Working Mom - Stay at Home Dad

Elizabeth - posted on 08/05/2009 ( 38 moms have responded )

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About 2 months ago, my husband was laid off. Wed decided that it was much more cost effective as well as better for our son if he stayed at home instead of returning to work. I have a decent job and can easily support our family on my income. I have to admit, it makes me a little sad. He is doing my dream job. I've wanted to be a stay at home mom all my life, but it just isn't right for us now.

My problem is that there are many members of both of our families that are angry about it. My family thinks that we made this decision because "he is a bum and doesn't want to work". His family says that "I am only doing this to maintain control of him and make him need me". All jealousy aside :) I am very happy he is home. It's a lot better than a stranger raising our son. It doesn't put a financial strain on us and I think we are very lucky that this is an option.

I don't really know how to make our families understand this. They are very old fashioned. The man makes the money, the woman takes care of the house. How can I welcome them into the 21st Century???

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Tammy - posted on 08/05/2009

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I am in the same situation, however, my husband is on disability. You can imagine what my family had to say about that! No matter 3 heart attcks in one year, he is lazy and doesn't want to work.... and I have always been a control freak.... hmmm. I recently decided that we are making this work and it really isn't anyone else's business. I explained to my family that 'what God hath brought together, let no man put us under' as the wedding vows say. You are married to your husband not your family and that should be what matters most. My husband does all the cleaning and cooking and I work (It's really nice to come home to a cooked meal). This system works and we are grateful to be able to be in the position we are in. Just don't call him your house husband (I did that, didn't go over well, lol). I wish you the best. P.S. The beauty is in the fact that when your husband does go back to work, he will know what it's like to juggle responsibilities and your marriage will be better for it.

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Andrea - posted on 07/03/2012

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Well you can stay at home and work at the same time! =D I work for a company called Melaleuca and it has helped my family so much. email me @
chapeton.andrea@yahoo.com

Allyson - posted on 08/30/2009

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Honestly it just takes time for people to adjust. We are going through the exact same thing & honestly when we figured up what we made extra when he was working it was not a whole lot after child care for our three kids. It has been an amazing transformation. Everyone loves having dad home, kids are happier & we didn't have to elimiate much but a few extras. For us, one people saw how smoothly things are run now, how the kids love it, etc, then they accepted it and even now talk about how it is such a great thing. Suppose the proof was in the pudding!

Rashidat - posted on 08/26/2009

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OMG! That is so precious that u have your home especially with the baby. I am right there along with you about being jealous of him. Now about your families, the way I see it is there are 3 vital concernees in this scenario whose votes REALLY count- Yours, Your Hubby and the Baby- and as long as those 3 individuals are fine with the arrangement, then it's all good. You really cant change people's point of views unless they are open. I'm sure when they all realize just how happy and settled this makes you and your family, everyone will come around. Hang in there.

Candy - posted on 08/26/2009

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Quoting Diane:

Let me give you a slightly different perspective. I was 10 years old when my dad retired. From then on he was a stay at home dad before it was even heard of (I am in my 30s). My friends were all very jealous! No one else had a dad who was able to go on field trips and volunteer to help with many other activities - it was always moms. I don't remember my dad missing a single sporting event or play I was in. Your kids will grow to up appreciate what you are doing for them:-)



This brought back memories for me



my dad was home with us when it worked out best for my parents' working situations at the time, it was for about a year, I loved it, Dad's do things diferently than moms do. I know Mom did n't like it as well, but me and my sibs loved it, he was there for play time, i remember chore times being fun and going places, he was more into school functions and outings than mom was. That may not be the case in all households, but i bet it is more so than recognized; Men in general are more, shall i say child like w/o offending.???  So they can drop what they are doing and make plans to do things like field trips or whatever. I welcome my husband to do that because i know i have trouble realizing the work will be there later. When i think  i would like to be home all the time, i have to remember when i was i got stir crazy and i appreciate coming home after a long day at work. I say go Dads!  There are people to criticize everything you'll ever do, we just have to tell them to back off and mind their own

Khristine - posted on 08/19/2009

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I think it is great he is willing to do this, I have a cousin and her husband stays at home with the baby, and She works at a bank. They can't afford anything otherwise, and with daycare prices are too pricy. You will just have to put your foot down and say this is what it is going to be. If they don't like it they can go else where until they are happy about it.

