DADS: ‘Stay at home’ is a misnomer for Bob Boyle
Bob Boyle doesn’t mind when people call him Mr. Mom.
“I’m the lacrosse mom,” he said.
Boyle has been a stay-at-home dad for more than 16 years. For Boyle though, “stay-at-home” is a bit of a misnomer. He rarely stays home, instead often volunteering at his children’s schools. Through his service on PTO boards, booster clubs and in classrooms, Boyle has raised much-needed funds for schools and provided a male role model for students.
“He was such an integral part of everything we did,” Shawn Wootton, former principal at Westview Elementary School, said. “He was there all the time. If we needed a role filled, he would fill it. He would do whatever was needed to make sure all children had a good educational experience.”
Boyle, a former professor with a doctorate in engineering, began caring for his twin girls, Sandi and Jordan, full time when they were just 3 months old.
“I was a professor, and (wife) Ginger had just finished her residency and was beginning a career as a physician,” Boyle said. “As we began looking into day care, the idea just kept nagging in the back of my mind that it really made no sense for both of us to continue working.”
For Boyle, the relationship he has developed with his daughters is the most rewarding part of being an at-home parent.
“I know of no one who is as close to my children as I am,” he said.
The twins, rising juniors, are happy to have their dad chaperone field trips and retreats.
“I know of other parents with teens whose kids don’t want them around, but I have yet to find myself in the position where they don’t want me around — with the exception of the prom,” he said.
“I teased my daughter that I would chaperone prom and she just gave me that look.”
As the dad of teenage girls, Boyle has had a front-row seat for every stage of childhood.
“It was fun watching them learn to walk,” he said. “Toilet training? Not fun. Puberty? Even less fun. When the kids were toddlers and preschoolers, there was a lot of discipline going on and a lot of days were not pleasant. They are more pleasant now.”
Boyle has a little advice for those fathers who might be considering becoming stay-at-home dads.
“It is probably the most selfless decision you can make,” he said. “You are putting your kids in front of yourself — big time. Make sure you understand that you are putting your career on hold, possibly indefinitely. When the kids start school, you will have a lot of dead time. Find something to do. Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community.”