The New American Family: Flexibility and Unconventional Lifestyles to Make Ends Meet


The following was written by my wife, Mrs. Craig.  She was kind enough to share her take on our current lifestyle.  We changed things up in our household  a couple of years ago…I’ll let my wife tell the story.

The last time I wrote a story for this site was almost 3 years ago.   Much has happened since then!  I wrote a narrative about my decision to take a leave of absence from my job, as a school counselor, to stay home and raise my 1 and half year old son and 8 yr old daughter.

[Glen: here’s the article – A Mother’s Struggle Between Work And Kids]

Many events have taken place since I shared that story with you.  It was an account of a working mother who became a stay-at-home mom.  The story changed as you will see below.

Life as a Stay-at-Home Mom


I was delighted to be home with my son, loving every second of that time.  The moments that I cherished, such as walking my daughter to 3rd grade each morning and waiting outside her school, as her class dismissed, with a great big hug.  And when my children were sick, I could be their caretaker.  These were the times that I appreciated like no other.

child painting

It’s wonderful to be home and watch a child grow up.

Only working mothers can empathize with the agony of having to choose between taking a day off of work to take care of your sick child or scrambling to find someone, ANYONE, who will babysit for you while you run out to work after being up all night with a vomiting kid.  What kind of mother would choose to go to work over taking care of her sick child?  Because if you take another day off of work you might get docked pay or better yet, a disciplinary letter in your file.

I treasured having the liberty to choose my children over work.  Every day was a day I could make a positive immpression on my children’s early development.

Good times.

Soon after my leave from work, we were surprised to discover that we were expecting again!  Our 3rd.  At first I thought to extend my leave of absence for another year.  But as months progressed my perspectives and thoughts began to take form and I felt stressed.  There was talk of my position at school being “excessed”, meaning I wouldn’t have a job in that school and that precarious nature of being in “excess” made me quite fearful.

Then the economy crashed.  At the time we were living in a 2 bedroom co-operative and I was worried that we needed more space for a family of 5.  After living there for 11 years, it was time to put our apartment on the market but who was going to buy it in this economy?  Nevertheless we put our all into selling our home and were successful!

So, towards the later part of school year, I got to thinking (I think a lot) and began pondering the idea of myself returning to work the next school year and my husband working from home, while taking care of the kids.  On the one hand, If i didn’t return to work in September, I ran the risk of losing a really decent position, in a really bad job market.  On the other hand, if we both worked outside the home, we’d have to place both children in daycare, leaving us with very little money leftover and a lower quality of life (our opinion).

Let’s Get Unconventional

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Shortly after, I posed the question to my husband one night about being a stay home dad.  Much to my surprise, he seemed amused!  For the next few months we tossed the idea around while in the last stages of selling our co-op and my pregnancy.  We sorted out the pros and cons.  It was a practical idea; my job had good hours, 2 months summer vacation and excellent benefits.  And if he stayed home, we’d save thousands of dollars on daycare, have more family time and he could explore his blogging passion.

[Glen: I should note here that my wife’s salary was more than mine.  By switching roles, we would have more money to save and put towards a home.  Daycare would mean I would be virtually working to pay for it, with not a ton of money left over.]

We had apprehensions though. Could this arrangement really work out?  My passion and strong convictions about the motherhood experience left my husband worried about how I would handle leaving such a young baby and returning to work with 3 kids behind at home.  I was concerned about that too and about how he would manage taking care of a baby and a toddler for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week (out oldest would be in school).

Despite our anxieties, the first day of school arrived and I just did what I had to do.  Armed with my breast milk pump, I set out to go back to work.  So, I made it through the first day of work.  Then I made it through the first week of work.  The weeks turned into months, months turned into 2+ years and we are still using this system.  Why?  Because it works for us.

Do I wish I could stay home with the kids?  Yes, I do.  But, I appreciate that I have a great job and I am home by 4pm each day, off 2 months during the summer and 3 weeks during the school year, medical benefits, retirement plan, etc… We have more time together as a family than when my husband worked and I stayed at home and that’s what’s important to us and really counts.

