Stay at home dad(14 Posts)
My partner and I have decided we'd like to try for a baby, but she has a really great job and is worried going part time would ruin her career. The work I do would be much easier to go part time with so I suggested this and she's up for it. I was wonder if there any other dads on here who have done something similar? If so, how's it going? I was wondering about breastfeeding. Would it be feasible for my partner to express enough in the morning/evenings or would we end up feeding artificial milk? How does being the stay at home dad feel? Any special challenges? Would be very interested to hear more.
Also, can men get the same deal with paternity leave as mum's get with maternity leave? I work contracts and when one runs out I'm officially unemployed until a new one starts - but I have never been out of work as what I do is in big demand (and can't imagine that I will ever have no work). But if we had a baby at the end of one of my jobs would I be eligible for the same state benefits as I would if I was a woman?
sorry, dadsnet is not a very active area here and I'm not a dad either. But my husband is a SAHD - I went back to work when our DS was 4 months old.
We're not in the UK, so I can't comment on the legal rights and benefits, but otherwise it works very well. When would your partner go back? At 4 months, I fed whenever I was home, and had to express 2-3 times at work. Now at 9 months, I only feed mornings and evenings - DS is refusing formula anyway, but eats enough solids now, so it's not an issue.
I don't think we have encountered any special challenges - DH gets way more attention and help when out and about with DS than a mother with a baby would. I am asked by insensitive colleagues if it's not soooo sad that I'm missing out on all the precious moments. But the baby is happy and it's the best solution for our family, so that's all that matters.
I'm a co-parenting dad, I have several good friends who are SAHDs.
One thing you'll come up against is that you won't be accepted into mum groups / activities. They may very well like you, but unlikely they'll want you around if they have a get together to talk about whatever women talk about.
Ditto play dates to a degree, some
a lot husbands get funny when another man is spending time with their wife at home.
my dh was sahd for two years. I went back to work after 10mths so by then ds was feeding morning and night only.
one unexpected benefit for us has been a deeper respect and understanding of what the other is doing. we both know what being at home full time is like and both know what working ft is like and never have rows some parents with different roles seem to.
he loved it and the experience to spend so much time with ds was really precious to him.
it was also agreed between us that the sahp would be responsible for food shopping and meal prep, and the lions share of housework. some people seemed to think I should carry on with that while he did only childcare. I got negative comments he mainly got 'ooh arent you an amazing saint for running the washing machine' type comments!
re playgroups etc you have to be quite confident to start conversations with mums etc and invite people round for playdates as it does seem they wont think to ask you as much.
I wish a) she earned enough for me to stay at home, b) I earned enough for her to stay at home. As it was her employer was great and she could go in on my days off so I was a part time stay at home dad.........and I loved it.
Playgroups etc were strange as most were very cliquey with some females being excluded aswell but at one or two I was more than welcome, you'll find parents in the schoolyard will be likewise.
Currently men can only have 2 weeks at SPP level of around £138pw. Women have up to 39 weeks.
The law is changing though. I think from April 2015 the paid leave can be split.
I believe that you won't be entitled to any paternity pay if you are between jobs.
Do it - it's a sea-change in life pace but very rewarding and really helps you understand your child(ren). I was on additional paternity leave from my "employed" job for a few months (I scaled-down the freelancing as well when I was on APL).
My only recommendations are: (a) to make sure you schedule in time to meet your friends, and (b) to get some exercise, otherwise you can turn into a reclusive woblling jelly (as I almost did). Try and make friends with other "Domestic Occupation Guys" (the acronym sounds so much better than SAHDs). Your experience might be different, but I agree with EminorSuspended - bar very few exceptions, the mums as a rule weren't interested in talking to me, even when I made the effort to join in and some could be downright rude. Not sure why this is, but I got blanked a lot on the school run. Just shrug your shoulders and get on with it - as Paul McCartney says, "when you got a job to do, you gotta do it well".
DP is a stay at home dad (well p/t now anyway)- he found/finds it hard; I don't think it is as easier to make friends with the other SAHPs- I don't think its necessarily them being cliquey- he is also pretty judgemenatl- becasue initial conversation are pretty superficicla/child related he isn't interested in making an effort.
Its been pretty hard on us as a couple as economics aside I would have really liked to sah longer and resented the fact that he got to do it and complained!
I breastfed- early on I left expressed milk for during the day until DS was on solids- then he was still b/f morning and evening. I built up a supply of expresesed milk during maternity leave to last
Dh is a sahd. I went back to we ok at 6 months and he took over my maternity leave at that point and got the £128 per week. However, like with women, you do need to be employed at time of leave to get that statutory pay. Are you technically self employed?
In terms of experience, dh finds it hard sometimes but broadly I think he's loved. we have Always had some child care so he gets a break and can do some freelance work which is important.
He also finds that people aren't necessarily that friendly but he doesn't mind. He does find though that taking to ds to specific activities on set days helps. So they go to football or music groups certain days and then dh plans things like swimming or soft play for the others.
The law is due to change to allow couples to split the maternity leave between them. You should check out when this is going to happen because if it is from next April you might want to wait a couple of months before TTC. If you're self employed as a woman or between jobs but have paid enough national insurance contributions you can get maternity allowance - which is exactly the same as maternity pay except it comes direct from the government instead of via an employee. I'd assume when the rules change this would apply to men too.
Parental leave can be split already as long as you are both employed. I think your wife had to take the first 12 weeks (check) but after that you can take it and get paid smp at £128 per week, through your employer. You can receive that until 39 weeks after baby is born (or whatever date the calculate mat leave to start from).
Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.
Join the discussion
Please login first.