When we found out that we were having a baby back in 2011, we knew right away that we wanted
one of us to stay at home to raise our son. It was clear quickly that I was going to keep working and my husband was going to be the one to stay at home with the baby. There were a couple of reasons for this – one was that I made more money than him and two, he would do a better job.
I’ve often said that I would love to be a stay at home mom, as long as I could hire a house cleaner, a nanny and a gardener. That’s the truth of the matter. I’m just not cut out for the work of being a stay at home parent. I used to feel selfish about this, but now, seeing the amazing relationship that my son and my husband share, I have no doubt that we’ve made the right decision for our family.
More and more dads are staying at home with their kids. Companies increasingly offer generous paternity leaves and more frequently, women are in the position of being the breadwinner for the family. This has created the unique and somewhat unprecedented opportunity for dads to assume the role of the stay-at-home parent.
The impact of this decision has been huge in our family. My son gets to have the role model of a strong, independent working woman for a mom, all while spending the day with his empathetic, creative, hardworking dad. It’s not always easy and we run up against many of the same issues that families with SAHMs face. But for us it works.
As we take a moment to celebrate all of the amazing dads this week, I think it’s important to shift the traditional ideas around what it means for a man to provide for his family. In some families, it means that the man contributes financially, for some this means that they do the majority of the child-rearing. Either way, it’s equally valuable.
So to my dear husband and all of those dads who spend their days wiping the boogers, the butts and the countertops all while they read the stories, kiss the booboos and sing the songs, I say thank you. We need you and our kids are lucky to have you.