The World Reacts (Maybe not the world…)

What was a surprising disappointment? People’s reactions!  I made the mistake of presuming that the general population would understand why we choose a practical solution to benefit the whole family.  Instead, when people would inquire, “Who is watching the kids?” I would reply, “My husband.”

I got the weirdest reactions and those responses became predictable patterns.

Punk rubber duck

Why a rubber duck? Our youngest LOVES rubber ducks, that’s why.

Mostly people would present with a nervous chuckle or giggle (my mother flat out laughed when I told her).  Another time, a fellow, older teacher chuckled and said “Oh! How funny!”  I also got the cliche, “Oh…Mr. Mom” (ha ha ha). [Glen: By far the most popular reaction.]

The other type of responses were of a speechless nature, coupled with a perplexed facial expression.  On my end, I could see the person trying to rationalize, in their mind, why we chose this arrangement.  Most assumed my husband got laid off or even fired.  Some even tried to imply that he is some kind of deadbeat.  I soon discovered that if I followed their confused looks with the statement “he works from home,” their anxieties were subsided.

But to tell you the truth, I found these negative reactions to be very disturbing.  I thought that in the 21st century people would be more open minded and maybe even commend us for trying to raise our children without outside help (daycare/babysitters).  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying daycare and babysitters are bad, it’s just not our preference.

Isn’t more than half the work force women now?? I still can’t believe the narrow-mindedness that was unleashed on to me.  I did however, find comfort in discovering that other families were being flexible with gender roles, as well.  I met another fellow educator who’s husband worked nights and took care of twin babies and a 3 year old while she went to work!!  “OMG!” I thought.  That’s impressive!!  Another friend of mine’s husband watches their twin daughters 2 days a week, on his days off, cutting their childcare costs.  He even takes them on errands to Target and food shopping!  I don’t think I could manage to leave the house with baby twins!  I also take notice of all the men I see pushing baby strollers these days and walking around with a baby in an Ergo or Bjorn!  And the Grandfathers!  A lot of grandfathers are chipping in too and helping their families with childcare!

The bottom line is that you do what you have to do to get by, for your family.  I still pine for the day when I can take time off to be with my children again and I still find it very hard to be separated from them, while I go to work.  I want to be there to witness everything and guide them through their early years.  But would their childhood experience be better with both parents working outside the home, ripping them out of their beds each morning, shlepping them to daycare, at about $2,500 per month, and a husband/father who doesn’t get home until 7:30PM each night and has limited days off in the year to spend time with us??  That doesn’t seem like a higher quality of life to me.

Life’s too short and the days go by very, very fast.  You have to enjoy every second you can with the people you love.

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Published or updated November 5, 2012.

Comments

  1. Wow, I seriously could have written this. Still wiping the sleep from my eyes as I was checking the normal social media sites for the scoop on what’s going on (a morning ritual) I wondered if I wrote it in my sleep. Haha!

    After chatting with Glen we discovered we have a lot in common in this way. I’m the stay at home dad at our house and I struggled with that at first and found some of the same things to be true as I tried to explain this to others. I got the looks, the screwed up faces, and some back handed comments that led me to believe the world was still stuck in the 1800’s, or the 1980’s depending on your perspective. :)

    I found that it was easier to just say I’m a work-at-home-dad instead of going through the entire story about why my wife and I chose this lifestyle over a more traditional one. The title work-at-home-dad is not actually inaccurate but my income produced from Enemy of Debt hardly justifies the term “work”-at-home-dad. It’s something and I am doing other things to add to that like starting an at home business (my first), growing Enemy of Debt, as well as a part-time nightly job where I pick up an extra $550/mo for locking up our church.

    We just had our third so my wife will be going back to work soon (she’s a critical care nurse) and the locking up gig will no longer work for us.

    With all of that said, our lifestyle choice has worked SO WELL for us! We didn’t see the point in me working since my wife had just become a nurse and made way more money than I did with added benefits I didn’t receive from my job.

