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Thu Nov 13, 2014, 05:56 AM

Being a Stay-at-Home Parent Is a Luxury … for Your Spouse

The other day, I read an article in the Washington Post about a stay-at-home mother who was having a rather hard time adjusting to answering the ever-popular question, “What do you do all day?” now that the kids were at school.

It’s a topic that has been on my mind lately as I watch in bewilderment as my children seem to insist on growing up at rates that surely I did not approve of when I signed my parental contract. I look at my youngest — my seven-week-old baby girl — and I swear my mind is already flashing to the day (tomorrow, probably) that I will be kissing her good-bye on her first morning of kindergarten.


But back to the task at hand. As I read the article, I scrolled through the comments, anticipating that there would be some doozies in a post about a stay-at-home mom basically proclaiming that she doesn’t feel guilty for doing absolutely nothing all day when I came across this truly remarkable comment:

“I work full time, and my husband is a stay at home dad. We have two kids in school full day (8 to 3). Don’t you realize how much easier it is to hold a full time job when you have someone home with the kids? I can work late and travel when I need to and not worry about the kids. Our weekends are spent relaxing, instead of racing around to get errands and chores done. I can go back to work on Mondays having actually recharged over the weekend. It feels like such a luxury to ME to have a stay at home spouse.”

I was flabbergasted.

Dumbfounded.

Perplexed that in all of my years as a stay-at-home/write-at-home mom, I’ve always been fighting the thoughts that I’m not doing enough or being enough. I’ve always felt I honestly owed the world some sort of explanation for being at home. That I’ve had to throw around the fact that since I stay at home we make sacrifices as a family — like not having cable! I’ve felt I had to bake pies so that the world would know I’m not a worthless member of society. And in the midst of all that mental clutter and guilt it had never, ever crossed my mind that staying at home wasn’t “just” a luxury to me …

But also a luxury for my husband.

And suddenly, when I read those words, it all made sense. Well, of course, it would be a luxury to the spouse who works out of the home to have a partner who stays at home with the children. Someone who is always there to take care of the inevitable days of sickness, arrange the doctor’s appointments, make sure the cupboards are stocked, and heck, to ensure that no one steals the FedEx package off of the porch. And then — goodness! — to have someone to save you the worry of sending your kids into the world, someone to always be there to kiss a scraped knee and take care of the potty training and maybe even have a hot meal waiting for you when you come home?

Imagine that.


https://www.yahoo.com/parenting/being-a-stay-at-home-parent-is-a-luxury-for-your-100013200179.html

24 replies, 1793 views

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Arrow 24 replies Author Time Post
Reply Being a Stay-at-Home Parent Is a Luxury … for Your Spouse (Original post)
UglyGreed Nov 2014 OP
Egnever Nov 2014 #1
UglyGreed Nov 2014 #2
Skittles Nov 2014 #4
UglyGreed Nov 2014 #7
Skittles Nov 2014 #20
UglyGreed Nov 2014 #21
yeoman6987 Nov 2014 #11
UglyGreed Nov 2014 #12
NightWatcher Nov 2014 #22
Skittles Nov 2014 #3
Feral Child Nov 2014 #10
Skittles Nov 2014 #19
WhiteAndNerdy Nov 2014 #5
Habibi Nov 2014 #6
WhiteAndNerdy Nov 2014 #8
Habibi Nov 2014 #13
dilby Nov 2014 #9
UglyGreed Nov 2014 #14
dilby Nov 2014 #18
hedgehog Nov 2014 #15
UglyGreed Nov 2014 #16
Boom Sound 416 Nov 2014 #17
lumberjack_jeff Nov 2014 #23
RedCappedBandit Nov 2014 #24

Response to UglyGreed (Original post)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 06:06 AM

1. Well worth having a parent to be there with your kids if you can pull it off

 

The nightmares I hear from child care alone are enough to make us scrape by to see it happen.

A luxury indeed.

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Response to Egnever (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 06:15 AM

2. I'm a stay at home Dad

due to an injury. We struggle financially but we get by. No big vacations and cut corners where we can do so. Sometimes it hurts me to be unable to provide for my family and others judge me all the time, but in the end I'm glad to be there for my kids. A blessing in disguise.

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Response to UglyGreed (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 06:32 AM

4. you DO provide, UglyGreed, believe me

in VERY important ways

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Response to Skittles (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 06:59 AM

7. Thank you it

is more accepted these days, but those mommy and me things were a little awkward for me 15 years ago.

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Response to UglyGreed (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 05:40 PM

20. aw, f*** what people don't accept

f***ing conservative assholes is what they are

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Response to Skittles (Reply #20)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 05:48 PM

21. I hear ya

I get that from my mother, genes and old habits and all.

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Response to UglyGreed (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 08:33 AM

11. In my opinion, you have the harder job

 

And your children are lucky to have you home. I could imagine that at times you feel badly, but stop! You are doing a great thing!

