Why I started this group

Carolyn - posted on 11/17/2008 ( 19 moms have responded )

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When my husband and I decided to have him stay at home with our son, I searched for ways he could connect with other dads like him. I found lots of sites ...and found out he wasn't interested in that at all. But I learned that I WAS looking for support because I knew of no other family doing what we were. Alas I searched and came up blank. So I started this in hopes to hear from other women who work but have spouses that are the primary care provdiers.

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Kat - posted on 12/27/2008

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I agree with you about females maybe wanting a "support community" more than guys do. I have never been a SAHM, but I think that if I were, I would be looking for support, but my SAHD doesn't seem to be interested in that.

I do think one of the big differences that I have found in our way of life is that at my work, most of the guys who have SAHMs expect them to do the cleaning as well as the child care. My DH is adamant that his role as SAHD job is watching the KIDS and not taking care of the house. We have been doing this for three years and when it was just he and one infant (and one schoold aged son), I was always on to him about that...because if I were at home, I would be cleaning. However, now that we have two under the age of three, as well as a 4th grader, I have let that one go, because I realize that I wouldn't be able to keep up with the kids and the house both at the age they are now.

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Chloe - posted on 05/17/2012

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My husband is a Singer\Songwriter, Muscian and Writer. Ours is a truly Arts family . He has been home with the kids for over 16years . I feel fortune to be a part of this group.

Chloe

[deleted account]

I have always been the working parent and my husband stayed at home. It has been difficulty since mid-February as I am working tons of overtime. Light at the end of the tunnel is mid May. I usually don't start work till 9:30AM but just get home in time 2xs a week for dinner, rest of the time the kiddos are asleep. I only have Sundays off right now. My husband is struggling with being the only parent pretty much right now. We are just trying to be grateful that this extra income will make some bills go away and it is not forever-thank goodness!!! My husband is a great SAHD!!! He does most of the household chores along with majority of the homeschooling of our 2 girls. I am truelly blessed. But right now, I'm eating lunch and wishing I could see my family more!

Carolyn - posted on 03/30/2010

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We are almost two years into me working full time and my husband staying at home with our son. The first 10 months or so were the hardest especially as I weaned him from breast milk. I can remember coming home and crying "he doesn't need me". Thank goodness my husband insisted that each day I forget about household stuff and come and spend time playing with Jack, our son. It helped a lot. My house is messier than I would like, but I feel like I do have a relationship with him. Once I come home from work I provide most of Jack's care.
What was totally sacrificed was the "me time". On weekdays I am up at 4 am because the two hours I have in the morning before leaving for work are when I pay bills, catch up with e-mails and sit for 5 minutes to myself. Even on most weekends I am up by 7.

We are expecting son#2 on Jack's 2nd birthday, just a few weeks away. Hopefully we can keep it all in balance.

Heather - posted on 03/30/2010

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My husband and I basically 'reversed' rolls last summer and I am still having a hard time with it. I am so glad I found this group! I just want to be able to tell someone how i feel when I come home from work and my wonderful husband has cleaned the kitchen and put laundry away and my 15 mo. old son comes running to me in his mismatched outfit. I am so grateful for my hubby, but at the same time I am so jealous! That used to be my job!

I'm going back to work so that he can finish his pharmacy degree. I know in the long run this is better for our family. But I am really struggling. He used to be the one working all the time, late nights...and I had all that time to bond with our baby boy and get the house work done, and my alone time...now our roles have completely changed. Even when I get home, David still cooks dinner and cleans, which is SO nice, but I feel guilty that I'm not doing that. I guess its just hard for me to step back from what I've done for so long. Its hard working away from my little one too. I looked at my baby while I was bathing him the other day and realized he was changing from a baby to a little boy and I feel like I'm missing that transition. Does anyone else ever feel this way?
Sorry this post is so long, I just needed to get my thoughts out there.

Carolyn - posted on 11/14/2009

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rereading through these I had to laugh because a year and a half in to my husband being a SAHD so much has changed and so little. My husband is very out going and verbal. Our 18 month old gets tons of teaching time and play time and I grudging admit that the constant one on one attention my husband gives I rarely do. On the flip side I am still doing about 80% of the house maintenance/cleaning. errands have become more 50/50 but of course dads never buy the same things moms do. Somehow in the last 4 months chili became a staple in my house. We are better about not comparing parenting methods and i feel a lot less guilty. about going to work or staying late for a meeting. We have child #2 on the way, due in late April, so it will be interesting to see how an additional child complicates the mix even more.