Carrie - posted on 08/18/2009

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Elizabeth,



We weren't forced into the situation with our second, but my husband's income made it make sense at the time for him to stay home. It's definitely a challenge, but it's also a growing trend. I'm not sure where you live, but there are some SAHD groups out there. My husband was part of DCmetroDads (still an active group) and enjoyed the interaction, even if it was just moral support via email.



Not only is the family setting challenging, Mom's can tend to shun Dads with kids at the park and out of playgroups. We had a Dad in our playgroup where we live now, but it was a little awkward at home playdates when we had nursing Moms. My hubby said he also felt awkward in 'closed' situations with Moms... different conversations, etc.



If the situation is what is best for YOU, then either make a strong statement to your respective families about it (and be careful about complaining about jealousy) OR tell them it's none of their business. Either way be clear that you don't want their opinions of your parenting choices to be the focus of your relationship with them, that you want the relationship your son sees to be POSITIVE, because that is what you are striving for and you don't want him thinking that either of you are 'bad' parents because you choose to have Daddy stay at home with him. If you feel the need to justify him being home... I'm sure you can find some of those lists that give the value of a Mom and rework it as the value of a stay at home parent ;-)



My husband has NO REGRETS and is actually quite thankful that he had the opportunity, but he was very ready to go back to work by the time our daughter was 2. We then did a nanny for about a year and put both kids in school at 3 and 4, and they were ready for it. My kids now commute to work with us and will attend pre-k and k less than a mile from both of our offices.



Re your jealousy and mixed feelings... ABSOLUTELY normal!!! Sign of a good Mom! Talk to hubby about taking pictures during the day and sending them (or surprising you with one in your lunchbox)... it brightens up your day! Remind yourself that it's what is right for you for NOW... maybe not forever, but for now. And lastly... take special time for you and your son on the weekend to strengthen the Mommy bond and give Daddy a little time off.... and don't forget DATE NIGHT, some special time with Daddy too!



Don't stress over whether the whole fam damily approves of your choice... you don't need any more stress.

Jeanette - posted on 08/18/2009

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Quoting donna:

on the upside of my husband staying home is that he now realises its not easy being a mum



that's the first thing they realize! lol

Jeanette - posted on 08/18/2009

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om my god..my life exactly. everyones say's, 'when is dennis gonna get a job'. why are you working all the time? some people act like we are doing something so crazy, when in reality we are just living our lives and raising our child the best we can. i do get sad sometimes too. it used to be all about mommy, now it's all about daddy. so that makes it hard.

Texie - posted on 08/17/2009

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same thing here. other than the easily support y family. we have a very tight budget and my husband would like to find something part time since out oldest is now in K. We also got a lot of flack from some of the family mainly his mother. my mother was a little put off, she likes her little girl should be pampered. but it works for us I prefer the feeling of accomplishment i get from my job and my husband has more patience with our boys. so dont let anyone tell you differnt what works for your family is what you should do.

Donna - posted on 08/13/2009

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on the upside of my husband staying home is that he now realises its not easy being a mum

Pam - posted on 08/12/2009

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I'm have the same situation. We have three and a babysiter is not cheap when you have three. I just tell my family that this is our life and we will do as fit. And how many kids get to know there father like ours do. My husband is also getting to know the kids more for all there little joys and badness lol.

Cynthia - posted on 08/12/2009

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I could not agree with you more!! My children are now 13 and 16, my husband has stayed home and raised them most of their lives. I have always made enough to support my family and give them a happy life. My husband staying home with the kids also helped me advance in my career!! The only problem was and still is....family and friends!!



My wrong doing in this whole thing...is not being honest with family and friends. I let them for years cause arguments and alot of crap talking towards my husband because of their comments and judgements....especially my mom!! Then one day about 7 years ago, I just let it all go and let everyone know that we are happy and we are making it work. I told my family and friends to look at my kids and realize that they are happy, smart, athletic, get good grades and most of all...love their father and are very close with him. Not alot of kids nowadays have that and they should be happy for me and them if they love us....and get over it.

Cris - posted on 08/11/2009

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Forget about what others say...if they are not contributing or assisting then they have no say so in whatsoever..people (most esp. families) are always gonna talk. Just let it be..pay no mind to them and live your life the way you both think its best.

Kamelia - posted on 08/11/2009

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Dear, most important is for 3 of you to be fine (you,husband & kid). Let the parents take their time and try to understand you, but don't live your life the way someone else is telling you! I understand your situation, I was considering the same option also, and if it happens - I wouldn't care what people say, but I would care about my baby first! Best wishes & hope you can get a rest soon!

