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Would you go back to work & leave your OH to look after the children? If not, why not?

(100 Posts)
lechatnoir Wed 05-Aug-09 21:39:42

We're seriously considering swopping traditional roles & me returning to work whilst DH stays at home & looks after the children/home. We can't afford to lose my salary whereas we could live without DH's so it seems daft to farm off our 2 young children to stangers when their dad is perfectly capable of looking after them. Reaction from friends & family has been interesting to say the least hmm

I'm amazed how few men do this - do you think this is is because they still more likely to earn more or just because it isn't the 'done' thing?
Interested to hear your views positive & negative grin

Marthasmama Wed 05-Aug-09 21:45:05

Dh would love to be a stay at home dad. If I had the earning potential that he has, we would definitely do it if we could afford it. Alas, in the sphere of work I went into, there is little earning potential and my degree hardly lends itself to a high earning career!

Katymac Wed 05-Aug-09 21:45:06

I did

DH was a much better primary carer than I ever was - much more balanced & patient

Tillyscoutsmum Wed 05-Aug-09 21:45:06

I wouldn't - but that is simply because my DH is not the right sort of person to be a SAHP. I genuinely think it is a role that a lot of people do not enjoy/cope with very well.

I am mainly a SAHM and enjoy it most of the time but I would struggle without the various group we go to and the friends I have made. The groups are mainly frequented by women and I think unless your DH would be happy to socialise in these predominantly female environments or would be happy to be a SAHP without much interaction from other people, he could find it quite difficult and lonely.

UnquietDad Wed 05-Aug-09 21:47:00

I think it's not seen as a "manly" thing to do by some, which is just daft. I expect what you mean by "interesting" reactions is people doing the hmm or saying outright that it's not right.

On the other hand, I had a bit of a hmm moment at your description of registered childcare as "farming my children off to strangers." That's not especially sensitive or helpful.

PortBlacksandResident Wed 05-Aug-09 21:50:49

DH would do this like a shot when / if i ever earn enough grin. He is far more patient than me and i'm more ambitious in some ways than him.

UQD - some people do see registered childcare that way - others don't. I don't have a problem with her choice of words.

UnquietDad Wed 05-Aug-09 21:52:47

Really? I think that if you don't want to use childcare, just don't use it. Don't describe it in such unnecessary, unhelpful and emotive terms for other people who DO have to use it.

Katymac Wed 05-Aug-09 21:55:23

Or those who provide it

Thanks UQD

Knakard Wed 05-Aug-09 21:59:01

We did, i went back when ds was 14 weeks and dh stayed at home with him till he was one. Worked for us did it for financial reasons as i earn more, did miss him like mad but i worked shifts which made it easier as often would not leave for work till 3pm so spent most of day together, not sure if i could have done it if i did a 9 5er. At one dh went back 3 days and ds went to nursery 2 days ( i did the other as an off day). to be honest dh is much better at managing the house then me. Ds is now 2 and him and dh have an amazing relationship that im sure was helped by spending so much time together in the early days

lowrib Wed 05-Aug-09 22:14:30

I would have no problem doing this once my DS has stopped BFing in the day, it's certainly an option we'd consider.

drosophila Wed 05-Aug-09 22:18:13

I would and may well have to.

Katymac Wed 05-Aug-09 22:19:50

I worked close to home & DH used to bring DD to me to have her feed - we did that for 5 months

Knakard Wed 05-Aug-09 22:20:59

Oh forgot the constant pumping, that was one of the hardest bits! Trying to get my staff (mostly 20-25 year old lads) to take me seriously whenthey new what i was sloping off to do every few hours!

RedLollyYellowLolly Wed 05-Aug-09 22:21:35

I suggested it to DH - he was NOT receptive in the slightest and TBH I don't think he's the stay at home "type" (like Tillyscoutmum).

I know of a couple of partnerships where the ddad has gone part time when mum went back full time which seems to have worked for them.

I do think SAHDs have the potential to feel more isolated than SAHMs.

CarGirl Wed 05-Aug-09 22:21:55

Yes we'd certainly do it, but our earning power is similar so I've done the pre-school years, we may end up both working part time now they're all at school.