Shahana - posted on 10/19/2009

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I'm so glad to see that I'm not the only one struggling between the love and respect I have for him when i see how he is with our daughter and the frustration I have when I come home from work to a house in tatters. My husband is great at cooking if I ask him to, and doing dishes when I ask, but he has no self motivation. I'm trying to figure out how to help him adjust to being a stay at home father without having to push and shove him in the right directions.

Karen - posted on 05/02/2009

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Hi everyone! My story is similar to many, but we've been doing this much longer....about 10 years now. 10 years and 4 kids ranging from 13 to 4......It was very difficult in the beginning. The best advice I got from other women in my profession with SAHD were to be flexible and give it a year to adjust. Well, it took us a lot more than a year and we continue to adjust and evolve. It's not easy. A male-run household does not run the same way as a woman-run household. We struggle for a balance of control and support. It's nice to see that our struggles are similar to others; and that these struggles are not just my husband and myself specific, but more gender related.

Carolyn - posted on 03/05/2009

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Well lately my hubby has been doing better; I think that is because he is so social. He does taxes from our home- not many clients just enoughto keep him busy. He loves showing off his son to all his clients and is getting to talk to more people. Now that it is a bit warmer, he walks to the corner market and says hi to the local shop owners. Luckily we are not too much in the suburbs so he can do that. But like yours he just isn't in to play groups. Our son is 10 months so I would like them to meet other people so our son learns how to play with others.

[deleted account]

Thank you so much for sharing your stories - I'm really happy that I found this group! It's nice to know the things I'm feeling and experiencing are shared.  I'm definitely seeing much of our story reflected in your comments, especially the frustration within the first few months of adjustment.  It has been a challenge and I've struggled with my inclination to drift into traditional gender roles, but in reverse.  Sometimes it's hard for me to not say:" What did you do all day!? Where's my dinner!?"  Women have juggled children and home and cooking for centuries......I don't have to explain this all to you.  But at the same time I am grateful to be in a situation where my child is being raised by a parent, not a stranger, and all of our needs are met.  My SAHD is a loving and fantastic caretaker to our 10 month old daughter and I am very appreciative of his willingness to take on this role.  My biggest challenge has been trying to figure out how to keep his esteem up.  Because he is by nature a social person, it's hard for him to be at home all day with just a child to interact with.  I think that a lack of socializing and the thought that he doesn't have a career/direction in life is making him a bit depressed and lowering self esteem.  I've tried to encourage play groups or joining a dads group (there are actually several SAHD's in our neighborhood) but I haven't seen motivation in that direction.  I don't want to be controlling and set him up with some social situations, but it's almost coming to that.   Anyone have advice on getting SAHD's motivated and keeping up their self esteem?



Thanks to all for sharing your stories and making me feel a bit more "normal"!



 

Suni - posted on 01/13/2009

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I am so glad to have found this, in reading each of your posts I see pieces of my life... some of the frustrations and resentments i have been feeling NO ONE in my life could get or empathize with. I am really glad that I found this group... I look forward to good chats here!

Mindi - posted on 01/09/2009

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Well, we have been doing this for almost 19 years. DH hurt his back at work in July 1990. He has suffered with chronic pain ever since. He had surgery, but it failed. He started keeping my daughter at home just after she turned 3. She is now a junior in college. When she was about 11, he started hinting at having another baby. I thought he was crazy. I think he was bored and wanted a new project. I had Nicholas in April 2000. I went back to work when he was 2 months old. DH did a really good job at taking care of the baby, but I gave up on coming home to a clean house many many years ago. He doesn't cook either. Guess who has done years of taxi time to sleepovers, parties, movies, band practice, footlball games and now with Nick, Cub Scouts, playdates and PTA?

He does occassionally shop for me, but mostly I do that, too.

I, too would love to win the lottery. But for now, I plug on...

