Hard-working Mother, but Stay-at-home Father?

Allie - posted on 08/05/2012 ( 23 moms have responded )

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Hi, I'm looking for some feedback and possibly some support. I never expected to find myself in this situation, if anything, I wanted to be the one who got to stay at home! However, I am a nursing student, and my daughter is two...her father insists on being a "stay-at-home" father. I DO NOT LIKE THAT AT ALL. A few years ago he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and it devastated him since he was in college, and I feel like he's been down ever since. He just recently started receiving disability income and SSI because he hasn't been able to work due to doctors appointments. At times, I feel like I'm being shallow, and maybe I don't quite understand how bad his disease really is...but I feel like he's perfectly capable to work. Maybe I'm pushing him too hard? Externally, he seems physically capable...but internally, I'm not sure. I guess I just can't get out of my head at the thought of the man being able to "bring home the bacon". Does anyone else's husband/boyfriend stay at home with the children?

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Felicia - posted on 08/30/2012

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My husband lost his job and was out of work for almost 2 years. During that time I had the only income. Not only was it me and our two kids, but his mom, then his brother moved in as well (they eventually moved out). It didn't bother me for two reasons, 1 - I love to work and I didn't have to pay for daycare. 2 - As a man having to stay home whether he wanted to or not society frowns upon that and he felt like crap and I didn't want him to feel even worst.



My family had a MAJOR issue with him not working because they feel that a man is suppose to "provide" (financially of course) and if not then he's lazy. I didn't help because when I was frustrated about the house not being clean I vented to my sister, not knowing she would tell her husband, my mom and my other sister.



The point is figure out what's making you so upset. Are you jealous because you want to stay home or you feel like as a MAN he needs to be able to provide financially. If you realize it's just jealousy then deal with your jealousy and be happy that your child is not in someone else's daycare. But if you truly believe he needs to get out there and get a job then talk to him. But understand this, as man not being able to find a job he will go through his own feelings about that and you will have to deal with that as well.



The bottom line is do what's best for your family and screw everyone else's thoughts!

Gabrielle - posted on 08/12/2012

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My husband would love to be a SAHD, and he would be amazing at it. He already does all the cooking and loves to do our daughter's hair in fancy braids, etc. I think the idea of a man being the breadwinner is old and out-dated. Who cares who makes more, or who stays home? What matter is that your child is well cared for. And, honestly, if your husband has this devastating disease, how precious this time will be for the two of them.

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 09/03/2014

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My husband was disabled on the job 15 years ago, and has been the 'stay home' parent for the last 7.

What I recommend to you is that you seek some understanding of your partner's disability. YOU DO NOT KNOW what he goes through on a daily basis, nor do you seem to understand the reality that he experiences daily, that of "what is going to 'not work' today". MS is a never ending mystery of a disease. No two patients are alike, nor are any of the symptoms alike day to day.

Allie - posted on 08/29/2014

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Super Dad,

I appreciate your response to my post. It has been a couple of years since I found myself in that situation. But like I had feared, without him keeping himself busy (with a job, hobby, etc) he blew what little income he did have on unnecessary things. He never used a penny to support our daughter. So in regards to your final statement of me receiving a check to make my family happy after he dies, that certainly won't be the case. He has never given me any money, I haven't asked any of him. All I have ever asked of him is to help out, somehow, anyhow. And yes, we are separated. And no, he doesn't want anything to do with his daughter. Best wishes to him.

Super - posted on 08/29/2014

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I have multiple Sclerosis as well, because of disability I am also a stay at home father. And after I was diagnosed, rather than being relegated to uselessness and being bed ridden, I decided to get up and start my own company making video games. With MS, stress exacerbates how fast we will die. The worst stress in the world, is feeling like my wife thinks I'm less of a man because I have lesions covering my brain. THAT WAS NOT OUR CHOICE! I can not keep my balance, my memory is shot, I'm constantly in pain, and I muster through working on my business, feeding kids, cleaning, homework, entertaining, and still have to find a way to stay alive.

Some people who get married are really looking for someone to take care of them and have no intentions of reciprocating. Life dealt that man a serious hand that will make being alive tougher than you will realize. He will die sooner, over time he will have trouble walking, remembering, and dealing with pain, he'll have to poke himself with a needle for the rest of his life, he will have to get infusion therapy regularly. But it seems you are bothered about the idea of taking care of your husband, who is taking care of your kids. That is selfish and the ugliest trait I have ever seen. You don't deserve him, and he certainly doesn't deserve you.

