More Experiences as a Stay-At-Home Dad

#2: Madness is hereditary; you get it from your kids.

Frederik Verhagen


Child and Photo by the author.

A few months ago, I wrote my experiences as a stay-at-home dad during the first two-and-a-half years of my daughter’s life. It’s time for the next chapter.

The first years started rough but saw tremendous growth in my child and me as a stay-at-home dad — a growth halted in March 2020, an unforgettable time that changed the world as we knew it.

I still remember attending a nearby Children’s Museum a few days before the news of the coronavirus hit the world. It was our first visit to this interactive, indoor playground, and I intended to visit it more often. Instead, we were self-quarantined in a world full of corona outbreaks.

My wife then worked at a fantastic company —full benefits and no hassle. When COVID-19 happened, they cut down executive salaries to try and keep everybody employed, but it delayed the inevitable, and my wife was let go.

Adding to the typical drama of losing a job, we had our internal family drama. My stepson went through relationship troubles, smoked too much marijuana, and became emotionally unstable. We were aware of his weed use, and he managed to keep it concealed and away from his little sister.

The parents of one of his friends discovered he had developed suicidal tendencies and called the emergency services. My stepson got hospitalized, then transferred to a behavioral hospital to offer mental health treatment. When quarantine started, we had just picked him up from a place packed with people where he made out with half of them.

That was the setting for our pandemic period — everybody home, no steady income, a teen in therapy, and an introverted stay-at-home dad with his routine shattered.

Previously, I attended a playgroup, Music Together, preschool, playgrounds, and the library, with the Children’s Museum as a new option. It was a routine that was communal, social, educational, interactive, and most of all, fun!

But how was I going to entertain my daughter now? All these activities used to exhaust her into a nap — a two-hour period I used to recharge myself. During quarantine, she did not enjoy the same activities, and in no time, her…



Frederik Verhagen

Stay-at-home father and dork who writes about creativity, science fiction, and little discoveries in life. 🔗