Stay at home dads

I recently met a woman who has 8 kids, and her and her husband decided after the first two, that he would be the person to stay home with the kids, to save on daycare, and that they both didn’t want daycare ‘raising’ their children. She works in healthcare, and makes a decent living–and I always find it interesting, how people handles these issues, especially larger families.

So, I thought I’d throw out the question, and see your thoughts…to the men, would you be a stay at home dad, if the situation warranted it? Would you be ‘ok’ with that? To the women, would you be ‘ok’ with that, as well, or do you prefer to be the one who stays at home with your kids, and your husband goes to work?

Look forward to your replies.

Ooooh… I bet it gets hot in here! You picked a doosey!

I am actually hesitant to answer this because I always seem to offend people when I talk about it, but I am allowed to state my opinion, right?

I stay home with my kids. It was extremely important to me that I do so. It was actually a deal breaker for me when my DH and I were dating. I would not have married him if he expected me to go to work. Why? Because I have always wanted to be a stay at home mom. There is nothing else in the world I have wanted more, and I knew that if DH expected me to work I would resent him, feel guilty for not being there for my kids the way I thought I should, etc. IT would have made our marriage and family miserable because I would be miserable. This is not to say that I would not go to work if my DH were unable to because he was injured, etc.

I am a breastfeeding mom who does not want to use bottles or pacifiers- DH couldn’t nurse the baby. I am suited to being home all day than he is. I handle the children better (although that could be because I stay home with them). I am more organized. I am more patient. I have an ardent interest in things like homeschooling, child development, etc. It was an obvious choice for us.

My mom stayed home with us and I will never forget how good it made me feel to come HOME after school, not go to a daycare. I always felt secure, comfortable, and cared for. I want the same for my kids.

Okay, go ahead and flame me now. :wink:

as much as my dh hates his job ( and oh man does he hate it!) he prefers to bring home the money.

however, we both agree that should our situation require it, neither of us would have a problem reversing the situation.

for example, should he be unable to hold a f/t job for health reasons it would make sense for him to stay and me to enter the work force as best I could

I could never tolorate a man that doesn’t work and work hard for that matter, but I view raising our children as work, hard, honest, worthy work.

My answer before pregnancy? I would have liked DH to be a stay at home dad. He is really good with kids and cleans the house. :thumbsup:

Answer in the middle of pregnancy, as I sit here with the thermostat set to 60, yet sweat continues to drip down my swollen legs… :smiley: Heck no, I never want to go back to work ever again. He better start hauling that bacon home by his lonesome.

Wouldn’t this decision be more of a financial one? For example, my career path potentially has a much higher income than his degree. Technically, I could finish school and make a ton of $$$$, whereas he could finish school and make a good salary, but not the ritzy kind that comes with a Lexus and a pool in the backyard. :stuck_out_tongue:

This is probably true for women who are already done with a lot of schooling and have an established career. Look, I’m not trying to paint with a brush here, but I’ve noticed that very ambitious and career-oriented women tend to choose laid-back men.

For example, a fellow coworker and school mate is going up to a Ph.D in a dual degree program. She is determined and ambitious and will probably have a very professional, fast paced job. But she dates men who haven’t even finished undergrad, or who have chosen a non-academic pathway such as the military or construction. Who is going to be bringing home the bacon?

As the wife of a future SAHD, all I can say is :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Right now, we are both blessed to stay at home with our 18mo, but I’ve accepted a job teaching at a university starting in October!

My husband is a high school graduate with no interest in the paid workforce. He earns a bit on the side playing in a band in the evenings, and that is appreciated by me, and fulfilling to him :slight_smile: He is a gentle, patient homebody, while I get nervous at home and am more ‘driven’ to go out into the world and DO something!

In my country, women get a year of maternity leave, and after a year I’m quite comfortable leaving a child with dad for a few hours, which is how long I’ll be away.

For us, this is not only the ‘best’ option, it is the only reasonable option.

MAYBE my husband could find a job at a construction site and work all day to try & keep us fed and make us both miserable :shrug: . But why would we want to do that when it’s so obvious what we are meant to do? Why would God couple a homebody hubby whose ambition ended with highschool with an active woman who (brag alert!) is among the top 5 scholars in her country, in her field, in her generation? Maybe because she would earn them a living, and he would lovingly take care of their kids? :shrug:

No flames here! I AGREE with you! My husband is suited to being
home all day, is more patient, more organized, (MUCH MUCH MUCH more organized! And a LOT tidier!) Him being a SAHD is an obvious choice for us.

