a stay at home Daddy for?
About 2 months
What was your previous occupation and how did you find the transition from that job to caring full time for an infant?
I was a Personal Fitness Trainer with some celebrity clients and appeared on television (GMTV and Lorraine giving fitness advice) I no longer train clients in a one-on-one capacity but have launched a website “The Stay At Home PT” and post fitness videos on line to encourage other stay-at-home parents to keep fit in the home. I miss the working environment and what I did for a living and the interaction with other adults. Many clients became friends and it was a very sociable job. Now, a lot of the time, I’m on my own with the children, which is very different and can be isolating.
Did you plan on being a househusband prior to having your children?
How has your life changed since you made the transition?
It’s completley different now and quite hard to put into words. I really enjoy spending more time with the children. I also now take responsibility for running the home and didn’t realise how much work was involved! The biggest change is not being able to get to the gym and mix daily with other adults, but exercising from home is helping with that. Some days I feel like I have a less important role within the family because I’m not doing a “job” but then I have to remind myself that looking after the children is probably the most important job I do, even if it isn’t a paid job.
How do you fit in with other parents and have you found it easy to build up a network?
I inherited a lot of my wifes network of friends which is interesting! I meet with a couple of the other mum’s once a week as our children have become friends. I also meet up with some dads and try and arrange to do things with them.
Have you at any point considered going back to work?
No. Not at the moment
How have you found the facilities for fathers when you are out and about?
It’s still early days and I’m depending on the people I know at the moment. I haven’t really ventured out with the kids on my own to special activities, although I’m guessing I’ll be slightly out numbered by mums!
What changes would you like to see the government make if any?
I don’t really have a strong opinion on the political implications for dads in my position. I think there’s still a strange reaction to dads who are the main carer (unlike some other countries) but I think that’s more a cultural conception than anything the Government can change.
How have your arrangements affected your relationship with your wife/partner?
Before, my wife made most of the decisions involving the children but I’m so much more involved in the children’s upbrining that now we have a much more equal relationship when it comes to discussing the needs of the children. I find this has a positive impact. Also, what helps is that we both really appreciate what the other is doing, having had the roles reversed in the past.
What are your plans for the future?
For the short term we plan to continue with this arrangement. When Charlotte starts school in September, we might send baby Alex (who’ll be nearly 18 months by then) to nursery a couple of days a week, so on those days I’ll probably start training clients again (providing I can fit the sessions in between the school run and nursery drop!)
What has been the best highlight for you over the last few years?
The highlights of the last few years have definitely been the arrival of my two daughters. I’ve also really enjoyed all those special moments I’ve had with the girls, that I might have missed if I’d been working. Their day to day development is staggering, particularly with Alex. She hasn’t taken her first steps yet, but I know I’ll be there when she does. Charlotte is getting more and more animated and articulate every day and it’s always great to hear about her day when I pick her up from nursery. I’m the first person she’ll see and she loves to talk about her day while we eat our dinner together.