    We also choose not to partake in the daycare scene. We like it this way and have watched the quality of our lives and relationships as a family improve dramatically (as well as our wallets). I’ve got to the point now where I could care less what some close-minded person thinks about our decision to have me stay home with the kids.

    Call me Mr. Mom, laid off, or even a deadbeat; it doesn’t even bother me anymore. My wife and I know the truth and just like with our finances, we decided that following what’s normal led us to a more stressful place. Things like making financial decisions based on what our credit score would do or continuing to borrow money to keep up with the Joneses. We’ve rejected all that and are now completely debt free and we have options. I like our new way much better. It works for us.

    To hell with what society deems normal…me and my family are weird and we like it that way. As Dave Ramsey might say, normal is broke and stressed out.

    Great article Mrs. Craig! :D

    • Glen Craig says:

      You know Brad, I was thinking of you when I read my wife’s article the first time. It was great meeting you and hearing how your story was so similar to ours.

      Create your own normal and do what works for you.

  2. I absolutely love your story. It is a great reversal of “roles” that society places too strictly places on couples/families. Great job thinking out of the box and it seems that it has been quite the journey. Thanks for sharing and inspiring others to do the same.

    • Glen Craig says:

      It really has been a journey. When we started we really didn’t know this would work out as it has. We’re glad we are able to make this happen.

      Thanks for the kind words.

  3. ImpulseSave says:

    I LOVE this story. I’m so shocked an saddened that people had that reaction to the decision that was clearly the best for your family! More of us need to look at our life and our finances from a PERSONAL standpoint not what is everyone else doing, but what do we/I need to do to get back on track. Thanks for sharing some of your pain with us, and for being honest as a young woman all I can say is I’m proud of you!!

    • Glen Craig says:

      As a society, we seem to have a tendency to look to what others are doing to see if what we do is right. But we need to follow our hearts more and figure out what is right for us and then follow through with conviction.

      Thanks for the comment IS!

  4. Although I (father) did not work from home, I did take care of our children after school. I had a business that allowed me to be home by mid afternoon. My wife and I love our careers and adjusted our work lives to support our children. Even when I worked full time, I never missed one of my children’s events. When our children were very young, my wife worked part time and the children were without one of us for only 2 hours a week.
    I was a child of busy successful parents and I always wanted their time. I never got it so it was very important to me to make time for our children. My children are successful adults which is positive proof it was worthwhile. Keep doing it and don’t worry about other people.

    • Glen Craig says:

      Thanks for the support Krant!

      I think we’re starting to see the workplace change to where employee schedules get more flexible. It’s great that you were able to be there for your kids and it’s awesome that your time with them was well spent.

  5. Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager says:

    Thanks for sharing some insight into your home life. Love the transparency.

  6. Thanks for sharing this, Mrs. Craig. If you aren’t already, you need to check out the new show on NBC, “Up All Night.” I’m sure you can relate. Craig, I’m impressed that you can fill this role so easily. I would struggle to be “in the moment” with my kids throughout the day. Plus, the house would be a wreck. ;)

    • Glen Craig says:

      I never said it was easy and never said the house wasn’t a wreck. The two young ones blow through the house like two Tasmanian Devils! Mrawagharwrsghaghaga!!!

      Some days are tough. Wrangling two toddlers can be exhausting. When my wife comes home she gets all four of us kids. Be we make do and overall it’s working for us.

  7. Great post! I loved hearing your experience, and you are right, society is not as progressive as we would like to think.

    My husband stayed home with each of our two oldest for a year each, which is part of the reason it took him 10 years to graduate with his Master’s and Ph.D. We didn’t want to spend the money or have an infant in day care. I think several people thought he was a deadbeat because, unfortunately, most people still quietly believe, what man would want to stay home with his kids unless he had to because he couldn’t get a job, etc.

    I am glad he did it as he got to take them to playgroups and story hour, even if he was the only dad there. It worked for us, but happily, when our last was born, I was able to quit my job and stay home since he finally completed his education. While we both appreciated the time he could spend with the kids at home, we are both happy now to be in more conventional roles where I stay home and he works.