Breastfeeding: I get a year of paid maternity leave. After that, while I do still nurse my 18mo on demand (twice a day? :o ), and plan on letting all my kids self-wean, I don’t think a one-year-old kid NEEDS the breast available 24/7. As I’ll only be away a few hours a day, I think a toddler will be able to manage without being nursed for that long. :wink:

Where do you live!

Europe, the Balkans, depopulation etc. :wink:

The government will do ANYTHING to keep babies coming. We moms get all sorts of help and privileges… :smiley:

I see your point. That’s the case with us. If all goes right, I’ll have a PhD by 2012, and my DH is not interested in getting any formal education past his high school diploma.

It’s logical really, right? God couples those who complement each other. Gender has little to do with it, IMO.

Honestly, despite the fact I have a college degree and my DH doesn’t we both prefer me to stay at home or work part time and for him to be the one working. It might make more sense for DH to stay home financially, but he is a slob whereas I’m fairly organized. Being unemployed depresses him whereas I’m a homebody. DH is very social and needs adult contact daily. I’m much less social and happy to just hang out with my babe most of the time. And I can’t bear to leave my baby for 2 hours. I would be very depressed leaving him for 40 hours a week!
I’m in Canada so I’m lucky enough to get one year of maternity leave at half pay. After that if DH’s job situation hasn’t improved I’ll go back to work on a part time basis and if it has I’ll stay home. But having DH be a SAHD while I was at work wouldn’t work for our family at all. I’d be jealous and depressed, he’d be lonely and bored. Our family is low income but we have the necessities and we’re willing to make sacrfices so I can be with the baby. I’d rather be here to witness his babyhood than have all the money in the world!

My wife and I currently have 2 children, one in day care, and one will be going to day care in about a month (he’s only 5 weeks old now). If the financial situation worked, I’d be willing to stay home with the kids. It wouldn’t be possible in our current situation since my wife doesn’t make enough to support that kind of lifestyle.

I don’t know how I’d breastfeed though…:frowning:

Again, a reasonable solution, based on personal characteristics, not gender stereotyping! And again, our situation is this one reversed! :slight_smile:

My parents both worked but we had my maternal Grandmother to take care of us during the day. My wife and I both work and my mother helps us take care of the kids (3 with 1 on the way). This is often the way it happened for hundreds of years. I’m a big proponent of extended families and the older generations helping to teach the younger. This seems much more common in Europe than the US, at least some parts of Europe. Why pay a sitter when they can learn more from their own family?

That being said, most people in America seem to move too far from their parents for this to be practical. Admittingly I have turned down opportunities what would require us to move for that very reason.

The fact is though my wife and I both went to College, and she has a Masters and almost a PhD. My mother taught elementary school for 34 years, you can’t beat that education for my kids. My 5 year old who starts kindergarten this fall can read at a second grade, possibly 3rd grade level. Many of the other parents in the Parish keep wanting to rent my mom, lol.

I also believe the more people a child has to love them, the better they are. I wouldn’t trade my childhood experience for anything. My Parents AND my Grandmother made me who I am. I believe in many respects it was the knowledge that my grandmother gave me when I was young which has helped me to succeed in so many areas… why? because she taught me to seek Him in ways, in actions that most people don’t witness all while never being pretentious.

IF… back to the OP question one of us could stay home? I would LOVE to! Just call me Mr. Mom! I have a degree in Psych and was a Child Life Specialist at ACH before heading away from Medicine and into Business. I would love to just bus the kids everywhere and even clean the house etc… Don’t get me wrong I don’t like housework but eh, it’s not that bad.

The only problem is that I can’t breastfeed :frowning: just not going to happen. The good thing though is that we use a daycare, attached to our office, while our children are infants. My wife walks over on break and feeds them during the day and can still get her work done.

We might could make it on one salary but with student loans etc… that’s not going to happen unless I get a BIG raise or she writes a best seller… and I’m good with that.


As a pp mentioned… a potential spouse that wanted me to work while he was a SAHD just would not work out! I want to be a mom so badly, I want to be there for all their giggles, cries and tiny special moments. I WOULD be jealous, resentful and downright sad about it. I would get over it if I had to, however, offer the sacrifice up. I know that in all likelihood, I will be the higher earner, but I also know myself fairly well… I’d be willing to sacrifice a lot of creature comforts to make a life with my children possible. I also know that I’m attracted to career-oriented men… perhaps that’s a good thing!

