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Anyone's DP swapped to become SAH dad?

(14 Posts)
HelloMama Wed 12-Jan-05 22:20:42

My DS is 5 months old and I have just gone back to work 1 day per week. My DH stays at home on that day to look after DS. They have great fun together. Even before we had kids, DH always said he wanted to be a SAH dad.

I have potential to earn a lot more that DH and at the moment we desperately need more money. I am seriously considering asking DH if he would want to swap roles. I think I would enjoy being at work, even though I would miss DS alot. But I have the following concerns...

1) If I go on maternity leave in the future we really would be skint (we'd like another baby in about a year) as DH doesn't have the sort of job he could just go back to

2) Would DH get bored? I meet with other mums at least twice per week, and I dont think he would build up this kind of support/company network, even though i know the other mums would welcome him along to things

3) Is the grass greener... would I go back to work and then just wished I'd stayed at home??!

4) Should we just take the plunge and try it and see what happens

Are there any other things we should be considering when trying this sort of thing? Anybody with comments, experience of this, or any other observations etc please post as I would appreciate hearing other people's opinions!

joash Wed 12-Jan-05 23:21:43

No personal experience of this. However, my brother gave up work to become a SAHD when they had their second daughter. SIL's earing potential was and is much greater than his. He did it for about 6 months, enjoyed the novelty, then began to hate it. Wanted to get back to work. Things worked out very well for them. SIL gave her notice in at work - but her boss didn't want to lose her. Reduced her full time hours from 8-6 to 10-3.30. Provided childcare and gave her an extra months holiday that she has to take in the school summer break ... and kept paying her the same wage. ( - why can't I find a boss like that?

unicorn Wed 12-Jan-05 23:28:33

my friends hubby is a sahd- full time..seems to work well for them... but then again I don't know if they are telling it as it is (IYSWIM)

wife works quite late hours, hubby seems to be ok coping.. but on his 'free' days he completely 'clocks off'..

Think it really depends on how you both feel about sharing work loads etc.

Wish you well though whatever you decide.

colditzmum Wed 12-Jan-05 23:30:12

It didn't work for us. My dp really neglected the house while I was at work, meaning that when I got in we either had a row or I did it all. The result was that I hardly ever saw ds, I felt like I had a live in babysitter, and it just was not how I expected my life to be. I am still working full time now, dp is working full time too, we don't have any childcare but we both do alternating shifts. Things are going to come to a head soon, we are both so exhausted and pressured, butI must admit at least I don't resent my dp as much now.

highlander Thu 13-Jan-05 03:30:04

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !!!!!!!!!

candycane Thu 13-Jan-05 09:04:33

Well we've done it since dd1 was 10 weeks old, nine years ago. It works really well for us. I could earn much more and also would have driven myself mad at home. DP was in low paying jobs and adamant that one parent should be at home. Since they've both been at school full time (youngest is now 7), he's been back to college to retrain and is just now starting part time work, about 10 hours a week to begin with. He takes the girls to school and picks them up, does the housework. I cook when I get home from work. And he's made lots of friends in the playground, although mostly mums; he's never said that he feels lonely.

tarantula Thu 13-Jan-05 09:45:59

My dp is a sahd. He was made redundant when dd was 5 mths and wasnt able to get a job that paid enough to cover childcare etc. He seems to enjoy it mostly and is luckily very houseproud and tidy so does most of the housework. On the other hand he does find it lonely and doesnt fancy doing the whole parent and toddler thing either. Its working well with us so far but I think that we will be reviewing things in another year when dd is 2 as I think hell prob wnat to get back to work even part-time.
there is a website somewhere for SAHDs who meet up and chat and stuff Ill see if I can find it for you.
I think the other main thing you need to sort out is how much housework do you expect him to do eg washing up lunch and breakfast dishes?, cooking dinner?, hoovering etc. I know lots of people have arguments over this.
also I know your feeling re having another child as I feel total stuck on that one too. It would not be possible for us to have another at the minute as we would have no way to pay the mortgage.
And yes the grass is greener but then isnt it always. Its esp green when you have to get up on cold mornigns like this morning too and hes all snugged in bed.

tarantula Thu 13-Jan-05 09:49:18

http://www.homedad.org.uk/

puddle Thu 13-Jan-05 10:04:56

Hi HelloMama
We did a complete swop for 6 months and now we share the childcare between us - I work full time hours but juggle two days at home and DP works three days a week. We have two children and,as I am the main earner, our finances still haven't recovered from having number two two years ago.

