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Stay at home dads?

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Replies to: Stay at home dads?

  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids 84228 replies1042 threadsForum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Forum Champion


    In these days of layoffs, some of the SAHM/SAHD are not voluntarily at home. It's involuntary job hunting time.



    Yes, but I've heard a number of complaints from working moms whose husbands have been laid off. The H's insist on still taking the kids to daycare because they (the H's) don't want to take care of the kids....even tho affording the daycare is now an issue due to the layoff.

    Yes, many dads are "more involved" now (thank goodness!). I have brothers who are very "involved dads"...they coach the kids' teams, they do "Indian Guides" and "Indian Princesses," they cook a few dinners, they may even do a few loads of laundry, but....that's not the same as being an "at home" parent raising babies/toddlers/etc.

    My H did "Indian Guides," changed diapers, coached teams, but he would never have been able to be a SAHD...never in a million years. Not just a lack of interest, but really just not wired to take care of all the stuff that needs to be multi-tasked. Seriously, the kids would have missed meals!
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  • zoosermomzoosermom 25663 replies594 threads Senior Member
    My husband is the best, most competent father I have ever known. He is not a doofus and never has been. Great relationships with other moms, totally on the ball. HOWEVER, the day D1 graduated from kindergarten, hubby was in charge of dressing D2, which he did -- beautifully. However, when she twirled around in the auditorium to show off her pretty dress, her missing underpants were very evident. But I've done some doozies, as well. It's not because dads are incompetent, it's just that we're all human. And tired.

    I've been working in law firms for almost 30 years. I remember the days when female associates were a novelty and female partners were very special. There then came a point when more women than men became employed at the top firms. And let me tell you, they were the most accomplished group of people I have ever met. But guess what? The ratios of men to women being elevated to partnership didn't really change. Here's why: at a certain point most women leave. Even the best, brightest and most successful leave because they want to have families. Either they move to less demanding careers or they opt out altogether. This was, as you may imagine, quite concerning, so nowadays, figuring out how to help those top women choose to stay at law firms after they have families has become a huge priority. Things like flex time. part-time work, lengthening the partnership track, making non-partnership positions more lucrative and respected. It's fascinating, it really is. Of course, this is only for the top lawyers who went to top undergrad and law schools. Doesn't have anything to do with less ta-da lawyers or non-lawyers.
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  • Nrdsb4Nrdsb4 17249 replies163 threads Senior Member
    HOWEVER, the day D1 graduated from kindergarten, hubby was in charge of dressing D2, which he did -- beautifully. However, when she twirled around in the auditorium to show off her pretty dress, her missing underpants were very evident. But I've done some doozies, as well. It's not because dads are incompetent, it's just that we're all human. And tired.

    Some of these stories are hilarious.

    In my DH's case, he was, at that time, in a way "incompetent," not because he was stupid or didn't care or because he was a Dad, he just hadn't had as much practice at figuring out the girl clothes thing yet. Once he got into a groove, he did quite well.
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  • Emaheevul07Emaheevul07 5890 replies76 threads Senior Member
    My mom's favorite dad story is when he brought me to visit her at her work wearing nothing but shorts and an undershirt. He thought it was a tank top. Mom thought it was sweet, if a bit funny.

    Mom didn't know dad used to take us to Chuck E Cheese ALL THE TIME so we would entertain ourselves and he didn't have to cook dinner. I don't think she'd have thought that was as sweet.
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  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids 84228 replies1042 threadsForum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Forum Champion
    Mom didn't know dad used to take us to Chuck E Cheese ALL THE TIME so we would entertain ourselves and he didn't have to cook dinner. I don't think she'd have thought that was as sweet.


    ha! My dad used to distain the idea of ordering pizza (felt it was a waste of money). However, once he retired, and my mom had to work late on Wednesdays, guess what we had for dinner on Wednesday nights??
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  • Classof2015Classof2015 4203 replies190 threads Senior Member
    First time I was babysitting kids, I had to help the younger boy with his shorts, and I put both legs in one pants leg. I couldn't figure out why he was crying.

    Then another time, I was responsible for changing my baby sister (I was 8). She, um, definitely needed changing, but I didn't want to do it, so I just wouldn't let her sit down (hope no one's eating lunch right now).

    Then as a full blown grown up, I let D dress herself before going to the park. She comes down the slide and a whoosh of air reveals: lots of skin.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29884 replies59 threads Senior Member
    I agree with Zoosermom so much. Right now, two of my friends have DDs who are in their thirtys and on the partner track. But a baby in the picture and the idea of putting in the type of time needed to be partner is not what they want. They want some time with that baby, child. Now, for what ever reason, when it's dad in that position, the decision goes the other way. But I think there is something to pregnancy, hormones and breastfeeding that make it more difficult for more women to choose to spend more rather than less time with their children. The idea is unbearable to them. My one friend's DD has been so torn as law/work has been her life and a partnership was her holy grail, but the baby cinched her decision. She's requesting to work on a non partner basis. Her husband could be a full time SAHD, but he wants to continue working, though his job is not as time consuming nor does it pay what hers does. But even if he did stay at home full time, she wants more time with her child as well.