Christina - posted on 01/09/2009

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We have only been doing this SAHD thing for about 6 months.  It's been quite an adjustment!  We have a 1st grader and a 3rd grader.  So the time they are out of the house he is able to get some work done.  But 3:00 all hell breaks loose and my house gets turned upside down.  He's trying to work, do homework, give snacks, practice piano AND straighten up the house.  Most nights I come home to a whirlwind of stuff strewn about the house.  We have given up the idea of cleaning ourselves, and have hired a woman to come once a week to clean.  It's wierd to come home to him cooking and doing all the things I used to do, and I just sit down and spend time with the kids.  I'm still adjusting!  I agree with Trish, I hope to win the lottery and we can all stay home!!!

Trish - posted on 01/06/2009

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My husband stays home with our two children, both under 3.  My son is 2 years 7 months and my daughter is 1 year 5 months.  He enjoys staying home with them but is often frustrated when I get home.  He keeps house and cooks on most days and I don't mind coming home to a mess on the really frustrating days.  He is a great dad, but sometimes (a lot of times) I wish I could be the one staying home and he would work.  I'm pretty sure he feels the same, especially on the tough days.  Alas, it's not to be, I make more money than he would if he took the job as working dad.  Maybe we will win the lottery and then I can stay home!

Carolyn - posted on 12/27/2008

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I have to echo the housework comments. At firs my husband was great but as our son got older and more mobile he found it increasingly difficult to get things done. So I try and pick my battles about what he contributes housework wise and what just doesn't get done that frequently anymore... My Christmas present from my sister was a thourough housecleaning from a pro...It was wonderful. I am currently calculating the expense verses my sanity.

As to why there are so few moms on this board perhaps it is because it is only about 6 weeks old? Or maybe there really aren't that many stay at home dads? or maybe the mom's are just too hectic to join a group

Meredith - posted on 12/27/2008

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My husband has looked for SAHD groups and is very frustrated that he can't find anything. He's been at home for 3 years now and we have two great boys (4 and 20 months). I wish he had some other SAHDs to spend time with. He's tried some more traditional play groups, but other Mom's usually act weird about it, so he doesn't keep it up. I feel really bad for him because his entire life is our boys. I struggle between feeling bad that he has no like minded circle of friends and beeing frustrated that the house is always a mess. I feel like too much of the little spare time I have is spent cleaning up. I don't mind pitching in, but there are little things he could (should?) be doing durring the day too. Anyone else struggle with the two opposite feelings?



And why are there so FEW mom's in this group? There's got to be a lot more working mom's with SAHDs for spouses!

Ethel - posted on 12/12/2008

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I'm so glad to see this here! Find good community for wives of SAHDs is hard, I've found.



We've been doing this family style for about 1.5 years, and it's been very hard. Housework has been a huge problem. For some reason, the man who once worked full-time, cooked, did laundry, and changed all of his twin infants' diapers quit being able to do any housework when he started staying home. I felt like I didn't have a right to complain since I felt that I should be grateful he was willing to stay home so I could earn the money our family needs to live, an idea that came mostly from some bad advice and support I was getting. DH was saying the whole time that he preferred to stay home and never wanted to return to work, but wasn't showing it by actually doing his job.



Counseling has helped a lot, and we are starting to see the family life we imagined when we first decided to have DH stay home. I'm now able to come home and just play with the kids while DH finishes dinner - I can't tell you how different this is from six months ago! But we're still working through laundry, and haven't even started talking about less basic chores like yardwork, floors, or bathrooms. He is also still having trouble interacting enough with the girls during the day, and sometimes they start getting bored and acting out a lot. It's very stressful and hard to find community even online, since talking about what stay-at-home parents should be doing can be a real hot-button issue, and it can be hard to explain where I'm coming from without making DH sound like a jerk.



I think it's also harder for us because we both came from single-parent families and have really had to figure out what stay-at-home parents do as we go along.

Carolyn - posted on 11/21/2008

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My husband loves it too. He does taxes out of the house during tax season and he gets to spend so much time with our son. My husband loves to talk and teach Jack new things. And when I get home I don't spend time on the little things; instead I get to devote all my time to our son so feeding dinner and bathing are fun rather than a chore. Our biggest hang up has been convincing others that we know what we are doing but we are steadily winning them over.

[deleted account]

I feel very lucky that my husband is able and wants to stay home with our son, Oliver. It makes both our lives saner. Not only does he take care of Oliver, he also cooks, cleans, etc, which enables me to spend more quality time with Oliver when I get home from work.

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