According to the 2010 US Census Bureau, there are an estimated 105,000 stay at home dads in the United States. As economic conditions worsen, the numbers of stay at home dads are increasing.
However even though numbers are increasing, many stay at home dads are made to feel as though they are doing an injustice to their families.
My husband is a stay at home dad. When he lost his job two years ago and we made the decision to homeschool our daughters we decided I would continue working and he would stay home with the girls. This made sense to us because I have a degree and a job that allows me to work less hours and make more money than he could make by working more hours. Our ultimate goal is for both of us to be with our daughters as much as possible.
Not everyone, especially our parents generation and older, understands or agrees with this lifestyle and they don’t hesitate letting us know their true feelings on the issue. We have had people tell us that I should be the one at home and he should be the one working. If that set up works for your family, great, but who says that’s the way it should be? Just because that’s the way it’s always been doesn’t mean it’s the solution for every family in America.
There are four main questions I get asked when people find out my husband is a stay at home dad:
- “So, he stays home and plays with the kids and watches tv while you’re at work, right? I mean that’s what my husband would do.” If that’s what your husband would do, I’m sorry. But no, that’s not what he does at all. Does a stay at home mom just play with the kids and watch tv all day? No. She cooks, cleans, runs errands, takes care of the children, does laundry and kisses boo boos. That’s what my husband does too.
- “But he doesn’t do it (cook, clean, laundry, etc) like you would do it. When my husband tries to help, I have to go behind him and redo it.” Truthfully, most household-related chores Andrew does better than me. There are some things that we don’t do exactly alike. He has his methods and does it his way. I am just thankful he jumps in and does it.
- “Doesn’t it make you mad that you have to go to work and he gets to stay home with the kids?” I won’t lie. There are times I wish our circumstances were different. But right now, the best solution for our family is for me to provide an income and I’m just thankful that I am able to contribute to the needs of our family. Does it make me mad that he is at home while I’m at work? No. It makes me thankful that I have a husband who is willing to do what’s best for our family despite what others may think.
- This is the most frequently asked question: “He’s looking for a job, right?” No! He’s not. When the Sunday paper comes, he’s browsing the coupons and sales ads instead of the classifieds. This season of our life indicates a need for Andrew to be at home. He’s okay with that. I’m okay with that. Our family is thriving. Why make changes?
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post in which my husband tells what it’s like to be a stay at home dad and how we make it work for our family.