stay-at-home dads

David Cameron and George Osborne have been accused of "leading a charge" against the traditional family in an attack by the
UK government policy on parental leave, for example, has been set according to a generalised assumption that men want to take more time off, and work more flexibly, to be with their children. Yet the simple, statistic-backed facts support the opposite conclusion: men aren't yet using even close to the wiggle room they already have.
How did I ever get into this, I think? How did I ever let my life slide so far? I could have been a political science lecturer, a Japanese language interpreter, a writer who inspired millions, but here I am sorting out arguments between two teenagers. Where did it all go wrong?
My wife has left me. Ok, you could say I drove her to it. My children would. So too would her friends. And there's a lot of truth in that. It started about six weeks ago.
I'll let you into a little secret. I pretend to be someone I'm not all day every day, but it's a bigger act than faux diligence at work. I pretend to be a man. No, its not a transgender issue. I mean being a man in the traditional day-seizing, lady-killing, shelf-putter-uppering sense of the word. I'm not bad at pretending, and for the most part, people seem to believe me.
One of the best ways to foster creativity in children is to read to them or, better yet, to make up stories with them, and fathers in particular have an important role to play in this: it's long been recognised that the more a dad reads to his children, the greater their verbal intelligence, academic success and emotional wellbeing.
How did I walk out of my job as lecturer in Japanese to bring up one, then two, then three children, I think? How did I put up with the dirty nappies, the night feeds, the parking two children in the play-pen so as to get to the toilet - the blizzard years?
"Clap, girls, clap!" I say to her sisters, knowing that a repeat performance is more likely tomorrow if they feign interest. They give her a rousing send-off and disappear back to Drake and Josh on the television.
I recognised that I needed to get creative about how I could fit training in around my family commitments (which I have a lot of as a stay at home dad). It's wasn't always easy, but then nothing worth doing ever is. So dads, if you want to start, maintain or revisit a training routine, here are my tips...
A journalist phoned me the other day. ''I see from your blog that you've been a stay-at-home dad for the past 13 years. I wonder if you have any tips for men who are suffering from the economic downturn and are finding it hard being stuck at home all day with the kids.' "How long have you got?" I felt like saying.