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tb
tb Dork
5/4/22 9:24 a.m.

The stigma is real, but in many ways it is the same old trope that applies to many other aspects of life.

 

Woman= beautiful, brave godess

Man= blundering, bad idiot

 

I just shrug it off and allow the small minded to underestimate me.

They really don't matter. The group of soccer moms that don't want to socialize with me at the playground... I'm not missing out on anything.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
5/4/22 9:31 a.m.

We need at least one Mr. Mom clip

 

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
5/4/22 9:35 a.m.

I've known a couple SAH dads who homeschool. In each case, the wives made solid incomes and desired to be indentified by their professional image, not by "being a mom". In each case, the dad was a guy who truly didn't care about other people's opinions, and was a bit reclusive. 
 

I thought it was interesting to see just how ostracized the men were, especially among homeschool moms. They were treated like an invasive species. They were not included as equals in the homeschooling community, and did not enjoy fellowshipping with the homeschool community in a deep way. If they tried to become friends with the other at-home parents, they were viewed suspiciously like they were hitting on them. 
 

But those guys didn't care, and enjoyed their lives with their kids. If you are good with the independent and lone wolf life, it can work very well. 
 

 

tb
tb Dork
5/4/22 9:36 a.m.

In reply to Datsun310Guy :

Yeah, we did need that. And it was the correct clip from the movie, too! Resembles me completely, and I am in no way offended.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
5/4/22 9:45 a.m.
SV reX said:

I thought it was interesting to see just how ostracized the men were, especially among homeschool moms. They were treated like an invasive species. They were not included as equals[...]

I can't relate directly to the homeschooling community, but I was a Girl Scout troop co-leader for about 5 years with DW.  I attended monthly council meetings, etc, and never noticed any of that.  I was frequently the only man in a room of 30 women, in an organization dedicated to pre-teen and teen girls.  Nobody seemed to have an issue with it.

 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
5/4/22 9:50 a.m.

My interactions with the moms through school, my year in the PTA, classroom stuff and field trips (where I would frequently be the sole adult male) was overwhelmingly positive. I was never part of the in group, but I never tried to be. 

yupididit
yupididit PowerDork
5/4/22 10:01 a.m.

In reply to SV reX :

Sounds like SAH military spouses. They're wolves lol

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
5/4/22 10:04 a.m.
SV reX said:

...but the cooking wasn't a complete joke. If your wife is gonna work 55 hours, you will need to take on things that add value to her and relieve her stress. Not just playing with the kids and taking on a few hobbies. 

You should be doing this already though.

pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/4/22 10:19 a.m.

I always recall the 60 minutes story about 2 working parents. In this case, mom wanted to work to contribute financially. When they added up the costs of having two cars, commuting, eating out more, paying for services they didn't have the time for, etc., they were losing money. She kept working because she did not want to fall behind in her career, but if you can save money and be happy, that's a win-win to me. 

I have stayed on a career path that allows me to spend time with my family, its more important to me than making the big bucks. I watch movies where Dad is rich, but has a son who he never sees. Something happens (a magic wish, a jump in time, alien attack, etc) and at the end the dad gives up the high-stress job and makes less money  but everyone is happy. I chose to skip the first part and skip right to the happy ending. 

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
5/4/22 11:55 a.m.

In reply to P3PPY :

I've never really had to deal with it. Friends and family never questioned it.  If they did, I mean harshly or critically, my response would not be pleasant.

llysgennad
llysgennad Reader
5/4/22 1:41 p.m.

I did it part-time (2 days a week) for 9-1/2 years, until the kids were in school. Loved it. My wife stayed home 1 day. Set both of our careers back a bit, but it's all good now. I'm still the go-to for most stuff, just because of flexibility and proximity.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
5/4/22 2:00 p.m.

One word of caution here: It sounds like you're full time with benefits, and your wife could pull in what you make in half the time. Be sure to see what that will do to the cost of your health insurance. 