The best bet is to leave him, rather than torturing him with words of discouragement, questioning his worth as a man, and being selfishly sour about what life handed him. It will hurt him for a moment but give him a chance to find a "Real Wife". Because the stress you are putting him through is killing him even faster.

If you are not going to leave him, then be a partner, NOT JUST A WIFE who believes in a fairy tale of "The man is the breadwinner and his entire job in life is to take care of me". Sad part about it is you hate the idea of taking care of him. If that's the case, you never really loved him, you just saw him as a meal ticket. Don't worry after he dies, you'll get a check and your family will be proud of you.

Johnna - posted on 08/31/2012

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My fiance was laid off from his job when I was 5months pregnant. In a way it was a good thing, he was working with a natural gas company and they were making him work outrageous hours, he would leave at 7am and not get home till almost 2am most nights and then have to leave again at 7am, five days a week.This was getting too stressful on me and the baby, always worrying about his safety//health. I've had a great job with fantastic benefits since 2010, making almost double what he was, so it wasn't a big deal and we decided it would be best for him to stay home with our son. The amount daycare would cost and the fact that we don't feel comfortable leaving our child with strangers all day, it made sense for us. Now that I am getting ready to return to work and leave our child home with dad all the time, I do kind of resent the fact that he is the one staying home. In a way though, I feel it is more jealousy than resentment, because I have always dreamed of being able to stay at home with my child when that time came.. I know if given the chance my fiance would jump at the chance to go back to work (he has made it immensely clear that he doesn't like the fact that I am the one working and he is the one staying home) but I would be dumb to leave my established career where I make a little over 2x minimum wage, so I could live out my dream and he could work. The economy just doesn't allow for that. As much as I don't like not being able to live my dream, I have come to accept it, because I know it benefits us financially and will benefit our son in the long run :) I think that it's alright to have these feelings, what's not alright is not talking about them, and letting them stress you out, or put a burden on the relationship. Communication is key. I think if you talk with him and let him know how your feeling, and ask him how he's feeling, you'll both benefit from it.

Jurnee - posted on 08/30/2012

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My dd's husband lost his job while she was pregnant for their first. She had a better job, with good benefits, so he stayed home and they had another child. They did that for almost 3 yrs and now he's working and shes home. It saved money in daycare and it made the kids really close to their dad, and mom. My so is on disability, so he is the one who takes care of the house, picks up my son from school, makes sure homework is done,etc. It works really well for us. We dont care who does what job, we just work together.

Chloe - posted on 08/29/2012

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Hi Alie,

my husband is a singer\songwriter and has been the primary caregiver for 16 years.

Give him a chance. My husband lost his full time job, which incedently , was making him ill, and it was the best decision we made. Just fyi, I would be more than happy to share with you how we get by.



You can e-mail me at shoppingco-opswaveofuture@hotmail.ca

I may be able give you some helpful hints.



Chloe

User - posted on 08/16/2012

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there's nothing wrong with my husband, he is just a huge brat and refuses to work, and when he does he gets fired or laid off all the time so its not even worth it. i just deal with it. he is a great father tho. im just secretly pissed and resent him because im not able to be home with my baby. when we got married, i was the stay at home parent with his kids, now that i have had my own, i am unable to stay home because of his inability/refusal to hold a job.

Nataschasreilly - posted on 08/15/2012

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I have one last thing to add. Why is it implied that "hard working mom" works harder than "stay at home dad". I'm sure ALL the stay at home Moms out there can attest that their job is no easier than a that of the "working" Dad. The stay-at-home parent tends to the demands and needs of the child(ren), the housework and the various chores the "working" parents heaps on them because "you're at home Honey... you can do: X, Y, Z".

Or is it assumed that only the mother is capable of doing the child-rearing? That seems rather sexist.

Society has evolved. This job and many others are no longer gender assigned. To keep speaking of stay-at-home Dads as anomalies and the men that take on this role as slackers is wrong.

Paula - posted on 08/15/2012

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Its hard to wrap ur head around the concept of a man staying at home but the fact is that he has a disability. Its not that hes lazy and refuse to work. In the long run its a plus for your family..he gets to rest and slow the progress of his diease while still contributing an income. You save daycare fees and your child will develope an unbreakable bond with her dad and lets face it we need dads n daughters relationship to be better as a nation. If he is a good dad then youll be fine, not traditional but its best for your family.