    • Glen Craig says:

      Isn’t that crazy? Your husband was working towards his PhD and yet people looked down on him because he was also working to enrich his children’s lives. Unfortunately, too many of us make up our minds on a situation before we allow ourselves to open up our minds to something different.

      Ideally, I would love to grow my online business to the point where my wife could stay home, while I work at home. Fingers crossed.

  8. What a fantastic post! Great to share your thoughts and perspectives about this type of arrangement, from the perspective of the wife who’s working outside the house with the husband working at home.

    Personally, I absolutely can not stand how anybody could look down on a man who is a stay at home parent. Frankly, I hate that anybody would think that such a man is a deadbeat, lazy, or anything of the like. Or, that a woman who works is not a good mom. What’s unfortunate is that there a plenty of people that think like that.

    Now, I’m not a stay at home dad. However, I see no reason why it should matter who’s the ‘breadwinner’ and who’s not, if the two people are truly a team. I also accept that there are different hormones and instincts we have, so it’s understandable if there’s more of a pull for women to desire being at home vs. a man.

    That said, we’re humans with brains and rational thought, and it’s the 21st Century. People need to do what’s best for them and their families. Hopefully we’re moving to a day when nobody thinks twice about whether both parents work, mom is at home, or dad is at home.

    Kudos to you guys for doing this so successfully!

    • Glen Craig says:

      You’d be surprised to see how many out there still have a view that the man needs to be the primary breadwinner. I’ve even seen cases where it’s detrimental to the family because the wife could potentially make more than the husband. Why?

      Thanks for the kind words!

  9. Melissa – your husband was an active father who took the lead with taking kids to playgroups and such, while working on his PHD, and was looked down upon? Seriously?

    That’s mind boggling, yet believable. I think I’d have a very hard time taking someone seriously in any way if they looked down on him for being a good father! Being a good father and earning money aren’t related, just like being a good mother and earning money aren’t related.

    • Glen Craig says:

      I should mention that an interesting benefit of our lifestyle is it has made it possible for me to go back to school and finish up my degree (not a PhD though). Being home allows me to get to earlier classes that would be tough to take later in the evening as well as be able to take summer courses (it would be difficult to commit to 4 days a week of night school coming out of work).

  10. Honestly, I think everyone has to do what is right for them (and have the courage to choose and live what is right for them). I am glad you guys found yours! Other people the men going to work feels right to them, other families have the wives stay at home, and others enjoy both being able to work.

    Sounds like you guys have a schedule down pat!

    • It’s always about what feels right and doing what is right for you. It’s just surprising how other people find something like switching who watched the kids as such a strange thing.

      Can’t say we have a schedule down pat, it’s a work in progress, but the system is working.

  11. I’d love to be a stay at home dad. I think more people in younger generations are more open to the idea. I know several people under thirty that have gone the stay at home dad route.

  12. Yes, the old stereotypes still exist and they are very strong in some people. It’s amazing how much time and energy some people spend telling others how to run their lives, instead of improving their own. I believe spending time with children should be the goal. At least, it was for us.

    We took the traditional route, where I worked and my wife stayed at home. On weekends, I became Mr. Mom, because my wife would have cabin feever by Friday. So, I was the little league coach and weekend chaufer. Now that our kids are both grown, I know we did the right thing. You can always make more money, but you can never get the time back.

  13. I gave birth several months ago. While negotiating my maternity leave, it seems like most of the men assumed I was going to take a long break from work or will return to work part-time. In our situation, it would make more financial sense for my husband to stay home.

    Along the same line, some of the older women in my life are shocked that I expect my husband to do more than just play with the baby. Hello, I work just as many hours as he does and pull in more money. Why should I have to do the housework, run the household, AND take care of the baby so he can have time to watch YouTube in the evening? It’s unbelievable how I am expected to become Supermom while all the women thinks he is a great dad for offering to take the baby for one night in the guestroom so I can get a decent night of sleep once a week.

    asithi

    • First off, congrats!

