1. When you’re hanging out with other couples who have kids you start identifying with what the moms in the group are talking about. You’ve chimed in before and then you’ve immediately felt sort of awkward. Just keep doing it, because sometimes, mom really doesn’t know what is best. Dad does.
2. You’re intimately aware of just how much Netflix’s selection of streaming movies sucks. Knowing this, you’ve delved into several binges on documentaries available on Netflix. When you’ve exhausted the current outstanding selection of these films you once again are disappointed to find that the popular selections on Netflix consist of the remake of Robocop, Homefront, Redemption, and every other Jason Statham movie in which he plays a hardscrabble character who has run up against some guys who threaten his life leading to Statham coming out of quasi-retirement to blow shit up and kill people. Thank God for HBO.
3. You’ve caught yourself looking at a stay-at-home mom. No, no, no, not in that way. You were just staring at her because you were thinking how hard it would be to carry a kid around and all the kid stuff with arms like that.
4. Your to-read pile of books and magazines looks like you’re in grad school again. That is, you have bookcases full of to-read books and your nightstand to-read selection has grown off of the nightstand and is now growing in all directions on the floor and up opposing walls like kudzu. (This particular sign is in no way exclusive to SAHDs.)
5. You’ve watched the entirety of HBO’s The Wire while playing on the floor with your baby, while changing diapers, while washing Dr. Brown’s bottles, while feeding baby, while dressing her, and while reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
6. You’ve taken your baby for a walk through the park, a rather large park, and you’ve been the only dad in site. It’s just you and your baby and a hundred other moms with their charges.
7. Once or twice you’ve noticed a dad looking at you. You look back and the dad quickly turns away. He was looking out of curiosity and amazement because of the ease with which you’re doing everything, well not quite everything, baby-related that only the mom in his young family does.
8. Conversation with other dads is always going to be a little different for you. The odds are they are not SAHDs themselves, but make an effort. You’ll soon find something to talk about. Dads who aren’t SAHDs still get a chance to watch the shows or movies you’ve recently seen. You just watch them at totally different times and with different distractions.
9. You relish opportunities not afforded to you in a typical job: you don’t shave for months, you wear a t-shirt and pants every day, you drink a beer with lunch in your office (aka house), you drink another one when the afternoon is getting really long, you don’t have to worry about what day of the week it is, and maybe somedays you just neglect showering…not because you forgot to, because you can.
10. You can carry a ridiculous amount of goods while holding your baby. Example: When you get home from a Costco trip you grab baby first and hold her with left arm, sling diaper bag over right shoulder, carry two gallons of milk with arm that is holding baby, carry 48 rolls of toilet paper with right arm, and with the limited real estate available pinch a bag of avocados in between a couple of fingers (doesn’t matter which hand).