If it doesn't imapct it, then ignore this.

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
5/4/22 2:16 p.m.
ProDarwin said:
SV reX said:

...but the cooking wasn't a complete joke. If your wife is gonna work 55 hours, you will need to take on things that add value to her and relieve her stress. Not just playing with the kids and taking on a few hobbies. 

You should be doing this already though.

Maybe.  I'd have to know a lot more info before I could agree.

I disagree that housework is an automatic "both spouses should share the load".  It is completely dependent on the specifics of the relationship, and the dynamic that has been negotiated.

I work 60-70 hours per week, then commute about 10 more hours.  My wife has been a stay at home parent for over 30 years.  I earn 100% of our household income.  She handles the vast majority of the cooking and cleaning (and enjoys that part).  I have no problem sharing that work, but that's not the dynamic we have agreed on.

Housework and childcare is not some form of punishment that every adult must share equally.  Sometimes that's the part of the work of the relationship that 1 person chooses.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
5/4/22 3:05 p.m.

In reply to mtn :

Agreed. Big question. Does your family's health insurance come from your job? Could it come from her job if she only works 15 hours? If she works 40 hours? 

thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago UberDork
5/4/22 7:08 p.m.

I'm the product of a stay at home dad and happy about it. My mom made more money than him so he chose to stay home and raise us. I have no complaints and think it's helped me not be so bound by gender roles. My mom can't cook for E36 M3 but my dad and I can. I saw him cooking all the time so it's normal to me to see dudes in the kitchen. Same with money: my wife make more than me (it's hard to beat a CPA) and I think it's awesome. Doesn't matter who makes more because it benefits the whole family. 

He did go back to work once I was like 13-14 because he was getting stir crazy at home. But by that point I was capable of taking care of myself after school until one of my parents got home. 

TL;DR do it if that's the best choice for your family. I know my dad doesn't regret it one bit. 

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
5/4/22 7:21 p.m.
mazdeuce - Seth said:

My interactions with the moms through school, my year in the PTA, classroom stuff and field trips (where I would frequently be the sole adult male) was overwhelmingly positive.

I guess it's time for this clip.  
 

 

Uncle David (Forum Supporter)
Uncle David (Forum Supporter) Reader
5/4/22 8:39 p.m.

Late to the thread as usual.

I did this for about 4 years. I've been back at work for about 7 years. Bottom line: I didn't love it, and was glad to get back to work. I really felt that, as a prime working-age guy, I was supposed to be working for money, and I never got over that.

When I started, the kids were 6 and 8.  I did cooking, cleaning, home maintenance, kid pickup and drop off, kid doctor's visits, kid entertainment when they didn't have other activities, and volunteer stuff

Stuff I liked:

- Lower overall stress, of course

- No conflicts between job responsibilities and personal responsibilities. The very first week I started this, we had two huge snow storms a week apart. It was so nice to just deal with the snow and the kids without having to think about work.

- No work deadlines, no co-worker issues, no boss issues, no failing at work

- I did some volunteer work for organizations I cared about. Some of it occurred in the evenings, and I wasn't completely wiped out like I was when I tried to do that stuff while working

- More time to work on cars

- I could keep the house neater and cleaner (I'm a bit of a neat freak and my wife is the opposite, to put it nicely)

- I could do stuff with / for my kids, including attending multi-day cub scout camps or taking day trips, without dealing with job conflicts

- Shopping when no one else is in the store. Like grocery shopping or Lowes Depot visits at 8 AM. Sooo much better than weekend visits.

- Time to handle personal business without conflicting with work.

- I got to have actual weekends, instead of rushing to do enough chores in 1.5 days (because 1/2 day of work on Saturdays) to get set up for the next week.

