I’ve recently been connecting with a couple of Facebook groups – one for Dad Bloggers which is cool, and one for Stay-At-Home-Dads which in some ways is even cooler.
Every Dad, every family has their own approach to parenting, and managing the issues that face every family. What is an issue for one family is a nonissue for another. In that way, talking with other dads is an eye-opening experience.
There are several things that make my take unique on fatherhood. Here are the lenses I see things through:
1. Stay-At-Home Dad
I haven’t always been a stay-at-home Dad, but I am one now. And I take it very seriously. A lot of people rag on SAHD families. Some call fathers lazy. Some call mothers workaholics. Some point out that men simply aren’t as nurturing as women, so they don’t make good SAH parents. That may well be true, but in my particular situation, I think we are past the stage where my kids’ primary need is someone to kiss their boo-boos and snuggle them to bed each night. I am looking at this as my job, and I am not wrong. Parenting is a job. You do it in the time you aren’t working. It was a hard decision, but I’ll fill you in on how we got here.
My wife and I were both working. We had 6 children. The youngest were twin 3 year olds. The oldest was 12. We looked at our life, our patterns, and what our boys needed from their parents at this stage and we realized something: what they needed we couldn’t give them if we were both working. Trying to housekeep for a house of 8 with no help, trying to parent, trying to help them develop interests and grow as individuals, wasn’t happening with both of us essentially busy most of the day. It had to stop. One of us had to stay home. We both have master’s degrees, but the truth was (and is) my wife’s education and experience commands a whole lot more on the job market than mine does. And with 8 mouths to feed,
Now, I am not that troubled by it. Frankly, I have stuff I need to work on to be a better husband and father, and this gives me some freedom and flexibility to pursue those things. It also gives me the time to develop some skills and expertise in some areas that we would like our family to grow into. And thirdly, it gives me the space to pursue a dream of mine since I was young: writing a book.maximizing our income was going to be important. My career can be done casually, or even part time. And given the career path I chose, the prospects of turning it into a career paying as well as my wife were quite far away, and of similar odds to winning a lottery. So I stayed home.
My wife is working full time. She is fantastic at her job and I am so proud of her. But this is the right decision for us as a family. For now. In this season of our kids’ lives, one of us needs to be at home. I am sure it won’t always be the case, but this year, it is.
photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc