To ask for your experiences of stay-at-home dad?(59 Posts)
We aren't at the stage of having DC yet, but I have a career with a nice employer that I enjoy and is stable and well paid. DH hates working and his dream is just to stay home and nurture something (currently a dog!) Currently, if I think about having a short time at home with baby and then handing over to him, I don't think I mind. I had my mum at home throughout my childhood and would really like the same for my kid (that and childcare costs are terrifying), but I don't think I could stay at home myself as I enjoy working and DH just doesn't.
AIBU? Do you think as soon as baby was born I would change my mind and not want to spend a second apart? Would I grow resentful of the fun they were having while I was working? Would our child be much more attached to DH than me?
Would DH struggle to find companionship or are there lots of stay at home dads now?
It is still pretty rare.
Honestly, it's hard to draw any conclusions about how you will/would find it. Particularly if you breastfeed, newborns tend to be far more attached to mums than dads. But there is no reason why it couldn't work, more just reasons why it tends not to work to the advantage of the mother.
He hates working? I could understand if he hated his job. Do you own your home? How would you feel if due to his lack of ambition and laziness (wouldn't we all like to be at home?) you lose respect for him, want a divorce and have to hand over your house AND children because he's main carer.
This applies whether you are male or female. Nothing wrong with being a SAHP but both sexes should retain some sort of financial independence.
My partner is a stay at home dad. We both worked hard, him ambulance service, me a teacher but money wise it was just awful! We were spend £1k on childcare a month and that wasn't full time for ds2 and was part time for ds1 as he was at school. He did t like his job either so we did some sums and we would be so much better off by him not going to work.
Do you think as soon as baby was born I would change my mind and not want to spend a second apart?
This is tricky, my little one was 1 when we decided this and I was already back at work after maternity so I was already feeling a bit guilty but was totally ready to be at work.
Would I grow resentful of the fun they were having while I was working? I am sometimes. All the places they go and the fact I get tea time and bed and that's it.
Would our child be much more attached to DH than me? Yes. There is that possibility. Ours seem to be which I hate and can't stand but then my partner now has an evening job so they are all mine when he leaves.
Hope that helps? X
We're not all the same. I have no less respect for someone because they don't want to trek back and forth to and from some dreary office for 10-12 hours a day. In fact, nothing could be more natural in my opinion! It is different if they are out and out not prepared to work and your family is struggling, but if you can afford to have one parent at home and one parent wants to be at home, what is the problem?
You won't know until you try it. Having a baby changes you in many ways.
Going back to work is hard but you get used to it. Leaving baby at home with dad will take away the worry of settling a baby into childcare.
If finances work out - go for it. It doesn't have to mean it's that way forever. You culd always both go part time? Or you could drop a day and dh does some freelancing or something?
How would you feel if due to his lack of ambition and laziness (wouldn't we all like to be at home?) you lose respect for him
Clearly we 'all' wouldn't like to be at home - as the op has said. I don't think preferring to be at home shows a lack of ambition and laziness either
I’m a stay at home dad. My wife works full time in a demanding job. I left my role (in education) to take on the full time care of our DD when she was four months old and my wife returned to work then full time. We’re now expecting our second (DD1 will be two in December and the next is due Jan) and I will continue to be a stay at home dad for the next couple of years at least. I aim to return to work when the next one starts nursery aged 2 (unless we have any more!).
We did it this way for several reasons.
1) my wife earns more than I did
2) she loves her job whereas I was content but not wedded to it
3) we both preferred the idea of one of us doing the main raising than a nanny/nursery etc.
So far it’s worked out really well - but bear in mind that my wife has long school holidays so therefore we get a lot of time together as a family unit.
There aren’t many blokes doing it, and I’m often the only chap at any of the baby groups, and I’m the only one in my circle of friends who does it. I always feel slightly awkward making friendships with women at the groups, as it feels like if I suggested going for a coffee/play date for the kids they might think it meant something else - but this is my hang up and I’m working on it!
Honestly, I’d say go for it. It’s been brilliant. I do miss the adult interaction you get in the work place but seeing my child grow and develop makes up for that. I’d say that, if part of the plan is to do some work from home, there probably isn’t the time (unless he works evenings - but he’ll be knackered!).
If you want any more info etc then feel free to pm me
My Bil is a sahm while my dsis works. He's great, he loves it and dsis loves her career. Their dd is only 13 months at the moment and dsis is already sick to the back teeth of being told how wonderful, amazing, hard working her dh is. The other mums at all the toddler groups he goes to think he's some kind of God as well. Like anyone would comment on it if it was the mum doing a decent job of looking after a child.
DH does have his eye on setting up a business and has an idea, so once baby was older and started to go to nursery (which we'd still want for socialisation etc) he'd have a few hours a week to start working on that. If that brought in a little extra money I could then look at part-time.
He doesn't want to set up the next Microsoft or anything, it's just something hands on he could do from home with a few tools.
My brother is a stay at home Dad and has been his his daughter (now 4, nearly 5) was born.
His partner always earned a lot more than him, and he always did all the cooking and most of the other housework so it just made sense for them.
She works long hours, and is sometimes away overnight. He does all the shopping, cooking, laundry, housework etc as well as looking after their daughter.
Now that she's started school he's setting up a small business but continues to do all the childcare and housework.
He already had friends and hasn't really made any 'Dad' friends, although is friendly with the parents of his daughters friends. When his daughter was a baby he went to a baby group but sadly found a lot of the Mums there rather unfriendly. For example he once had a group aggressively question him on whether he really did all the housework. Obviously they found it hard to believe! (and yes he does!)
It works really well for him and his partner.
(Although I should mention, his partner earns a very big salary so they can afford for him to not work, which of course isn't the case for a lot of families).
dona - here comes the old sexist argument that a man should go out and work and display his masculinity. No way you’d be saying that a man would lose respect for his wife if she stayed at home.
You both need to think very carefully, ie how will you feel while you’re at work, and he’s at home, would you resent him, what happens if you spilt up, would your husband me isolated etc
As an alternative Could both of you work part time
We had a period of DH being a SAHD - it worked really well for all of us, especially the DC who weren’t used to having someone at home FT. However we did it when they were older and more independent (we both would have struggled being a SAHP during the toddler years I think)
The one piece of advise I have is plan for that as early as possible if you could financially. Ours was unexpected (redundancy) so our outgoings weren’t set up for just 1 wage so financially it was tough. If we’d had a year or two to plan we could have made necessary allowances way in advance
I felt the same as you before we considered having a child. My career is better than my DP’s and I enjoy my own space so the plan was for me to have DC for a few months, and DO to take over.
Then I got pregnant and started to reconsider how I felt about it.
I now have a 3 month old DS and the idea of parental leave has been dropped, for a couple of reasons:
He is a BF baby and will not take a bottle! This means that I need to be on-call around the clock. Even if we had a solution for the day, I would still need to be up doing all the night feeds.
I just can’t imagine anyone else providing the same level of care. I know that my DP is a good parent and he will pick it up, but I feel like intuitively understand what DS needs and at the moment DP doesn’t get that.
And over the past few months I’ve bonded with him and I can’t bear to not see his smiling face first thing in the morning, and only see him again in the evening as he’s settling for the night. I know it will happen when I return to work, but for now I don’t want to miss out on how he changes.
However, it isn’t fun! It’s tiring and mostly boring being at home with a baby. I do still envy my DP going to work whilst I’m stuck at home all day.
It’s entirely likely that you’ve feeling will change when pregnant/when DC is born. You just need to make sure that you are both on board if decisions change.
My DH was SAHD for a year when he made redundant. It didn't work for us. He loved it! The school run mums loved him and he was always on playdates etc and he did an excellent job of looking after the kids. But he was shit at all the other stuff - I as still doing all the night wakings ( loads with a breastfed toddler) , and would spend all evening and weekends keeping up with the cleaning and washing etc. He just couldn't seem to like after kids AND throw a load of washing on, sweep the floor after lunch, tidy toys up etc. I'm not talking deep clean - just keeping on top of day to day stuff! And Ultimately he got bored of it anyway so went back to work and I became SAHM.
Just think about pensions OP . Make sure you plan to pay into his NI contributions and keep your leg is somehow so when kids are older you can Work again
Emotionally no Issues but major financial Issues long term if you don't plan
From what I've learned from here, be warned that as he would be the primary care giver, he is likely to get primary custody of the children if you split and you may be obliged to financially support him.
Not liking working is a huge red flag. Is he just lazy and wants supported and sees you as a meal ticket? Babies and children and running a house are huge amounts of work. Does he actually want to just lazy about the house all day in his pants or has he shown signs of being focussed, dedicated and hard working? How well is he looking after the dog: is it well trained?
One of my friends has this set up
Dad is great with the kids, reliable with school pick and drop and Keesps track of al medical stuff - 1 kid and my friend have chronic conditions
However, he’s incredibly lazy around the house, hates food shopping and is a BIG junk eater so even if he did it, it’s be fu of crap and lazy mess
She still seems to do far more than half the house stuff and the reason he’s so reliable for school pick up is the bloody alarms on his iPhone that wake him to go get
She still considers it a win as she is a high earner, very competitive in the work place and also has a hobby that he supports by always being available
Just to clarify DH does currently work-full time perfectly happily (we both do). But as a PP has said, he works he has to, I work because I enjoy it. It's not that I'm his 'meal ticket', it's that we would like one parent at home and he seems the more logical choice.
The custody thing does worry me though...
It's a worry that he doesn't want to work before you even have children tbh. Is it that he hates his current job or is it that he just wants to do his own thing? I don't think I'd be agreeing to anything in advance and I'd probably say I definitely want to be the main carer for 9 months to a year because of breastfeeding. After that it may work well for him to stay at home or for you both to go part time. DH and I shared the care after I went back to work, which worked well for us although I was the main carer so not quite the same as your setup. I like the security of us both earning and we both get to spend time with the children 1-1 (well 1-2 now). Now they're at school we both work during the time they're in school and share pickups. If one of us had dropped working entirely they'd now have a lot of leisure time while the other worked full time which seems unfair to me, plus our income would be a lot lower.
You could start by agreeing to share maternity leave. You could do 6 months each or something for a year and see how you both feel after that. There is no need to decide now as you really don't know how you will feel after the baby is born.
With dd I took 6 months and then dh took 3. I couldn't wait to get back to work and DH loved having the time with dd. In the end we decided to both go part time.
Make sure, while you might have checked it is financially viable now, youve also included pension contributions for him and the child benefit to ensure he still has contributions.
One of my bils is a sahd. He had a heart attack and couldnt return to his previous job. Then dsis upped her hours to cover his wages a bit and now he is at home while she works.
It doesn't work for them. Dsis is very unhappy. Bil doesnt do any of the shitty housework jobs that a sahm would probably do. He moans if she does extra hours as he needs a break from childcare despite their ds being in nursery 15 hours now. He is basically a cocklodger.
So yes in some situations it will work. But not all. Bit like any family set up really. But I wouldn't do it purely because of who would be deemed the resident parent in the event of a split.
My dh is a stay at home dad for 2 months about twice a year.
It frustrates me and I still find it hard to get used to. I spend my weekends doing laundry and catching up on cleaning. He won't/cant/doesn't see it. His excuse is he's "minding the children" therefore can't do anything else. I resent it and I've raised it a few times and asked how I manage to mind and clean at the same time (my two children are not babies and it's not hard to leave them play while he can do jobs). When I come in from work DH is sitting reading his phone, complaining of how hard his day was.
I would set some expectations at the beginning so you both know what is expected of you.
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