However, I’ve paid my way through my first college accredation and currently work as a journalist. I can always write from home, even if it’s for a community newspaper. I’m trying to make sure that even though I adamantly insist that I want to be a SAHM… that I can help my husband out if a situation should arise that he needs it. Even to just have me work a bit so that we can all spend more time together seems like a better setup.

I was almost a a stay at home dad. My job as a firefighter had a unique work schedule. Work 1, off 2.

That schedule allowed me to be home with my son at least 3 or 4 days a week. My wife went back to work when he was 6 months old. The days I was at work we had grandparents.

I did this till he left for college. I drove the carpools, doctor appts, taught him to walk, talk, potty train, etc. Class has a field trip? Call Guy he can chaperone, so I’d sit around with the mothers, and try not to feel odd.

When I was on duty my wife would call me late at night. "I can’t get him to stop carrying, he won’t sleep.’ “Has he had a bottle?” “yes.” “Ok, just pick him up and walk him around a little to calm him down, but DON’T feed him.”

Later on I was coaching football and baseball teams he played on. What a great experience.

I look back on those years (1980s) as some the most rewarding of my life. It cost me advancements in my career because I was not able to attend certain schools needed for promotions because I could not be out of town for 2 weeks at a a time.

But I would not change anything, I got back far more then I put in. We did not plan on a only child, that was out of our hands. Now at the age of 28 he lives and works 2 hours away. He calls me from his office 2 or 3 times a day.

I no longer give advice to him about curveballs, tackling, and school, now it is is Faith, career, and how to pick a wife. (at 28 he still enjoys being a bachelor.) He is well educated, with a good career, and though not without faults, he has been the kind of son everyone would want. He returns home couple times of month, nothing much has changed in his room since he was a teenager.

So yes, if ya’ll agree the situation is best served by the dad staying home-do it. I have a older niece that is a big time, high dollar lawyer in a big firm. Her husband stays home with the 3 kids. Makes perfect sense to me.

DH has been a SAHD for 8 years. Before that, we have had time when I stayed at home, when we both worked and DS was with a caregiver, and where we worked opposite shifts.

We do what works during the time and situation.

Looks like DH is going to go back to work soon, as DS will be an adult in just a few weeks :eek:

It’s a pleasure to read such a wide range of answers…I really have enjoyed reading through them.

When my kids were younger, I stayed at home… I am a believer in doing what it takes to make things work, however–if that means dad stays home, then that is perfect. If it’s mom, then that works too. I think that if it could mean avoiding daycare, if that is possible for a couple, by all means…do what is best in that situation. But, there are very good daycares out there. I don’t believe that all daycares are equal, and that kids who go into daycare end up worse off than kids who never set foot in one. Is that the ideal? Probably not, but if a couple is faced with daycare, there are excellent ones out there.

Great thread everyone–!:slight_smile:

I’m not certain how I feel about it. I am getting the feeling I’d prefer to be the stay at home one. I know that my boyfriend feels quite strongly that he should be the one to financially support the family. I prefer the feeling of a dad-works, mom-stays-home family.

On the other hand, I’m the one with a higher education. I’ll have my master’s degree, while my boyfriend has a bachelor’s in criminology from a third-world country. He has also never worked in his field of study, so he’s unlikely to be able to use his education. He’ll probably end up working in a manual job until we can afford to start our own business. In the meantime, if I were working (at least part time) we would be much better able to save money for a business while supporting our family.

Ideally, I’d like us both to work in a family business, and raise the children together as we’re doing it. Most kids do just fine hanging out around the office / shop while their parents are taking care of business, and we’d have more flexibility to take a day off when the need arises. We are both social people, and it would give us an opportunity to interact with a wide variety of people. We are also both very interested in spending a lot of time with our children, and having a close-knit family. Owning our own business would let us do that.

My husband was a SAHD for a few years. He was great at it. I think he was better than I would have been because he is much more patient than I am. He is still home with the kids during the day (though he works at night) and it works out wonderful that we don’t have children in daycare. It has made adding to our family easier since we don’t need to consider daycare costs if we are blessed with more c hildren.

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