- Posted July 16, 2013 by
New York, New York
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Don't call me Mr. Mom!
Moving beyond Mr. Mom
Being an at-home dad really helps me appreciate seeing things through my child’s eyes. I get to be a kid again.
As a modern dad, I'm the primary caregiver taking care of the home front while my wife is able to be confident at work and thrive in the office knowing that our son is getting exceptional care at home. Doing the weekly grocery shopping while my son rides in the cart is one of our highlights each week. I prepare his meals, take him for haircuts and to the dentist, and are tuned in for all of the wondrous moments that comes with watching your child develop and grow as well as the major milestones.
I try hard at fitting my son into my lifestyle so it's common for us to go on adventures around NYC like riding on the back of my bicycle, or taking the ferry ride over to watch a ballgame, hiking through the Ramble of Central Park, watching the animals at the zoo, or on the tram to Roosevelt Island to explore a new place. One of our favorite things to do is to get together for meet-ups with other dads and their kids - taking advantage of parks, playgrounds, parent & me classes, or workshops.
It's our philosophy that dads can be just as nurturing, capable, and confident as moms. I am far from perfect in my role as a father - I lose my temper, get impatient, too structured, don't do the laundry, and fail miserably, often. It's the most challenging job I have ever encountered as well as the most rewarding. I've truly come to embrace my role as an at home dad and realize how fortunate I am to be so actively engaged in my child's life. This is quite different than my own father who was in a generation where dads as "provider" meant earning the money....and never changed a diaper in his life.
My father was the breadwinner and worked long hours during the week at his job so he wasn't as present at home. Sure, he introduced me to his passion of music and influenced my taste in classic rock. We kicked the soccer ball around or had the occasional baseball catch, but he wasn't present on the sidelines rooting me on during the driving rain at my travel soccer games, shuttling me over to practice, at my pediatric appointments, preparing dinner, or changing my diapers - that responsibility fell on my mom. I don’t fault my father for this- he was living in a generation where the definition of "family provider" meant wage earner and not necessarily "providing" are on the home front. Consequently, my approach to parenting is extremely hands-on and I realize that the high performance tag team of two with my wife is the most effective way to go. Being an active, engaged, involved dad is a cool and rewarding thing to do.
Lance Somerfeld has been an at-home dad for five years, and resides in New York City with his family. Lance co-founded the NYC Dads Group in November 2008. The goal of this diverse community of 800+ dads is to provide engaged, active, and involved fathers an opportunity to socialize, learn, and support each other as they navigate parenthood.