When my sister had her first child, she and her husband decided that they wanted to have a parent at home with that child as a caregiver. My brother-in-law quit work shortly before my niece was born. After the birth, my sister went back to work and he stayed home.
The decision was relatively simple relayed my sister. As a pharmacist, she could make more money than he could. The choice was simply an economic choice. It made sense to me, but some family members were shocked.
I haven’t checked out the statistics, but I notice that many of our friends and family have similar situations. I have heard and read that due to the global economic crisis, many men are coming home to stay with the kids while their wives go back to work. While this change requires a bit of adjustment, the arrangement has worked mostly well in all of the cases which I have personally seen.
“It is hard when she’s upset and she cries for him instead of me,” my sister confided to me one day. “I feel like such a bad mom!” But I was quick to point out that she wasn’t a bad mom, it’s just that her husband was at home with their daughter during the day. He was the one that usually comforted their daughter during the week while she was working. Therefore, it was only logical that she would run to Daddy for help even though my sister was home.
“Coming home after years in the professional world wasn’t hard,” relayed my college friend’s husband. “At first, it was hard to accept the fact that she was the provider for our family, but I got over that. The hardest thing for me was being the only dad at the playground during the week. The other parents–all moms–would congregate near the swings while their children played. It was very obvious from the stares I got that I was not welcome to join the group.”
Life became even more complex when he decided to begin homeschooling their children instead of sending them to public school. “I realize that we live in a small community, but the fact is that I am the ONLY homeschooling dad I know. This is very depressing at times. I feel so isolated.”
Both dad’s have no regrets about making the choices that they have made. They do agree, however, that being a “Mr. Mom” is not for everyone. “You certainly have to expect some social isolation and perhaps even some negative comments,” explains one father. However, he is quick to add that being able to spend time with his children and watch them grow definitely out-weighs any of the negative aspects of taking on the “Mr. Mom” role.
Are you a stay at home dad? Please post!