      Second, isn’t it funny how much credit a guy can get for paying some attention to their kids? OK, it’s sad really. Yet many really don’t think we have it in us to change a diaper (though there are many men out there who would refuse to do such a thing too).

      Third, I’m going to admit here that my wife is supermom. She still does a LOT around the house.

  14. You call this ‘unconventional,’ and Glen calls it ‘switching roles,’ neither one of you thinks this is a normal thing to do. How can you possibly be shocked that other people would think it was abnormal? I guess my point is that even the two of you (in your word choice) seem uncomfortable with the arrangement. This gives people permission to tell you how uncomfortable it makes them. If you treat this as normal (which it is), people might not be so forthcoming with their angst.

    • There’s some truth to what you are saying Stephanie. It doesn’t always feel comfortable telling people about our situation. But I think a big part of that is because of the reactions we get. But you are right. I’m going to talk more in a confident light about what my wife and I do and everyone else be damned if they don’t like it (well, maybe not damned, that seems mean).

      Discussions like we’re having here in the comments will help to change perceptions of household roles (I hope).

      Thanks for the insightful comment.

  15. This post resonated so much with me. I left my full-time job in April to stay home with my children (8 and 3 y.o.). It was my first foray into being a stay-at-home mom. It was something that I desperately wanted so much that I left a well-paying, flexible job. Now, my husband is working twelve hour days so that we can make ends meet. It has left me wondering if maybe I shouldn’t work at least part-time a few days a week so that he can be home more often. I was resistant at first. I don’t want to miss a single day with my girls, but perhaps it would better for our family as a whole. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • I can’t say I have the right answer for you Melissa but you need to find what really works for you and your family. Raising kids is parts devotion and sacrifice.

      Congrats on getting by as a stay at home mom!

  16. My husband and I are expecting our first child in the spring, and unless something huge happens on the job front, I’ll be going back to work and he’ll be the one going part-time to take care of the baby.
    When we told my parents they were going to be grandparents, we also said “and he’ll be staying home with the baby.” Mostly because I want to practice saying it without sounding defensive. When my husband was laid off a few days before we got married, I was able to pick up a second job in a couple of weeks. One of my parents’ friends saw me working retail and was horrified that I wasn’t “home taking care of that new husband of mine.” Yeah, I was taking care of my new husband. I was keeping him fed and with a roof over our heads. He was the one home making sure our clothes were clean and that we had dishes to eat off of. (Unfortunately, I was too dumbfounded to say that. I just did my best fish imitation until I could finish ringing up her purchase and get her out of the store.)
    I make almost 3x as much as my husband does, and his hours are erratic to say the least because of the role he has at his current job. In all likelihood he will switch to working Friday and Saturday nights so he can keep his licenses up, but it wouldn’t really break my heart if he was a full-time stay at home dad. Now if I can just teach him to cook (that doesn’t involve take out from his mother’s house) between now and spring, life will be good…

    • Haha, yeah, cooking can be a trick if it’s not something you do regularly. But there are simple dishes that are pretty easy.

      Our society is getting to the point where women are finally catching to men with fair wages (and there are more women in the workplace these days as well). As a result, and because of the current economy, many women are making more than their men.

      But there are still people who are stuck in old values where the man brings home the bacon and the woman stays home and takes care of the house (nothing wrong with this, mind you, if it’s what you want). It’s changing though.

      Oh, and congrats on the little one on the way!

  17. What a great story. You guys are amoung the pioneers. Pioneers changing the way society thinks about raising families. It took a long time for folks to accept that women can and maybe should work outside the home, instead of always and forever staying home with the kids. Now it is taking just as long for folks to acknowledge that Dads can and should sometimes be the primary caregivers for their kids.

    and Yes, it is a full time job – staying home and raising the next gen!

    • I appreciate the kind words Marie but I don’t think we are pioneers. I think time is just catching up to what some people have already been doing but has been not generally accepted.

      And you know what? It doesn’t have to be either/or. Both Moms and Dads can be primary caregivers (and really, I think they should both be involved). With the way jobs are changing, we may very well see the fabric of the 9-5 workplace change such that we will have more flexible work-at-home hours from corps where you could see on partner working a couple of days and another working a few more. And I bet this happens more than we know about, we just don’t hear about it.