Jennifer - posted on 08/11/2009

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Getting flak from disapproving family members is not fun. My husband and I are in a similiar situation. I'm a physician and he's an artist. I'm the obvious income earner for the family, and our current lifestyle has forced him to be unable to work. We're having our first child soon, and he's going to be the stay-at-home dad. Interestingly, a lot of my female physician friends are in similar situations. We make a lot more than our husbands, and our husbands can chose to stay at home or work and send the children to day care. Psychologically, it's much better for the child to be taken care of a caring parent than daycare in the first few years.



I don't think you can realistically hope to change their minds, but you can ask them to stop bad mouthing your decision in front of you. I recommend that you both have a clear idea of exactly why you are doing this in your mind. That can help you brush off any negativity from them. This is your family and your life. You really do know better than your extended families what is right for you.

Karen - posted on 08/11/2009

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i am in the same exact situation as you!!! i work while my boyfriend stays with our 2 1/2 year old son... you are doing what you need for your family!!! my little guy was a late talker... he actually just started a few months ago so day care was out of the picture!!! dont beat yourself up or let others make you feel bad... my boyfriend is a handyman so he can schedule jobs (very few & far between now) on weekends and at night when i get home... your child is getting the best of both worlds: mommy and daddy!!! as long as your child is growing and developing... DONT WORRY ABOUT WHAT OTHERS THINK!!!

Melissa - posted on 08/11/2009

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For the past 2 years, my husband has been at home, while I have been working. It was the most obvious choice as my earning potential exceeded that of my husband's at the time and the cost of daycare for our son was extortionate.

As much as it saddened me and gave me pangs of jealousy to be leaving my boy everyday to go off and work, I knew that he was being cared for by the best person in the world.

Yes, there were times when I felt that I was missing out on time with my son but I have no regrets over the choices we made.

My best advice to you is to live your lives and know that the choices you make are for the best of your child and yourselves. If your families have such an issue with the choices you make, then invite them to help you and see what solutions they come back with.

At the end of it all, it's your life that you're living and you need to do what you believe is best. I think you have...

Donna - posted on 08/11/2009

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elizabeth i understand where you are comming from my husband family have also made hurtful comments about our situation. its there problem and if they can handle it so what. as long as the two are you are happy that all thats matter. i have found with my husband staying at home with our girls it has strengthen their relationship.

Melanie - posted on 08/11/2009

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My husband has been a stay at home dad for 5 years. He has such a special bond with our son. We have friends in the same boat. Did you know Ralph Machio( Karate Kid) left hollywood to be a stay at home dad? He says his kids are his greatest accomplishment!!!

Cheryl - posted on 08/09/2009

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It is very important, especially to your children, to let them see that a decision made between you and your husband is not to be ridiculed or disapproved of "openly" in front of others. Family members don't live in your home so do not see all that your husband does; they must rely on your and your son's happiness, as well as, the positive comments that you make re: the ageed-upon situation. By making comments: "It is working for us", "It is nice coming home to a clean house", "It is nice coming home to a hot meal", "It is nice coming home to a wonderful husband and a sweet boy. I am so blessed." or lastly, "Sometimes, even being laid off, turns into something good,--- is so happy to be home with his daddy." These kinds of comments are what I would politely say at the first couple of disapproving remarks but after that the "gloves would come off" and I would be very direct. I love my extended family; I love my husband; I love my children- there is no place for putdowns between family members, extended family or not. --You would not tolerate your children openly saying something hurtful to your mom, dad or family member; we must expect, no demand, even more from adults.

Cara - posted on 08/08/2009

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I may be impossible to get them to understand. Just tell them that the two of you have decided to do what is best for your family at this time. Ask them to respect your decision and be supportive even if they do not agree with it. If they cannot then just don't discuss the situation with those disapproving relatives. I made a decision about my life that many of my family member disapproved of and it was difficult but I had to do what I had to do for me and my children.

[deleted account]

Let me give you a slightly different perspective. I was 10 years old when my dad retired. From then on he was a stay at home dad before it was even heard of (I am in my 30s). My friends were all very jealous! No one else had a dad who was able to go on field trips and volunteer to help with many other activities - it was always moms. I don't remember my dad missing a single sporting event or play I was in. Your kids will grow to up appreciate what you are doing for them:-)

Caitlin - posted on 08/08/2009

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I too am a little bit jealous over the fact that my husband is mostly at home with our 2 boys, and I have taken a lot of heat from my family. But you have a son and the best thin in the world is the bonding time they are spending together and thats what counts.

