Stay at home dad?

Jocelyn - posted on 02/10/2010 ( 21 moms have responded )

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Hey ladies! Well, technically I'm not a working mom yet (I have an interview on Thursday; so cross your fingers!) so my hubby might end up being a stay at home dad. I'm just wondering how many of your hubby's are the ones to stay home with the kids? Do you think that it makes any difference how the kids are raised? I only know two sahd's, and they are wonderful parents (we are in the same swim group) but I'm a little worried about my hubby; I just can't really see him being a sahd. He wants to try tho, so I'm willing to give it a shot. How do you convey to your hubby just what is important to you? For instance (my son is 3yrs and my daughter is 4 months) I have been taking my son swimming once a week, since he was 4 months old. My hubby doesn't like to swim. How can I make sure that he will continue with this? I just don't seem to have tons of faith. He's a good dad, don't get me wrong, I just don't think he knows exactly what he is getting himself into lol. Any advice? Also, do you feel a lot of guilt being a working mom? And let me specify; I don't think I will feel guilty for working, but I think I will feel guilty that I spent so much time with my son and my daughter will be getting the short end of the stick. Thanks ladies!

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Sandi - posted on 02/10/2010

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Hi Jocelyn,

If he doesn't like swimming why don't you keep that activity for yourself and son at weekends to keep your bonding time. Your hubby can find his own little "thing" to do with the kids. If he enjoys it then they are more likely to enjoy it too. Encourage him to be creative in structuring out his days.
I don't see any harm in having a stay at home dad as long as he takes the role on fully and does some housework too. Wouldn't be fair on you working and coming home to clear up his and the kids mess/do washing/clear dishes/mop the floors etc.

Hope it all works out for you & good luck for Thursday!

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Back when I was working, my husband and I worked opposite shifts so that our son only spent 3 hours a day in the care of someone else. So that helped with the guilt issues. Also, make sure that where you need help, and if you can afford to do so, pay someone else to do things (i.e. cleaning lady, those make a meal places like Pass Your Plate, taxes, etc...) Because you have to weigh the issues of what your time is worth to your child vs time spent on those things. If you husband is willing to seriously get into the whole stay at home thing, then great. But if he finds that he would rather spend his time else where, then try to think of those things your willing to pay for. That also helps with guilt issues. Because you have more time for your babies, then the nonsense of life that unfortunately has to be done. Secondly, if your husband is a good dad, then let him be his good dad self. He WILL NOT do things the same way you do. Have a discussion on what is important to each of you, tell him things you have figured out though your own stay at home time, but then let him do his thing. I know how hard that is to do, but you MUST do it. Don't create issues in your marriage where there shouldn't be. If he respects your opinion, he'll ask for it. If you respect his, then you'll trust him to ask for help when he needs it. And leave it at that. Remember not to lecture when you do notice something that does need to be talked about. Note the word "talk about". Remember that he is good dad, even when you do things differently. PRE- Discussion about parenting is always the way to go. Remember your a team. Work together, and you'll be fine.

Ashley - posted on 02/12/2010

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my spouse is a stay at home dad. i went back to school when my youngest was 2 months. do things get done the way i'd done them? ha not even close. the apartment is usually a disaster when i get home. i always tidy up and spend once a wk where i scrub the apartment. my youngest has really bonded with his dad. he loves his dad. i get big smiles but when he sees his dad he gets even bigger smiles. i love going to school and love that he is able to have an opportunity like this....

Ma. Trinidad Rosal- - posted on 02/12/2010

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Hi,

No need to worry, it's a fad nowadays. Our husbands are the housebands............ especially for highly energetic professional women who are always on the go with their careers...

Wisal - posted on 02/12/2010

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My husband stays home with our kids(boy-3 yrs, girl-5 months). while I go to college full time. I was nervous at the beginning cause he has no experience with little babies..but he's doing great for a guy. he still forgets some stuff that I care about (like wash our daughter's face after feeding her, or putting our son for a nap..but its fine. I feel much better that they are with daddy and not someone who gets paid to care for them. and even if they get so used to him, that's great, The country I came from..kids don't get to bond with dad cause mom is responsible for everything involving kids.
if your husband doesn't want to go swimming, you can still do it on weekends.
so don't worry. Hope I helped

Renae - posted on 02/12/2010

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There is no WAY in the world my hubby could handle being a SAHD! HA! I am LMAO just thinking about it!!! Nope, no way in the world!



My husband likes that our baby has lots of activities we attend and he thinks it is all very good for his development. But if dad had to get off his butt and take him it would never happen. But hey, that is my husband not yours. But my husband would never offer to be a SAHD, and if by some horrid stroke of fate he HAD to, he would call his mother to quit her job and come help him - no I'm not exaggerating, he actually would (and the interferring MIL would jump at the chance too!).