      I don’t know anyone that fits this model in particular, but imagine a firefighter and a nurse practitioner. They could both have schedules where one works for a few days while the other watches the kids and then they switch.

  18. Thanks for this! Both my sister-in-law (with a baby) and I (in about 5 years) plan on doing this and having our husbands be stay-at-home-Dad’s. She’s just finishing up her year of mat leave and is obligated to return to her full-time job. I am just planning (generally) for the future and know that I love my job working outside the home. Both of our husbands (brothers) are tradesmen who currently work for a company but do frequent work on the side. So much so, to the point that soon they could likely each start their own business. The nature of their jobs gives them the flexibility to work evenings and weekends and stay home during the day -plus once they’re both entrepreneurs (an ultimate goal regardless of the SAHD thing) both my SIL and I will have the salaried jobs with benefits and likely higher pay packets. The boys also both want to do this as they had a very active and involved Dad at home too…

    But I guess society still has its expectations…

    • Those expectations are changing every day. I’m loving these comments and hearing everyone’s stories!

      That sounds like an awesome arrangement you’re going to have. One thing is tough for me as a stay-at-home dad is I don’t have the same social network that a mom would have. I can’t really join the local Mommy and Me belly dancing group (and if I could it really wouldn’t be pretty anyway!). With two brothers, you get a nice team and the kids get to be with their cousins. Nice!

  19. Stephanie — I think the term unconventional and abnormal are the only things that could describe it because both are true. Those terms are used because society has deemed them to be true not because they should be true based on how rare it actually is. As a stay-at-home-dad myself I am not so shocked at the surprise people experience when finding out, it’s more about the negative response and strong opinions about who should play what role. Personally I can respond to someone doing something unconventional without being negative or judgmental but that doesn’t seem to be the case here. It’s the assumptions that people make about us that cause us to be so defensive and the term unconventional is true because it’s NOT normal…yet. ;)

    I actually LOVE being a stay-at-home dad. Being with my kids and having the opportunity to give them a part of their dad that a lot of kids don’t have is extremely special. I wouldn’t trade it for the world and am so glad we chose not to be normal. haha! It has also given me a great deal of respect for the roles women have played in the past because — seriously — raising kids is by far harder and more demanding than any other job I’ve ever had, I just wish they would give me some tips on keeping the house clean at the same time. Is their a secret stay-at-home handbook you ladies have or something? LOL :)

    • I tell you Brad, if there’s one thing I learned it’s that watching the kids is NOT easy. There are days when I can easily say I’m working harder than I ever did at my previous corp. job! But even on those hard days, it’s so much more satisfying.

      I’d love to hear more about that handbook if you ever find out about it. It’s hard to get things done when your kids are young. Now that our youngest is in full-on toddler mode I’m able to do a bit more around the house. But my wife can tell you she still does a LOT.

  20. I am left puzzled and wondering what sort of people you hang around—my husband and I have had switched roles for nearly a decade and the reactions have been 99% positive and supportive (and envious). Or perhaps I don’t really care what others think of our arrangement, since it works for us, so have not spent time noticing negatives. I think people are a lot more open to the idea than you portray.

    • To be fair, a lot of reactions are very positive. It’s not everyone that looks at our roles as unconventional. But there still have been plenty enough that it surprises us to the extent where it’s sometimes not worth explaining it all.

      Maybe you hit on it when you mention envious? I don’t know. It could be that some people just aren’t used to the idea yet?

      As a whole, and based on the comments here, I think people are generally open to the idea of the dad staying home and it’s great to hear that it has worked out for you for so long!

  21. I find people’s reactions to be odd (albeit unsurprising). Maybe it’s because I’m a “Gen Y,” but the idea of a father taking care of the children doesn’t seem strange to me in any way: No underlying thoughts, no weird emotions to work through to accept that idea, nothing. It’s just like, “Ok, yeah, so?”