- My wife was less stressed and had more free time as well, since I was able to do a lot of the stuff that she had done when we both worked. She also got to pursue her career harder, which worked out well for her (for a while, but that's another story)

 

Stuff I didn't like

- Nearly all the other SAH's were women, so different perspectives and different approaches to handling kids (I'm way more inclined to let them try stupid stuff, and then learn from it), and not really much opportunity to make friends.

- Far fewer topics to talk to my friends about, all of whom worked (and still do)

- Hanging out at the school playground after school, which I had to do because the kids wanted to. See bullet point above.

- Vacations didn't feel as special

- Figuring out what to make for dinner every day gets old

- Cleaning the house is really boring

- Occasional, but only occasional awkwardness when asked "What do you do?" by people I've just met.

- Overall, this time was less intellectually stimulating than having a professional-level job.

P3PPY
P3PPY Dork
5/5/22 12:12 a.m.

Good stuff here, thanks for the testimonials about how it can be done.

Uncle David, I'd not thought about that intellectually stimulating thing. That's food for thought. My hope is to be able to scratch that itch with side gigs, but I really do enjoy using my noggin.

<<kidStory side note: Then again, maybe my kids will keep me on my toes. On Saturday day we waited at the light by this panhandler who was high out of his gord, holding a sign "Anything helps." All this crazy nervous energy, looked almost like he was doing the potty dance. I told the kids he took some medicine he shouldn't have. My 7 year old goes "his handwriting is very pretty." Then a minute later, "ANYthing helps? So if we gave him some poop he'd like that?" to which the 5 year old in all seriousness replied, "yeah, his sign was wrong. He should have written a sign 'SOME things help'." /kidStory>>

Regarding insurance, we do an insurance alternative, I guess you'd call it, so we're good there. And MAN it's been handy to take the consideration of benefits out of job change equations.

 

The thing holding us back right now is that we can't afford to have me quit and then her slowly increase her client load from 2 per week all the way up to 15-18. And she can't slowly ramp up while I continue at the office since we rely on family who has other things to do too. It's kind of an all or nothing deal, therefore she's looking into joining an agency that will let her take home a decent amount of what she earns.

Torkel
Torkel Reader
5/5/22 5:45 a.m.

For the record, I'd frikking love to be a stay-at-home-dad! I'd jump on that opportunity in a heartbeat! 

My input: 

- berkeley the stigma and berkeley the silly people who thinks it somehow makes you less of a man - do what you feel like doing and berkeley the rest. If any of your friends give you E36 M3 about it, then berkeley them too. 

- If you do it, make sure you do it right and do it all the way: What you contribute is everything but the income. Make sure your wife only has to focus on her job, nothing else. Not the cooking, not the cleaning, not the shopping, not cloths and school stuff for the kids, not parent-meetings at school, not calling the plumber and meeting him at home, not planning vacation trips or weekend activities, not the laundry... I'm exaggerate a bit, but you get my point. 

- Finances, pension and such: Make sure you are financially OK in case (for whatever reason!) you would split up. 

 

And please report back to us! 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
5/5/22 8:56 a.m.
Uncle David (Forum Supporter) said:

- Overall, this time was less intellectually stimulating than having a professional-level job.

That was probably the second biggest factor in our decision to have both of us work full time, after economics.  Although neither of us made our careers our Number One priority, I'm glad we both had one.

But, of course, kids grow up.  As most of the folks who've actually done it have said, at some point you can go back to work if you decide you want to.

 

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
5/5/22 9:21 a.m.
SV reX said:
ProDarwin said:
SV reX said:

...but the cooking wasn't a complete joke. If your wife is gonna work 55 hours, you will need to take on things that add value to her and relieve her stress. Not just playing with the kids and taking on a few hobbies. 

You should be doing this already though.

Maybe.  I'd have to know a lot more info before I could agree.

I disagree that housework is an automatic "both spouses should share the load".  It is completely dependent on the specifics of the relationship, and the dynamic that has been negotiated.