Yasmin - posted on 08/14/2012

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My husband was diagnosed with MS 3 years ago and is a SAHD to our 22 month old daughter. It is a wonderful thing to have him home to watch her. It not only saves us money from Daycare but he gets to have that special time to bond with her and be a positive male role model to her. Its also nice that I know exactly who she is with and that she is taken care of. Plus he gets to send me cute pictures/videos of her while I am at work. He is finally in a place where he is physically capable of going back to work and he has been applying at jobs (unfortunately, nothing yet). Sometimes the hardest part with MS is not the physical problems but the emotional ones. Even though my husband has been applying for jobs, I can still sense his hesitancy in getting back out there and he has shared some concerns with me that he does not feel ready, that he isn't as confident in himself yet. He doesn't fully trust his mobility yet, but he is getting there. Maybe that is what is going on with him. For those of us who do not have this disease, we cannot fully appreciate what they are going through and maybe he still needs time to work through some things. Even if that is not the case, if you can afford it, I see nothing wrong with him staying at home with your daughter. Only good can come of it. And like it has been said before, everyone needs to come to terms with reality that gender roles are changing and that they aren't all bad. The best thing to do is to sit him down and lay out all your feelings regarding the situation and ask him to do the same; complete honesty, and just try and work it out from there. Just be patient with him, but also come to terms with and begin to love the fact that you are going to school to do something you love and that you are badass for being a supporter and vital part of your family! Best of luck with everything!

User - posted on 08/14/2012

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Hi Kay
What type of work is it i would like some information about the online job

My name is Susan

User - posted on 08/14/2012

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My boyfriend does we have a 4 yr old son and i go to work i drive 2 hours round trip to work and back everyday and he stays home with our son it does kill me that he stays home with him but i had to go back to work i am not the kind of person that likes to stay home i mean i can only clean the house so much but besides that we do okay he at least keeps my car on the road by fixing it when it needs it i do wish he could find something but we live way out in the country and all that is around us is farm land and there is one farmer i know of that can be a real jerk so he goes ahead and hires mexicans only for his farming, plus i am the only one that drives as well

Kay - posted on 08/14/2012

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My husband was in a bad car crash which messed his back but long story short. I found a site that he can work from and bring in money. My husband started it and realized he was making more doing his job online than any other job he ever had it cost 40 to start and he did tons of research about it before we even paid a dime its legit he now makes 1000+ every week. He even has he helping out even thought I don't want to but it makes him happy. His attitude got better and we are better as a whole. Inbox me for details so we can get you and your husband started.

Kirsty - posted on 08/13/2012

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Hey, you will find that there are alot of people in this situation. Thing is-sometimes its seems more financially sensible for one parent to stay home-save daycare costs etc.. and sometimes the mum can earn the better money!
My partner had a major forestry accident in 2009, and went back to work in sept 2010.. I had my 2nd baby april 2010, so he was there for that, and home for a big part of the early months. He then aggitated his injury, and hasnt been working since. In NZ we have ACC for people whom have accidents while at work, but he was found fit for his forestry job. Which is mad. Shoudl of never been pushed back into that job after his initial accident (shattered his pelvis and hurt his back-was bed ridden for months). we are fighing this, and go to mediation next month. Have been struggling on one income for months..
Now, I hear where you are coming from however.. My kids are 5 and 2. Due to the injury my partner has-our 2 year old goes to daycare (we get a subsidy but still costs us money each week) and my 5 year old goes to school. He does the household stuff, gets tea ready, drops kids off and picks them up each day.. When he was getting ACC payments-he did spend his days drinking, whcih I hope doesnt happen again..and surfing dating sites..
I am now pregnant with baby number3, due in Feb. Although the finance side makes me nervous, the thoguht of a break from work is really enticing. Thing is-if he still cant work- I guess I will have to go back to work early? I am hopeful ACC works with him to get him back to work next year, in a new industry, so i can get a decent break from work with baby...
So, yes-Dad home can work, but sometimes they can go a bit crazy..

Lori - posted on 08/12/2012

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I am not in this situation myself but I had a neighbor that just recently moved away that is. The wife works at some insurance company or something and the husband stays home with the 2 kids. He is fully capable of working but they choose to have him as the "stay-at-home" dad. They are even talking about having another kid, I think they want 6 total. It is usual to see but if it works and saves you money on daycare I say go for it. Too many fathers work too much and don't get to see the kids often enough. I say if they want to spend that much time with the kids go for it. Just make sure you spend plenty of quality time with them when you can. The kids will love both of you even more for it later.