    Were most of the people who’s reactions you describe, older?

    I think the times are changing. Many Gen X/Ys have more progressive views on things. I see it among my Gen X/Y friends.

    • You make a great point Kenia. Perhaps a lot of the reactions we have been getting were from more of Gen X and older.

      Times certainly are changing on many fronts.

  22. I’m pregnant with our first, and the current plan is that I’ll go back to work after a few months and my husband will stay at home with baby. All the feedback we’ve had on that so far is positive. In our ante-natal group there’s another couple who are doing that, so husband will have a bit of support. So times they are a changing.

    From my point of view, I think it’s going to be interesting seeing how my husband copes with being responsible for churning out meals at set times, once baby becomes a toddler. He’s a better cook than me in terms of taste, but he does have a tendency to start cooking at 5.30pm and we eat at 8 or 9 pm.

    • That’s great that you husband will have some support with someone going through what he’s going through. Being able to share war stories helps you realize what your going through is pretty standard (yes, I consider an up-the-back poop from an un-cooperative child a war story).

  23. I like how you focus on the balance for everyone instead of only your personal sacrifice of time with your family. Kudos to you both for finding something that works!

    I work from home now and run the advertising for other blogs – my husband and I have made a $10k per month target. If I hit it 6 months in a row, he’ll be leaving his school librarian job to become an ad manager too. :-) If we have kids, I like the idea of both of us being able to watch him/her grow up…

    Hey, maybe Glen will need some help at home soon too! :-)

    • I love how the internet has really opened what jobs are out there. The economy may not be so great but sometimes you have to create your own job and run with it. It’s also making it possible for more people to work from home.

      Are you volunteering to run my ads for me? Haha.

  24. I’m shocked that anyone batted an eye that you were working and your spouse was staying home. You made a sound, logical decision! I’d do it too.

    My spouse was between jobs (using up vacation from one before starting another) in the spring and it was wonderful for me AND the kids! I had been the stay at home parent for years and was now working; he took care of everything. Illness, soccer practice, dinner. LUXURY! He was good at it too.

  25. I don’t judge your story one bit.I have known other stay at home Dad situations that worked out very well. While I am far off from having kids, I know that my situation will depend on a lot of factors. My career, and my wife’s career are both important factors and I can’t say yet which one would be the most important to focus on.

    At the end of the day, each situation is unique. I applaud you for doing what you know is best for your family.

    • It’s great to hear you are open-minded enough to consider your wife’s career.

      And you are right. It’s doing what is best for each individual family. There is no one right answer for every family.

  26. I just don’t get why people are still so solidly stuck with the gender roles in our society today. There are many many people in our generation brought up by single fathers or gay parents (both male and female gay relationships) who grow up just fine.

    It’s not about the gender of the primary caregivers. It’s about providing a nurturing and loving environment for the children to grow up in and learn about the big hard world outside of that comfortable shell. If two hard working parents show the kids the right path through any means then they will have a great base to build upon.

    If I decided to have kids I would absolutely stay at home with them if it was the better financial decision.

    You guys should feel proud for bucking the social norm and helping others take the sensible decisions too.

  27. Grady Pruitt says:

    I can so relate to this story. My wife and I both work, but we work opposite ends of the day for the very same reason: childcare is TOO expensive. It would basically wipe out my income. I’m finding that I’m not only liking doing my website because it is something that I can do from home, but am also anticipating the day when I can stop working the night away and be able to spend more time with my family. It won’t take much, and I know I can get there.

    Sometimes, I feel awkward when telling people about what my wife and I do, but in the end, we do it because for us, it makes more sense. It does make us appreciate the times that we do have together as a whole family, though.

    Thanks for sharing this amazing story and good luck to the both of you!

  28. We don’t have children yet, but I I struggle with the same decision as to whether I will stay home with the kids. It warms my heart to see a guy embrace this role! In our subdivision we have a guy that stays at home with his daughter and he’s accepted just fine with the other moms here.

    I love stories like this!

  29. Great story & thanks for sharing! I’ll be prepared for those puzzled expressions. :)

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