Life as a stay at home dad working mom
Are you a bit confused about who should be taking care of your child during the day? You know you want it to be either you or your partner, but it seems impossible.
Have you ever fantasized about your partner staying home and taking care of the kids? And if you are a dad, have you ever thought about becoming a stay at home dad but worry about the negative connotation that comes with it?
Imagine this, not worrying about who is taking care of your child — or even better knowing that you are not going to have to pay a ridiculous amount of money to a child care provider. Sometimes childcare can cost more than half of your paycheck – what the heck?!
Figuring out childcare is a bag of mixed emotions. Pros and cons? There are tons when deciding if you or your partner should be a stay at home parent. I think most soon-to-be parents are going through this with the economy the way it is and just the state of our country in general.
My husband and I went through this exact whirlwind of emotions until we decided together that he would be a stay home dad.
The results: We are loving it right now!
I want to share what life is like with a stay at home dad from the perspective of a working mom. Clear out some of the stigma people have when it comes to stay at home dads and share why moms should not have guilt if they go to work.
Most of all, if you are thinking about childcare, I want to let you know how we make our lifestyle work. It may be hard at times but it is doable.
It is a lot to write about in one post, so let’s get started.
Life with a stay at home dad keeps this working mom sane
If you are wondering about our weekday routine, here is some insight.
I have to be at work by 7:30 a.m., which means I am up at about 5:30 a.m. getting ready. I start my morning off by breastfeeding my daughter before I go to work. I do this to make sure she is asleep, so my husband can get things done in the morning before our daughter wakes up.
My husband then takes care of our daughter for a good 10 hours at home. He feeds her, bathes her and usually takes her out to play at a park or something similar. You can read all about his routine with her here: Stay at Home Dad’s Daily Toddler Routine from Foo Fighters to Bath Time
When I get home, I usually take over caring for our daughter. I nurse her as soon as I get back, while my husband makes dinner and finishes up chores from earlier in the day. We have dinner, spend some time together, and after my husband usually has a side job to do while I handle the bedtime routine.
It is as simple as that. I will be honest, I do basic chores, more picking up than anything. My husband handles the bulk of the work at home. Such as laundry, breakfast/lunch/dinner, cleaning the kitchen, throwing out the trash, etc. So I do not even worry about those chores. When I get home, I can focus on taking care of our daughter and working on this working mom stay at home dad blog.
Creating a routine that does not suck for a working mom or a stay at home dad
The routine above is ideal and happens more often than not. Although things always come up and we have to change our regimen.
It has taken us a while to get into the swing of things. Some days we fight about who does what because we are both exhausted. But that is what our fighting is for, with us, it eventually turns into open communication. And afterward an empathetic discussion.
Rather than continuing to fight about who does what – we divvied up chores and responsibilities.
For instance, evenings and weekends I am mostly responsible for taking care of our daughter so my husband can work. While I work my full-time job, he takes care of her. If I have an appointment or an engagement in the evening or on the weekend I do my best to let him know in advance.
Like when I go get my hair done, that can take a full Saturday, on those days my husband is there for me telling me to relax and enjoy myself.
There have also been times when he has a job that may take all day, and it is last minute (and it makes more money), so I take the day off to take care of our daughter – if we can’t find a sitter. That is very rare, but it has happened.
We are both extremely flexible with each other; we do not have our routine or rules set in stone. What we have is an understanding and a set of expectations.
How to make this arrangement work:
- Expectations – if you ever feel like your partner is not pulling his or her weight it will not work – set your expectations sooner than later
- Communication – you have to discuss your expectations and be honest about how you feel and what you are thinking
- Execution – you have to make your expectations a reality, have a plan to make it happen
The worst scenario is if one parent ends up taking on too large of a burden. It is not fair to either parent or your child.
If you want it to work, you have to work for it.
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Why it’s worth blowing off the stay at home dad stigma
One thing that happens when you realize you want your husband to stay at home is all this negativity that comes into play around this topic.
It is everywhere, articles about how a man should not stay at home with his kids. Or the media and entertainment business spewing out stereotypical stay at home dads at every avenue in an attempt to remain relevant.
Let me tell you now; it is all just noise that you have to filter out. But it does get harder to filter out when it is someone you know who is making the noise.
You can see it in people’s eyes sometimes – when you tell them your husband’s job is staying at home with your baby and their eyes glaze over, and they ask, “well, what did he do before.” As if that is more important than what he is currently doing.
Many people do not understand the value of having a parent at home to raise a child. So if you want a price tag of how much of a value it is, you will not find it here because it is priceless. But maybe in the future, we will crunch some numbers to give you a realistic price tag on my husband’s services.
All I know is it has been worth it for my family. We have grown together and are happy with our life. We are also closer than ever, and my daughter is
We panicked and thought we might not make it financially
Life as a stay at home dad working mom means living on a budget (for us at least).
