I’ve been a stay at home dad for 6 years to my 6-year-old son. When he was born, my wife and I both were working and decided on daycare for him. We chose the best daycare in our area and were still not happy. We saw our son for an hour in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon before he went to bed. It just didn’t seem fair to him and left us feeling like non-existent parents. My wife and I both held professional jobs, but my wife had a better position and made more money than I did. After looking at expenses vs. income, we decided we could make it on her salary alone while I stayed home.
I was fortunate enough to be raised by a stay at home mom that taught me “household” skills and a dad who taught me “home improvement” skills. So to stay home and raise our son while maintaining the home was not an issue. I do all of the cooking, cleaning, errands and shopping, budgeting, scheduling and appointments, school activities and chaperoning. I jokingly call myself the CDO, Chief Domestic Officer. I see what I am doing as more of a trend whether one or both parents are working. Men are taking more time to help out around the home and put more effort into their family.
Now that my son is in Kindergarten, I have a few additional hours each day to do some marketing consulting on the side as well as write this blog. My blog’s goal is not to chronicle every step of my day, but to offer truly helpful information to dads or any stay at home parent.
Six years after our decision, we are still doing well and found a rhythm to our lives. Sometimes my wife needs some help from me with her work and sometimes I need help from her with my consulting and blog. We work together to raise our son to be the best he can be and work together so everyone is successful. It is a bit of a shift in traditional thinking that breaks away from “his job” and “her job,” leading to everything is “our job”. Because I get all of the household work and errands done during the week, we have more fun family time on the weekends without having to tote our son around on “boring” errands. It also makes for greater and longer quality time with mommy!
There are a lot of people that ask how I feel about sacrificing my career. A career will always be there, I just may need to start back toward the beginning. My main response to the question is that it is my wife who did the sacrificing by working. Once our child grows up, you can’t go back. So another part of my job is to help give her the most time with him as possible…before he is off to college and starts a family of his own! If we could, we would both stay at home. But alas, there are bills to pay! We are just fortunate enough to be able to afford to do what we do.