I work 60-70 hours per week, then commute about 10 more hours.  My wife has been a stay at home parent for over 30 years.  I earn 100% of our household income.  She handles the vast majority of the cooking and cleaning (and enjoys that part).  I have no problem sharing that work, but that's not the dynamic we have agreed on.

Housework and childcare is not some form of punishment that every adult must share equally.  Sometimes that's the part of the work of the relationship that 1 person chooses.

Understandable.  Different people have different views on this.

I read the OP's situation as currently they roughly share the "go to work" portion of things, so my comment was that they should also be sharing other duties already.  I think its very important that the overall workload of maintaining a happy, healthy family/household/bank account, etc. be shared equally by both parties.  With one party working 55 hours a week to earn the income, I would expect the stay at home party to be putting in the same amount of work doing kid related stuff and general household care (cleaning, organizing, maintaining, etc.)

That said, I'm single, so I do 100% of the duties in my household :)

Regarding being a stay at home dad, my concern would be intellectual stimulation as others have mentioned.  Even if it was a break even scenario, I would prefer to have my son in daycare playing with other kids around his age, and me doing something stimulating vs. the opposite.  The other concern I have is that staying home and watching kids is a loooong, exhausting day.  When your spouse comes home you may want to hand things off to them, but they have also had a long exhausting day working extra hard.  Just something you need to navigate.

My father was a stay at home father for a period of approximately 6 or 7 years while both my sister and I were in elementary and middle school.  Part of this was due to his health (myotonic dystrophy).  He did all the things for us kids, but household stuff he wasn't always on top of and that caused some tension between my parents as my mom didn't want to have to do it after working 50 hours + commuting.  Not a black and white issue though due to the illness and I am very proud of both of them handing those very difficult years as well as they did.

tb
tb Dork
5/5/22 1:10 p.m.

I honestly think that the 1950s (?) Model where the "housewife" does everything in the home and the "breadwinner" never touches the dishes, laundry nor the children is incredibly dated and kinda toxic. Am I expected to be waiting at the door with her slippers and a Manhattan everyday, too? Everyone is entitled to the model that works for them, but we don't split things 50/50 and instead works towards trying to keep it 100+100 as much as possible...

However you decide to split up the workload, I advise that you keep open communication about how it is working for you both and are flexible about shifting responsibilities in the future. I rarely get anything right the first time, but oftentimes do learn from my mistakes...

 

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/5/22 4:23 p.m.
Torkel said:

For the record, I'd frikking love to be a stay-at-home-dad! I'd jump on that opportunity in a heartbeat! 

My input: 

- berkeley the stigma and berkeley the silly people who thinks it somehow makes you less of a man - do what you feel like doing and berkeley the rest. If any of your friends give you E36 M3 about it, then berkeley them too. 

- If you do it, make sure you do it right and do it all the way: What you contribute is everything but the income. Make sure your wife only has to focus on her job, nothing else. Not the cooking, not the cleaning, not the shopping, not cloths and school stuff for the kids, not parent-meetings at school, not calling the plumber and meeting him at home, not planning vacation trips or weekend activities, not the laundry... I'm exaggerate a bit, but you get my point. 

- Finances, pension and such: Make sure you are financially OK in case (for whatever reason!) you would split up. 

 

And please report back to us! 

This is me to the "T"

I'd cook, clean, pack lunches, go over homework, after school activities, home repairs, the whole works.  I tell Mrs. Hungary almost every day that the moment we swap salaries, I'm E36 M3ting on the boss's desk and never looking back.  Being a SAH dad would be my absolute dream job.

And yes.  Occasionally I'd work on my car/pursue my hobbies.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
5/5/22 4:37 p.m.

In reply to Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) :

I was on the office this Saturday and gave my 2 week notice on Monday.  

Does this desk shatting thing really happen?

Duke
Duke MegaDork
5/5/22 4:43 p.m.
Datsun310Guy said:

In reply to Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) :

Does this desk shatting thing really happen?

Ask Johnny Depp.

 

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