My husband and I both worked our entire relationship together; we were used to two incomes. Our earnings have always been similar, whenever one of us got a raise, the other would catch up within a matter of months.
Life was sweet (financially that is)! We bought our home while in our mid-twenties and had everything we wanted.
Pre-baby we rarely worried about money.
Before we found out I was pregnant, I had just graduated with my Master’s degree, and we wanted to celebrate so we took probably 3-4 road trips to see some of our favorite bands around the country and we also went to Las Vegas. Living life as if money was no object – knowing we could easily replenish our savings.
Then it hit us like a brick – we were pregnant! And suddenly we realized our financial obligations were about to go through a considerable change.
When having a baby there is a lot to think about these are the most critical topics:
- Medical bills
- Nursery and prepping the home
- Clothing and other necessities
- Maternity leave
- The monthly cost of the baby after she is born
The first thing we did was start saving. We cut out every expense possible by:
- Making every meal at home
- Wearing clothes (including underwear) from 2015 still
- Not buying anything for our house or us that is not baby relate
Our most significant purchase to date is our vehicle, we bought it because a car seat does not fit well in our muscle car.
During my pregnancy, I was such a tightwad; I bought but a few pieces of maternity clothing. Luckily, I fit in my regular clothes my entire pregnancy. I will be honest; I was glad that I could not eat because we saved money on food!
When I had to pay doctors and hospital bills, the money was there – but there went our savings again. It cost easily over $3,000 WITH health insurance (BlueCross BlueShield).
That price tag does not include buying baby furniture, strollers/carriers, and other essentials for the baby (although we got a bulk of stuff as gifts, HUGE thanks to family and friends).
As soon as we had our daughter, my husband left his job and went into daddy mode full time. We were officially a one income household upon her arrival. Which made things pretty rough.
Obvious lessons learned:
- Babies are expensive
- Hospital and medical bills are costly
- Living on one income while on maternity leave is the equivalent to not getting paid for a few months (I had short term disability which is 50% of what I make weekly, I only got four payments the rest of the time I was unpaid)
Nonetheless, our time, while I was on maternity leave, ate up the rest of our savings. But I would not have wanted it any other way. My husband and I bonded with our baby for about four months, and that was the best time of my life. I was nervous about having a baby, but I never went through anything alone. He was there for both of us the entire time.
When I finally went back to work and was getting my full pay – it took a good year for us to get comfortable financially. Meaning I could put a bit of money in our savings account. This happened fairly recently.
Two things happened that made it possible, I got a raise, and my husband makes a side income while taking care of our daughter and working the evenings and weekends.
All the carefree spending habits are still gone. I recently bought my first makeup item in about two years, and we recently started eating out again every once in a while. Before this year, all of our earnings went to our baby, groceries, and bills.
Our financial situation has been tough, but we are working hard to make it better. Living on one income is doable – we just faced an uphill battle when it came to expenses in the first few months of our baby’s life, and it took a while to recover.
Surviving on one income is difficult, so if you are thinking about it, be prepared. Know that you can live without the extra little things in life.
As I mentioned before, we love it and our time together has been more valuable than anything money can buy. We have survived, and I think we are through that rough patch. Although, financial burdens can happen at any time.
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No roles in our relationship – no guilt
As you can tell by now, our household and our lives are not run by predetermined roles of what a man or woman should do. Not one bit. We have always been equals in our relationship. If that were not the case, we would not be together.
That is why a transition
That is the bottom line– do what is best for you and your family. When I go to work, I miss my husband and daughter immensely! However, I know my work puts food on the table, pays the bills and provides
The same goes for my husband – he knows he is raising our daughter to be a good person. She is getting quality time with him, and he is meeting her needs. We do not have to rely on anyone to care for our child.
The bottom line is when you are doing what is necessary for your family, there should be no guilt. We do what we do to provide for our daughter.
Who physically goes to work on a daily basis should not matter – because let’s face it staying at home or going to work, if you are doing it right you will be exhausted at the end of the day. If you are pulling your weight in the relationship then there is value regardless of how you spend your day.
Once you put it in perspective of why people do what they do – you then realize our lives go beyond a label such as a stay at home dad or working mom. What we are doing is far more significant than what the media is labeling us as or what society expects of us.
I care more about the expectations of my husband and daughter than some nameless, faceless person whose opinion does not matter in the scheme of my life. I hope everyone is living the same way, including
That is the truth.
I love my life, and I would not trade it for anything. Not even for all the money or sleep in the world.
Working moms out there, what is your life like? Stay at home dads, what is your life like? Are you enjoying life like we are? Or do you have a different opinion? We want to hear, let us know in the comments below. Or you can find us on Facebook.