I have known only 2 SAHD's in my life. One was fantastic, one was USELESS! The fantastic one did all the housework and did a great job of looking after the baby. The useless one complained a lot about housework, but didn't do half of it, he thought that cleaning meant tidying up and vaccuming - no dusting, mopping, scrubbing shower etc. and he didn't spend any time doing activities with the kids.



I think all of Sharon's advice is fantastic and GOOD LUCK! I hope it all works out.

Jocelyn - posted on 02/11/2010

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Thanks ladies :) I think I'm starting to get some more faith after hearing a bunch of success stories! I'll just write some lists and cross my fingers and hope for the best lol

Gwendolyn - posted on 02/11/2010

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The best daddy in the world can still never be the mommy! LOL. He will need your loving encouragement and supportive trust. However, he will never do everything the way you may. MY husband is super awesome with the kids but I still am often inclined to leave him a check list and helpful reminders. I often restrain myself because I want him to know I really do trust him to lovingly be in charge of the kids when I am not there and he is. As for your daughter getting the short end of the stick that is not possible when she has two great parents and a sibling who love her so much!

Lydia - posted on 02/11/2010

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My hubby constantly fantasizes about being a SAHD but his earning power is much greater than mine so its just not feasible. His dad was the primary carer too - and he is a natural with kids.

If dad is the one spending the time with the kids then he should have the same rights as a SAHM. Im like your hubby with my dislike for swimming. If he tried telling me to go swimming with her once a week I would merely tell him that if the swimming is something that is important to him he can take her on a Sat or Sun morning - quality time for him and her AND his priority of swimming is met.

It would be hard to switch roles as there will be routines you have that they will change and that is to be expected (within reason) but you will have to discuss what is going to happen with him and make an agreement that you are both happy with in terms of these types of issues. I do agree that any regular lessons should be kept up though.

Katherine - posted on 02/11/2010

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Could my husband DO it? Yes. My way? No. I think making lists is a great idea. Of course not everything will be done the way you do it, but somehow it gets done.

I was really scared to let my husband have my 4yo and 10mo for a day without me. He managed. It's a huge job to raise a child/children and I think that letting him know exactlywhat you want will make it much easier.

Kathy - posted on 02/11/2010

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My husband was injured and then laid off when I was pregnat with our second child. He was home the first year of our son's life. It was great. Now 7yrs later, he is laid off again and I am loving it again. I have a wonderful "wife". The house is cleaned, dinners done, kids cleaned. I know it is hard on him so I give him alot of praise. I think men can be wonderful at staying at home. Their wives just need to remember to give them positive reinforcement. They are sensitive creatures! LOL

Melanie - posted on 02/11/2010

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My husband took over as a sahd when I went back to work 3 months after my daughter's birth and survived! He now talks proudly about it and admits that he is glad that he did, and credits that with the wonderful relationship that he has with our now 5 1/2 year old daughter.

The one piece of advice I'll give you is LET HIM DO IT HIS WAY!!! You will undermine his relationship with your children, and his confidence in and desire to be a sahd. Yes, things won't get done the way you want them to, and sometimes not at all. However, you have to realize that you can't control everything, learn to let go and have faith gracefully. If he doesn't like to swim, then he can do some other activity with your kids that they all can like together...you can have the swim time be special time with you. You WILL cause more harm than good if you insist that he do things exactly as you would. Relax, have faith, communicate positively, and build a healthy family relationship. Good luck on the job.

Brandi - posted on 02/10/2010

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My husband lost his job and was a stay home parent briefly while he looked for another job. He did an amazing job. I know that because when i got home, my daughter was happy and healthy. She had been fed lunch and had been given a nap. My husband even did the dishes and kept the house straightened up while I was at work. Have a little faith, he is going to be just fine. Be prepared that he will FOR SURE do things HIS way not yours, but in the end if your kids are happy, healthy, and well cared for, isn't that all that really matters?? As for swimming, maybe sign your son up for swimming lessons with an instructor instead of your hubby having to actually get in the water (our local YMCA starts swimming lessons WITHOUT parents at about 3 yrs.) If you want your daughter to do the swimming, too, then maybe you could take them on your days off? (if your husband really wont do it, but I bet he surprises you)

As for your kids getting the short end of the stick I think you will find it is quite the opposite. Your kids will get to see OOOOOODLES of you and even MORE of daddy (how many kids get to say that?!)