Mintyy Wed 05-Aug-09 22:23:04

No I would not, but that is because dh is not as interested in the children as I am. He is less patient and would get bored more easily. He would feel anxious about the break from his career and would fret. He would see caring for the children as a necessary evil, something rather annoying that has to be done, rather than as a fulfilling and worthwhile occupation in itself.

lisad123 Wed 05-Aug-09 22:24:57

I would, and have talked it though many times but Im too selfish to give up my time with the kids.
I did also worry how many other children my DDs would get to see, as his not the sort to go to other mums for tea grin

lechatnoir Wed 05-Aug-09 22:48:03

Sorry for the 'farm off to strangers' comment blush.

We are one of those families where both parents need to work (well so we thought until this SAHD idea came up!) so do rely on formal childcare to care for our children whilst we work, however I'm sure like many others, given the choice I wish I didn't have to at least whilst they are so young. DS1 has had a fantastic CM and good nursery so I'm absolutely not anti-childcare .

beanieb Wed 05-Aug-09 22:51:07

I don't think I would, not unless my OH could some how demonstrate to me that he knows it's not going to be all about watching films and playing the x-box!

Blackduck Wed 05-Aug-09 22:52:11

Don't see the issue. Dp was primary carer (not a full sahd) for first 4 years of ds life (he worked 2 days a week), I worked f-t and was away at least one week in four... It was fine.... Ds and dp and have an amazing bond because of it... IMO it is a non-issue as long as you are both happy with the arrangement.

unknownrebelbang Wed 05-Aug-09 22:58:03

My boys are older, but DH is currently primary carer for them. He's only just started because he's recently retired. It wasn't an option before that as he earned more.

He is, generally speaking, great with the boys, and they love it.

notquitenormal Wed 05-Aug-09 23:00:57

I would, I have.

DP stays at home 2.5 days a week with our 17mth old. We could just about afford for him to be a full time SAHP, but I don't think that would suit him (I know it would never suit me) and the mix works well for us.

Our circumstances, difference in earning power and genral temperment, made it an obvious course to take.

He needed a lot of guidance in the early days, mainly due to fear of getting it wrong, but he found his own way quite quickly. They have a whale of a time; I often get phone calls from the park, inside a tent in the camping shop or the PYO farm down the road.

He's never worried about his manliness and unlike me he's not the kind of person to get isolated (he'll yap to anyone.)

I'm slightly surprised, and pleased, that out of him and his 5 brother's (with a very traditional upbringing) 3 have chosen to be a SAHP at one time or another.

lechatnoir Wed 05-Aug-09 23:13:40

Good to hear so many positive responses & experiences.

Thankfully I'm happy that DH is more than capable of looking after the boys without any need for nagging guidance from me and is probably better at the domestic chores too. I do worry about the lack of adult company - I'd go stir crazy without my regular get-togethers & playgroups grin DH is no shrinking violet & will happily strike up conversation with anyone but I do wonder how many of the mums who attend the baby & toddler groups will actually feel comfortable striking up a friendship with a dad & meeting for coffee etc hmm

comeonbishbosh Tue 11-Aug-09 12:52:57

We're planning to do this, though will depend a bit of what kind of PT working DH can negociate. He works in IT, and though it seems to me like it should be fairly easy to manage flexible work-pattern wise, there are so few women in his workplace that I don't think there's any precedent for part-time working.

We need at least one full wage coming in, so we're both hoping to go part time, possibly cover all the childcare ourselves, possibly have a day or so at a nursary. Just wondering, if anyone else is planning / has done this arrangement, at what point did you as the mum go back to work?

OrmIrian Tue 11-Aug-09 12:56:59

Yes. If it was financially the sensible thing to do. In some ways that is what we have done - DH has worked part-time/shifts more than I have.

But if you decide to 'farm off your 2 young children to strangers' hmm please leave your prejudices at home. It's not exactly conducive to a healthy relationship with the carer. And here's an idea! Get to know the setting and the carers a little bit before leaving your children there!

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