SOCIAL SCIENCES

The Ultimate Stay-at-Home Dad: Your Essential Manual for Being an Awesome Full-Time Father

Penguin Pr. Oct. 2021. 272p. ISBN 9780143135647. pap. $17. CHILD REARING
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Humorist Carpenter’s (leader of National at-Home Dad Conference) book was inspired by his dismay at the stereotypes and misconceptions about stay-at-home dads like him (for instance, assumptions about unemployment or the role’s rarity, though there are over two million full-time dads in the United States alone). His isn’t the typical general how-to manual; instead, it’s about what worked for Carpenter, and the easy-to-read guide is peppered with colorful language, humor, and some profanity. Though it doesn’t specifically address issues of race, class, or disability, readers may find something that resonates. Carpenter offers self-care techniques for kid-free moments, like finding low-cost hobbies, having a “dad’s night,” and keeping up with the basics (showering, exercise). There’s other guidance on cleaning up with your kid’s help, packing an adventure bag, planning meals, budgeting, rejoining the workforce, and more, plus a section with tips from the partners of stay-at-home dads.
VERDICT A helpful and enjoyable read for the growing population of dads at home, in a market saturated with books for moms.
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