When DP was doing full time childcare he usd to take our ds out and about to the same activities I did and met up with all my mum chums. He knew them anyway, some were friends from before having children. I think he got bored sometimes but never by being with DS, I think sometimes he found the conversation at toddler groups a bit mind-numbing. He was either ignored by other mothers or made the centre of attention 'you look after him on your own, that SO AMAZING'. Bear in mind as well that our arrangement was a short term one - we did talk about him becoming the main carer again when DD was born but he didn't want to - we compromised on the shared arrangement we have now.

I think our current arrangements have worked for us because although DP likes his job (he teaches) he's not particularly ambitious and is much more interested in life outside work - he does art, music etc. So it doesn't matter to himn that he's stepped off the career ladder. But now he has tried it, for him it's better to have a balance between being with the kids and working too (I feel the same.)

When he was at home with DS I spent a fair bit of time working at home so was around a couple of days a week too. I would actually find it very hard if DP was at home all day and I was out at work for five days. I would resent him being able to spend so much time with the kids. As it is we have the balance right fo us at the moment - although it is still a juggling act. Hope this helps.

Joash - your sister in law's experience sounds fantastic. What enlightened employers!

alicatsg Thu 13-Jan-05 10:11:59

we've done this since ds was 6 months old - and after initial teething problems its working well. DH is much less career driven than I am and it made no sense to either of us for him to carry on working just to pay for childcare.

To be honest he's a lazy boy at best so I've had to accept that I'll have to continue with laundry/housework because he just doesn't do it and there is no point in getting uptight about it. He's more like a nanny and chef than a traditional SAHM in my view but it kind of works.

I also worry that he's isolated but am gently bullying him into keeping in touch with his friends and doing things like village cricket. I also try to work from home 1 day per week so he can get out in the evenings if he wants to.

jabberwocky Thu 13-Jan-05 10:48:25

DS is 17 months and we have done this from the beginning. Overall, it has worked out very well. We have had some strange role reversal issues where he was constantly correcting me on the "proper" way to do things with ds which really got on my nervers, etc. but we worked thru it. He does help out with the housework but I still spend quite a bit of time catching things up on my day off. I also have someone come in for a half day while I am at work so that he has some free time, which we probably would not do if the situation were reversed.

Still, I am very glad that ds has one parent at home all the time and it just wasn't feasible for it to be me. I am able to work 3 1/2 days a week for now, so I feel I do get a fair amount of mommy time too (and TBH I would go nutty being a full-time SAHM).

I guess mainly you have to realize that it won't be exactly the same as if it were you staying at home but that doesn't mean that it is a bad thing and think about the wonderful role model of a strong woman that you are sending ds! He will never say "a woman's place is in the home" when he grows up and some woman will be eternally grateful to you someday.

HelloMama Fri 14-Jan-05 10:29:37

Wow! Thanks for all your wonderful replies. I think doing this as a short time option may be feasible, although DH has recently started a new position at work which he is enjoying. I think he needs to give this new role a chance before we think about making any changes. DH is quite good about doing housework so I don't think that would would worry me. I just feel guilty about wanting to go to work. I also feel guilty if DH stays to look after DS, even though he is only doing his bit caring for our son. Is this normal?

biglips Fri 14-Jan-05 10:44:35

my DP would love to be a SAH hubby as he envys me staying at home at the mo whilst im on maternity leave until april (6 months in total)...which i can understand him as being a window cleaner and the weather at times is horrible so he prefer to be at home, not getting wet..

jabberwocky Fri 14-Jan-05 18:44:42

Ahh, HelloMama you have hit upon something there. I've decided that I will basically find something to feel guilty about at all times! So, yep, very normal and it did subside for me after a while, although it probably never goes completely away .

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