Candy - posted on 08/08/2009

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It's really amazing at the reactions you get when you say your husband stays home with the kids, strange how society has changed so much and it is accepted for mom to work or not, but dad is always supposed to work. I am jealous of my husband for it sometimes, but i stayed home with my daughter for the first two years and i was ready to go to work, i enjoy a balance of home and away and i don't like to cook, so coming home to a cooked meal is wonderful, Dad does do that right always! There are other things that he needs work on, but after all he is DAD. Good luck with the family, i don't think it matters how well things are or not, family is unfortunately always going to judge something. BUT this is your life tell them you have it under control, but thanks anyway!

Nicole - posted on 08/08/2009

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I think it is great he is home with the kids. I was in the same situation years back with my ex but he was lazy and didn't want to work where I supported the kids on part time hours and minimum wages but knowing that I didn't have to scramble for the easiest cheepest sitter was good. Not just a someone to look after my kids. I resent the ex for the way he was at home because I always thought I could (and should) be doing it better but in reality it was much better for us at the time. (honestly I wouldn't let it happen again though I would be the one home.) it is hard to deal with the people a round you and their scrutiny and maybe that is why I feel that way now.

Janelle - posted on 08/07/2009

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Well I as well go to work while my hubby is home with our two daughters. I will admit I was not happy with his decision to quit his job to do this but it is all working out just fine. My husband does a ton of work on ebay and in the garage. He is a mechanic and makes more money now thean ever. He is looking into going legite and opening his own place. Family members have had there fair share of opinions as well but what matters is that it is working for you and your family. I say to hell with them. Everyone will have there own opinions but until they walk in your shoes-who cares what they think!!!

Cidalia - posted on 08/07/2009

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What everyone else said, plus I'd like to add, you both need to have a united front and make it clear to each of your families that this was a mutual decision based on what works best for your family at this point in time, and that neither of you will tolerate anyone bad-mouthing your spouse. Let them know that if they choose to engage in bad-mouthing your spouse, you will leave or ask them to leave.

H.J - posted on 08/07/2009

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Elizabeth you just explained my situation in one. My partners wages weren't even close to paying for child care when it came time. We are lucky that we have supportive families. Don't worry about what families have to say if they love you they will support your decisions after all it is your choice not theirs!

Melissa - posted on 08/06/2009

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what if he was to work from home? check out www.bewealthy2day.com very lucrative business that could have you both working from home!

Elizabeth - posted on 08/06/2009

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Thank you all for your comments! They were so encouraging! It's nice to know that there are others out there in the same situation. I just started a community for this today. If you are in this same situation, come check it out. There aren't really any members yet, since it was only started today... also, invite your friends that are in similar situations. Thanks guys!
Working Moms - Stay at Home Dads on Circle of Moms

Jill - posted on 08/06/2009

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You're going to hear hurtful comments no matter what you and your husband decide to do. Different famillies operate in different ways. Not everyone in my family is thrilled that my dtr goes to day care everyday and we both work. In the end it is what is right for your family. Those underhanded comments that we all get from family members just have to be taken with a grain of salt. Its easier to judge a situation when you're not in it. Hang in there!!

Dineo - posted on 08/06/2009

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My darling if u and him are ok with the arrangements then nothing else matters. i am sure he is even showing u support because he knows how hard it can be to be a working mother.

Kate - posted on 08/05/2009

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Hi, we are in the same boat as well - and i feel the exact same way - a bit jealous that my husband gets to do my dream job! But as far as others are concerned, it is really none of thier business. Regardless of what you do, someone is always going to cast judgements, or offer unwanted opinions. As long as you know that you are doing what is best for your family (husband and son), and it was agreed on, then try not to worry abotu what others say. When comments are made try your hardest to ignore them, soon people should get the picture. We are now going on almost a year of my husband being home, and I am fine with peopel saying what they want - when i look at my son and my husband together, i know we made the right decision! My little guy is bright, happy, bonded with his daddy. On the flip side, my husband is an excellent father, and his confidence when it comes to raising our son has increased dramatically. We do not give fathers enough credit! Good luck and hang in there!

Laurel - posted on 08/05/2009

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my husband and I have almost always had reversed roles. we had to ignore alot of comments from extended family. know that what you do to support the family is right if it works for you. the rest can either come along or continue to make comments. just let them know that they need to be careful what is said in front of "little ears"

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