Spending this much time at home comes with certain temptations for a dude. Sweatpants. Baseball caps. Old-man slippers.
I have it easy. I could wear jeans at my last job. Shorts at the job before that. Had I been stuck in the standard 9-to-5 uniform of khakis and a tucked-in shirt, a combination that makes me feel like a human baked potato, I’d have a much harder time resisting slob attire now that I’m staying at home.
I come to you now — in nice jeans, leather shoes and a shirt with buttons — with a simple message for stay-at-home dads: Shave every day.
If you’re laughing at me, it’s probably because you’ve been in this situation: You put your baby in some kind of comfy restraining device. Let’s say a bouncer. You bounce it a little, turn on the vibration and feel confident that your mellow little bundle of joy is on his or her way to a late-morning nap. So you get in the shower. Then you hear whimpering. Then screaming.
You’re not going to be able to shave when you get out of this shower. You’re going to scramble, towel off hastily and throw on just enough clothes to pick up the baby without feeling like a creep. Consider it a win if you remember to put deodorant on later.
Don’t let these hard days wreck the ideal. You need a smooth face. Your baby is going to nuzzle you. Your sugar mama is going to come home and kiss you. And above all, you need the confidence boost that comes with putting your best face forward, a face that’s as smooth as that little butt you’re always wiping.
Let your face be a reminder to everyone you see that staying at home isn’t a white flag. You didn’t resign yourself to domesticity because your spouse had the more promising career. You made the bold choice to prioritize family. Own it.
Besides, you’re going to have days where you set out with a modest to-do list and don’t get any of it done. Your baby will leave you exhausted, achy, impatient, frustrated. At the end of those days, you’re going to see yourself in the mirror. A guy with two days’ stubble is going to look a heck of a lot more defeated than a guy who shaved earlier in the day.
You can have facial hair, but keep it groomed. Your child’s odds of living in a boxcar are directly proportional to the scraggliness of your hobo beard. And if your mustache makes you look creepy, your kid isn’t going to have any friends.
So get smooth. You’ll be a better man for it.