Kelly - posted on 08/12/2012

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I am a nurse & when I had my son 4 yrs ago we decided that it wasn't worth paying for daycare so my hubby stayed home. I made more money than him so to us it was the logical thing to do. Also I didn't want to stay at home. I worked to hard on my career & was not ready to just give that up. Since then my husband has gone back to school & is now looking for employment. What a wonderful experience that ur daughter & husband get to have together. At least one of u is raising ur daughter. Many people can't afford to stay home because they need to incomes. Good luck.

Deanna - posted on 08/12/2012

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My husband is the "bread-winner" in my house. He has told me many times if I had the great paying job he would gladly stay home.
Why do men have to be bread winner? You are at school to go to work and he is able to stay home with his daughter. Saves on daycare, gives you the time to go to school without worrying "where will she be today?" or "she's sick today, I have to take at least a day off to take care of her."
You said he has been down lately, maybe staying home is his way of contributing? Of being able to give back to the hard work you do.
This is no longer a time when Mommy HAS to stay home with the kids. Since he is able to stay home, why not you go to work and bring home the bacon? He gets to take care of the girl and you go to work. If you wanted to be the stay at home Mom, then work was not the place to start.
Enjoy having someone there you can trust to watch your daughter.

Alexis - posted on 08/10/2012

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My ex-husband was stay at home dad for almost a year. It made sense at the time. I made more and it would save in daycare cost. We always wanted one of us to be the primary caretaker of our kids not a stranger and it just so happened it worked out it would be him. He maintained the house and responsibilities that a stay at home mom would, which was a big transition for him and hard for him to figure out and juggle at first. I don't see any issues with it if you guys can afford it. In fact I find it sexist to say a man can't be a stay at home dad, even in good health. It would be the same as your husband not wanting you to work because your the woman.

Some great things that came from stay at home daddy to our 2 yo son at the time,

-I failed multiple time trying to potty train, daddy got it done in a week (same parts i guess)
-Daddy and son got to connect in ways that they wouldn't have if he worked, he was and still is daddy's little shadow.
-Daddy had more patience and interest in playing cars, wrestling and watching shows (sometimes at the loss of chores being done but whats more important?)
-Things around the house and the car got fixed quicker since he had more time at home. He always let our son 'help'

Nataschasreilly - posted on 08/10/2012

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My sister (who also has MS) works as a teacher. When she was due to return to work from maternity leave, her husband lost his bartending job. They decided that he stay at home with the baby instead of paying for childcare. Their son is nearly 3 and has benefitted immensely from having a stay-at-home parent. I too have benefitted because my brother-in-law now watches my 5 month old son.

Additionally, my cousin's husband is also a stay-at-home dad.

None of us resent the men who stay at home with our children. We'd all love to stay home too but we can't so we are grateful our children are being watched by parents or uncles who love and nurture them.

Finally, my advice to you is come to terms with your husband's illness. The MS society have support groups for the sufferers as well as their family.

Elaine - posted on 08/07/2012

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Hi,
It takes getting use to. I felt the same as you and was in a similar situation. My husband is a kidney transplant patient (can do limited jobs) and got laid off when I was 4 mo's preg w/twins and we also had a 4 y/o. He got unemployment for a little while. We decided it was best he didnt look for a job until after babies were old enough for daycare. Well it ended up that it didn't make sense for him to go back to work since I had a better income and daycare is so $$$. Don't get me wrong, I'd rather it be me home with the kids. But, times are changing. Roles are reversing. Now twins are 16 mo's & 6 y/o in 1st gr, husband stays home takes care of the kids, home, dinners. He does a great job. But w/one income we really watch our budget. If your partner is willing/able and proves he can take care of the children AND the household - awesome! I hope he understands it's more than staying home w/children : ). I still want to be the SAHM but I've learned to accept it for the benefit of the family.

Amy - posted on 08/05/2012

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My husband lost his job about two months ago, so at that point I became the only income earner in the family. I had no problem with him being home with the kids and wish we could afford that all the time but unfortunately we need the 2 incomes so he just started back to work. If we could afford to live on one income it wouldn't bother me at all but I do understand the stress of being the primary income earner.

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