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Breadwinner vs houseparent - About to switch seats with DH ... anyone else here?

(5 Posts)
eskimomama Sat 17-Sep-11 16:38:42


I would really appreciate advice/experience from parents who have been in the same situation.
I've been the housemom ever since DD was born, she's just about to turn 2 now, and DH has been working his *ss off in a very demanding stressful job that he hates - in the meantime we relocated abroad so I resigned my previous job.

Our idea was that I'd find part time work as we don't want DD in full time nursery but I didn't find anything at all after months, so we changed our strategy and I started looking full time. It is most likely that I will get an offer soon so it's time to make decisions about it now...

In such case, DH would resign his stressful job and become the househusband for an unlimited time.
First of all he needs a break and it could be an opportunity for him to switch to a different environment (he's been studying outside his job and just about to graduate). He could then look for part time work himself with DD in part time nursery which would be great for DD to socialise a bit before she starts preschool, and spend quality time with her daddy that she doesn't see much at all now.

So the idea is fine - BUT I'm having mixed feelings about leaving DD 5 days a week, even with her daddy who is absolutely great with her. I'm a VERY cuddly (+ worrying!) mom and she is mega clingy with me (still breastfeeding due to her dairy allergy, and she's co-sleeping with me still too). So I'm a little worried about how she'd react to such a massive change in her life...

I'd love to hear similar experience - how the dad coped - how the baby reacted, how the whole family adapted and was it a good choice in retrospective...

Thanks in advance

hairylights Sun 18-Sep-11 12:53:44

I'm not in the same boat but I will return from maternity leave to a high powered job while dp becomes the "houseparent".

I didn't want to leave your post unanswered as it seems to still ve a fairly unusual arrangement judging by some of the cats bum faces I've had pulled at me grin

For me it has been about working out what is important to me ... And what is important for our child.

I am sure I will find it hard as I would love to spend more time at home and less at work (oh for a lottery win) but I'm not confusing that with "my child needs his/her mother at home".

My child will have a loving, caring, capable parent at home, and I'm sure will not suffer. also we will be able to maintain a good standard of living and provide a great home environment.

eskimomama Sun 18-Sep-11 14:31:59

thanks - the fact that my DD will be with her dad makes indeed a massive difference. I wouldn't have accepted a full time job unless she was going to stay with him at least 50% of the time.

Good luck to you and your DP with your "unusual" arrangement... people need to change their minds indeed about houseparent = housemom!
I could def be the housemom a bit longer, I really really enjoyed it and I'm so grateful to my DH about those 2 years, but now he's burnt out with stress and we both think it's his turn to take a well deserved break.

lilham Sun 18-Sep-11 15:28:08

I have a lot of respect to fathers who have taken up the houseparent role. Men just do not get the type of support women do when stay at home with a toddler. Going to playgroups will be very hard as they are likely to be the only dad there. But for some couples it makes more financial (and in the case of OP emotional) sense for the father to stay at home.

Good luck and hope it works out for you.

Abgirl Fri 23-Sep-11 13:56:00

Just seen this, I have always worked FT and taken ML for the 2 DSs. DH became a houseparent once my first bit of ML finished. I introduced him to my mum friends who took him under their wings and made sure he (and the DSs) went out and about to playgroups, library, music etc. He says that there are a lot more Dads at the playgroups now than when he first started going so I think it is becoming more common. DSs adapted really quickly and DS2 is still very clingy and cuddly when I'm about so you won't lose that bond. DH does do some part-time work for his old firm and that will probably increase now that DS2 has just started school.

It has been tough sometimes, for me more than the rest of my family I think as I do feel like I'm missing out on things but it was the only choice for us and it has worked well. My DSs definitely have a better bond with their Dads than some of their friends.

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