Dads are DEFINITELY different than moms and have their own special style lets say. But they love their kids every bit as much as moms do (at least the good ones do) and only want what's best for their kids just like we do. My best advice for you is to take a deep breath and prepare for some "changes" but know that your kids will still be well taken care of and VERY VERY VERY loved. Good luck.

Cherlyn - posted on 02/10/2010

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i am a first time mom and we have a now 5 month old son. my husband is a sahd and in order for it to continue to work (for me) i really have to let go of my expectations (mostly housework stuff) and understand he is going to do things a little differently. of course, you should sit down and talk about the basics (like the whats and the whys, but understand that the hows will be different) like feeding times and really more importantly what NOT to do. men are different, you give them guidelines and they will stick to that but if you leave out something on that guideline, well it aint gonna happen its cause they dont necessarily adapt to other situations. i.e. you give an a and b example, so you give him the instructions for if a and b were to happen. but what if c were to happen? well, then..yeah. anyway, it will change as he becomes more experienced with it. keeping the lines of communication is very important (something i dont often do). anyway, good luck. it will be ok, it just takes getting used to. there are a lot of daddy blogs and sahd blogs too (http://daddy-dialectic.blogspot.com). check them out for resources!

Alicia - posted on 02/10/2010

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My hubby stayed home with our youngest son for several months. He was awesome! I didn't have to worry about whether or not the daycare was hugging the baby.

Yoon - posted on 02/10/2010

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i think it doesnt matter who watches the kids and who works. women have a more natural way with children for the most part and men tend to have to learn. i would, however, make up a calender and say this is what scheduled and needs to get done. you can just say how much it means to you to continue swimming, most men respond better to... positive speaking.. like "honey, i know you dont like to swim but this would be a great bonding time for you plus i really would appreciate your help" But everyone is different.... Good luck

Ronnette - posted on 02/10/2010

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My husband is a SAHD right now. I didn't think he would be good at it but he has amazed me. He actually has been doing things I suggested like taking my daughter to story time and things like that. I wish I was the one able to stay home with her but I make the better money so I'm the one that gets to work right now. Just talk to him and tell him what you would like. Try it you never know what it will be like if you don't.

Kathleen/Katie - posted on 02/10/2010

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When hubby was sahd, our children were in grade school. But he came from large family and had experience with raising small children and actually taught me. What will be a large adjustment will be letting him learn the lessons that you already learned. Remember, you did not have it all together when you had your first baby. You had to find out how to manage time, baby and household in your own way. He needs to be first of all told that you will let him find his own method of acomplishing the tasks at hand. But then work as a team to discuss what those tasks are. I think that men are really good at tackling lists but really bad at taking verbal demands. They require more respect then to be barked at. Make it like a work plan of action on a dry erase board on a wall as in a corporate office. He may find it challenging and inspiring to see a plan of action and satisfying to see all that he is accomplishing in the home environment. Remember, a successful home takes cooperative team work just like a successful workplace!

Georgetta - posted on 02/10/2010

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My hubby stays at home. I think it is a great experience for him and the kids. I think for it to work for you, you will have to do like I did. You two have to sit down and talk about both of your expectations and formulate a game plan so that #1 you feel comfortable going back to work and #2 that he doesn't feel like he is out there taking care of a child alone. It can work, my hubby has been home for almost 2 years and he has such a trong bond with our daughter that I think he would have missed out on had he been the one to work.

Jocelyn - posted on 02/10/2010

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He's coping. he's not thriving, but he's coping.

Lol! I think that is exactly how my hubby will end up.
I do have plans to make up lists and place them in strategic places around the house eg. How to Run a Washing Machine (For Cloth Diapers) Step One... Fold in god damn tabs of diapers!!!

Sharon - posted on 02/10/2010

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There are some things I won't compromise on.



following through on lessons and activities... that is part & parcel of being a stay at home parent. I won't compromise on that. There isn't that much "swimming" with a 3 yr old anyway, lol more like splashing and wading.



the house has be kept up. I don't care how or when, as long as its done. I did things my way, he can do things his way.



Laundry - we've been working on him about ruining clothes. Dishes - he's figured out on his own that you can't put a half full dish of refried beans in the dishwasher and expect the dishes to come clean.



as for HOW to convey it - I just said it. "I WILL NOT TOLERATE THE KIDS MISSING APPOINTMENTS OR ACTIVITIES." I scheduled them to fit the way I worked my day - he can change the schedule to suit him but they had better be basically on track.



Frankly he spent the first two weeks SLEEPING all day (but my kids are in school) while I came home an dropped to my ass and refused to help. Unless he asked.



Seriously I had doubts too. He's coping. he's not thriving, but he's coping.

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