    I've known any number of moms who basically left their jobs, high powered and paid or not, when a child became ill or had some problems. Not so much with the dads, even when the dad was the one with job with not as many constraints and not as high pay. The moms WANTED to be with the children more.

    Things are changing, but I do believe the physiological aspect of this plays an important role.
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  • stressedoutttstressedouttt 3980 replies131 threads Senior Member
    And on that note - is it not foolish to pursue a relationship with someone with who you have such fundamental disagreements? Maybe I'm too technical/INTJ-ish or something.
    Indeed, it is. I agreed with you on that point ;)
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  • Emaheevul07Emaheevul07 5890 replies76 threads Senior Member
    Way back before I ever realized I was not meant to be a career woman, I had intended to go to law school. I ended up changing my mind because I felt like I would be a bad person if I worked those kinds of hours as a mother. I don't feel remotely that way about other women who work long hours-- I don't have one iota of negative judgment for them. But for some reason, I can't let myself do that.

    Maybe subconciously I was starting to figure out I didn't want to be a working mother at all, but at the time it was quite the crisis for me. I'd never considered being anything but a lawyer.

    I was asked when I interviewed for my job why I didn't go to law school, since my degree is in political science, and our CEO is a lawyer and was curious. I was totally unprepared for that question-- think I would have gotten the job if I'd answered honestly? :(


    ETA: I'd also like to point out that I don't feel like men who work those kinds of hours are necessarily bad fathers, although I am starting to chafe against the expectation of keeping either parent out of the house for that many hours of the day. I have accepted a double standard without meaning to and without liking it. It reminds me of a paper we had to read in college that basically argues that if men are bad fathers, they are just bad fathers-- but if a woman is a bad mother, she is a bad person. I feel like that is starting to change somewhat as expectations of fatherhood are rising, but I don't know if that has translated into the working world yet.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29884 replies59 threads Senior Member
    I worked at a pension consulting firm for years and also on free lance basis, so I saw many, many successful small businesses. My clients all were successful in that they wouldn't be putting the kind of money away for pensions unless they were. I still do some work with such firms. I can tell you that those working the kind of hours that preclude a lot of time with children. are very often those very much in control of the hours they work. It's a trade of between the success of the business/money earned and time off. I know many of my friends who now work on their own that like to extoll the freedom this brings, but it also is an issue as to how much money they want to make. Many work even more because they gotta bring in the money. When it's all you, the flow stops when you stop, whereas there is some buffer when a company has you on salary.

    Again, when it comes down to it, the moms are the ones who will take the cut in the hours because they want to spend that time with the kids and the home, and the school. When a special need arises, it's still usually the woman, though as i said, it is changing, many times out of necessity as more women are earning more and marrying men who don't make as much as they do.
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  • Emaheevul07Emaheevul07 5890 replies76 threads Senior Member
    That is certainly true. Everyone envies my parents because they are both self employed and work from home. They both also never take a day off. My dad works literally every waking hour every single day. My mom works fewer total hours, but because her hours are flexible she ends up busy doing mom things all day and then has to stay up all night to meet her deadlines.

    I flatly refused to allow my fiance to start working with my dad until after they had a heart to heart in which my dad expressed regret for never being available ever and understanding that it would not be acceptable for fiance to repeat that behavior. They agreed I and any future children are priority #1 and fiance will always set his own hours. It still doesn't thrill me. When we were in Florida my dad worked the entire time and spent no time with the family and kept dragging my fiance into things.
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  • MizzBeeMizzBee 4519 replies60 threads Senior Member
    DH and I both worked but he worked from home for the first three years and then had the more flexible (and low paying) job until DS was in high school. That meant he went to the doctor, got the call with a sick kid, managed field trips, etc.
    Although I felt bad leaving my little one alone, DH was a better caregiver. He also likes kids in general more than I do. He was relieved to leave the heavy lifting of junior high and high school parenting to me.
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  • crizellocrizello 1228 replies65 threads Senior Member
    Coming late to this thread. . . My DH has been a SAHD for 18 years. It has been the absolute best thing for this family. Hardest thing now is the realization that he may never be able to go back to work in his previous field (software). Times I wish we had more money, but that quickly fades when I realize the free time we have from not having to run errands on weekends

    I always told him we could switch at any time, but deep down I think we both knew that he was the one best suited for the demands of being the one at home.
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