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Stay-at-home Dad(15 posts)

Stay-at-home Dadscis
Nov 19, 2003 5:58 AM
I've climbed the corporate ladder and found that it is just not worth it anymore. My department is so understaffed that almost no one has a backup when they take off, and my managers and I have to fill in for mailroom staff and clerical positions if someone is absent. It has gotten to the point where I am completely stressed out and am experiencing heart palpatations a couple of times a day -I went to my doctor and he is running tests.

Anyway, my wife is a teacher and currently stays home with our 15 month old son. There is an opening at a local school district for a position in her field. A good friend of hers will be on the interview committee and relly wants my wife to get the job. We feel that it is important for one of us to be at home to raise our son, so we are considering switching roles - my wife would go back to teaching and I would stay home. It would mean a pay cut of around 15-20%, but I looked at the numbers and we can make it if we cut back on some things. The benefits are the same or maybe better than my job.

I know this is not the "traditional" way things are done, but I know it does happen. Does anyone here have experience with this or know of situations where this has or has not works. I'd like to hear some opinions.
It sounds like a plan to meLive Steam
Nov 19, 2003 6:14 AM
what is the point of keeping yourself in a position where your health is being compromised. Your son certainly doen't need that from you. He needs a healthy dad to play ball with.

Also remember nothing is forever. Your son will grow and quicker than you know it, will be in school full time too. Your responsibilities will change at that point. This may be a perfect opportunity for you to explore your other hidden tallents or interests. Maybe a new career will present itself, once you have had some time to explore the posibilities.

Your bases appear to be covered. You have health benefits, which is a biggie. You have your health - still, we hope. I don't know your age, but it sounds as if you also have time on your side. Better to be in this position now. Your wifes teaching will allow her extended time off anf that will provide some time off for you as well. All in all, you have a great opportinity to explore new horizons and to experience your sons development as well. You also get to change more diapers too :O) Oh well nothing's perfect!
Not that this matters...Fez
Nov 19, 2003 7:05 AM
What do you call stay-at-home dads? Women who do this noble job are called homemakers. Does the same title apply for men?

That always seems to be the one of the 1st things people ask in introductory situations, and is a common question whenever filling out any sort of application.
Domestique? That should open up conversation. nm128
Nov 19, 2003 7:20 AM
"stay at home dads" seems a popular label.dr hoo
Nov 19, 2003 8:08 AM
House husband, mr. mom.

I don't think there is a label that is used that fits well. How about "lifestyle maintenance manager"? That's what my wife says when she is being a smart arse.

The lack of a label shows this is a deviant case. So does the fact most assume that a stay at home dad is staying at home temporarily. Women are never assumed deviant for staying home for life, but men are. Short term they are praised, but if it is long term and they don't want to go back to work, they are obviously flawed.
go for it (nm)ColnagoFE
Nov 19, 2003 8:10 AM
If it helps the family, do itStarliner
Nov 19, 2003 9:11 AM
Your post reminded me of a conversation I recently had with my arch-feminist aunt on how unfair it is that men pay the lion's share of alimony and child support, yet are given no compensatory preference in the workplace as a counterbalance to that inequity.

Her response was to bring up an example of a female friend who she knows who is paying alimony to her ex-husband. "And he could have worked, but he didn't want to!" emphasized my aunt.

In your case, one of the main keys as to this working or not is whether your wife would buy into the arrangement of being the primary bread winner. And whether she is up to the task. You've got some important things to consider....

- It is not a traditional societal role - does this bother her? (Who drives the car when you two go out - if she feels the man should drive, she may be bound by tradition in ways neither of you realize, and you could have a problem later on)

- Is she prepared and willing to assume that role for an indefinite period of time?

- Is she emotionally stable, or prone to emotional fits of temper?

- Is she capable of shifting gears between work and home, or might she be bringing her work problems into the household and into the relationship?

- Can she let go of being the primary houseperson, or will she be a drill sergeant, criticizing your home work as not being done properly?

- How will the family finances be handled - will she see the income be considered hers to be disbursed as she sees fit, or will democracy rule?

Back to my conversation with my aunt, and her comment --- the revealing thing about her statement was how even the staunchest advocates of gender equality can wear blinders on that issue. For to my aunt, choice on career or not to have a career is something apparently only a woman can make.

I hope you do it - we need guys like you to help free us men from the traditional role of being the provider.
My cousin got a nice ...Live Steam
Nov 19, 2003 9:18 AM
chunk-o-money in his divorce settlement. He was an NYPD detective - her, a precious metals trader. She settled out of court with him for a lump sum that was quite large. Well she was the bigger bread winner, so why not. He's now retired after 20 years on the force - 47 years old - with a nice pension waiting for him and a really fat bank account! Hurray for the guys!!!
I wish I'd done it (nm)RoyGBiv
Nov 19, 2003 9:30 AM
Call me too old fashioned, but...94Nole
Nov 19, 2003 12:17 PM
there are things that your wife, your child(ren)'s mother, can and will offer them that you can't. Think about the children FIRST, not first AFTER the other considerations.

Children need their mothers more than they need a "stay-at-home" dad trying to be a mom. I will not go so far as say "A women's place is in the home" rather I will say that a mother's place is with her children. I know that is not always possible, but in this isolated case it is. Mothers provide nurture and caring that, face it, we just ain't cut out for.

I think YOU should find a new job. With the unfortunate amounts teachers are paid today, you could very likely find a much less stressful job that would allow you to earn what your family needs while keeping mom with the children where they need her. It is about the children. Period.
exactly what can a mother offer that a father CANNOT?dr hoo
Nov 19, 2003 1:04 PM
Really. Other than breast feeding, what is your list?
First, I must you have children? (nm)94Nole
Nov 19, 2003 1:11 PM
irrelevant.dr hoo
Nov 19, 2003 3:28 PM
Whether I personally, or you for that matter, can/do provide things to our children is not the question.

You made a categorical claim that there were things that MOTHERS can provide that FATHERS cannot. If you can't support that claim, admit it.

If you can tell me how my having children or not is related to your claim, I will provide the information. A better question would be "What experience do you have with raising children?" That's a better question, but still irrelevant.

Give me the list. You made the claim, it is up to you to support that claim. Burden of proof is on your head, not mine.
Yeah, I'd like to see that list, too.KG 361
Nov 19, 2003 7:59 PM
Yes, I have children. Bet you're a "born again", aren't you? If my children had their preferance, they'd prefer me at home instead of my wife. I'm not inferring that she is a bad mother-she isn't; however, I am much more patient and understanding than she'll ever be. She would tell you that; so, if I could, I'd stay at home to take care of the house/kids. I already do most of the housework etc, this way I'd have more time to do it. Does this somehow make our marriage "bad" or immoral? Don't think so. It works for us. As to whether our children are somehow left out, I think you should talk to their teachers/coaches/etc. They'd beg to differ with you. Before you make such sweeping generalizations, you should open you eyes a bit.
scis asked for OPINIONS, and I offered mine.94Nole
Nov 20, 2003 5:35 AM
Sorry that I didn't preference my comments with "I believe" or "IMHO" or any other that would indicate that this is MY opinion. But unless it agrees with all of the friggin' experts here, opinions are not allowed.

And FYI, I am not "born again". Sounds like you just categorized me by my opinion. Be careful with your "sweeping generalizations".