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Response to yeoman6987 (Reply #11)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 08:42 AM

12. Thank you

I'm glad you replied to my post.

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Response to UglyGreed (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 05:54 PM

22. In a similar boat. I stay at home and am on disability due to illness

It's hard to look at what my tiny SSDI check gives compared to what I brought home when I worked full time.

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Response to UglyGreed (Original post)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 06:31 AM

3. it's a luxury to have anyone at home who helps, regardless of kids

I think it would be so cool to have someone help with my life but I'm not willing to have to put up with them every day - it's a real quandary

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Response to Skittles (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 07:12 AM

10. Indeed, Skittles

I'm a male retiree, my wife is a marketing executive. I was able to retire young, former Civil Servant. I do the shopping, cooking, house-cleaning, laundry, home repair, grounds maintenance. I stay quite busy.

Ms. Child has an intense full-time job with a substantial commute. She is most appreciative of my contribution. She can come home in the evening w/o the pressure of maintenance chores. Her weekends are free to enjoy my wit and companionship, or to enjoy her own special interests, like backpacking.

It works very well for us. She is unburdened of "chores" that would make her frantic in the evening, I make my own schedule and enjoy domesticity.

DU women that must work and keep house, do you envy her?

Men that I talk to are somewhat antagonistic: "But what do you do?" They won't accept the answer, "I keep house." "Homemaker" is women's work!

Tedious, but mildly amusing. Sometimes annoying. "Role" expectations are the burden of a conservative mindset.


Skittles, you just need to find someone as interesting and sexy as me.



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Response to Feral Child (Reply #10)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 05:36 PM

19. HAR

maybe if I wasn't working 60 hours a week I could find someone like you

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Response to UglyGreed (Original post)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 06:35 AM

5. Even without children

Even without children, I think having one person stay at home and run the household makes life better. It's easier to avoid processed foods when someone has time to cook from scratch, to give just one of many possible examples. Obviously, it's not right for every couple or family, but a full-time homemaker should get full credit & respect for the ways they make the household run more smoothly. Doesn't matter if it's a man or a woman doing it -- when I was a kid, my dad had a friend who operated a small business out of his home and did all the housework and child care while his wife went to work, and that worked for them.

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Response to WhiteAndNerdy (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 06:50 AM

6. Indeed!

I worked freelance from home for years. Took care of all the shopping and cooking, the vet and car maintenance visits, a host of other little things. Both my spouse and I took my handling of these matters for granted.

But now I'm working full-time on-site (as well as trying to continue with a separate freelance project), and struggling with managing time for all those things. I try to cook some meals for the week on Sunday night, but as I adjust to this new reality, I realize something will have to give or I will fall into chronic exhaustion. My husband doesn't cook, so that means more take-out or more processed food. Appointments have to be carefully scheduled, or not at all. My home office is a mess because I just don't have the time or energy to tidy it often. I'm losing sleep because of all the responsibilities piling up that I just can't get to.

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Response to Habibi (Reply #6)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 07:00 AM

8. Full-time work outside the home is just too much.

At least for me, and for other people I know. I think a home really does need full-time attention -- it shouldn't be an afterthought after the "real work" is done! People manage it somehow, but they're always exhausted & their lives are not what they could be. I hope things get easier for you.

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Response to WhiteAndNerdy (Reply #8)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 08:53 AM

13. Thanks!

So many of us are chasing our tails. Can't take any job for granted anymore, so you have to work your ass off hoping against hope that you won't feel the ax swing when the CEO decides there are too many of you. I would love to blow off the freelance project, but I don't dare burn any bridge. This full-time job *might* turn into a permanent thing, which would be great, but I can't rely on "might happens."

Hence, messy house, take-out dinners, cancelled dr. appointments, and insomnia.

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Response to UglyGreed (Original post)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 07:00 AM

9. You do not owe the world anything.

Your spouse and children are the only opinions you need to worry about and I am sure they appreciate everything you do. It's sad that in today's society we believe both parents need to be working to contribute. The system has us programmed to be good little consumers, what other reason is there for two parents to work other than the ability to spend more.

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Response to dilby (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 02:45 PM

14. I understand

but as you wrote peer pressure is felt throughout life not just during our school years.

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Response to UglyGreed (Reply #14)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 04:26 PM

18. From my experience just grow your hair long

and make pickles, nobody questions a hippie who makes great pickles. Furthermore it's way better to be a trend setter than a follower, where I live I see a lot of young families where only one of the parents work. I admire them because I noticed the kids are well behaved, taken care of and the families are more frugal. Be proud of what you are doing, because I am proud of you.

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Response to UglyGreed (Original post)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 02:52 PM

15. I am proud to tell people of my stay-at-home son-in-law and my working

daughter. She was making more money than he, and she is also much more up tight. She needed to be out in the world, working. He is laid back, the perfect person to stay with a baby all day. They decided before she was ever pregnant that this would be the plan.

My grandson is a marvel (well of course he is, he's my grandson . His father takes him to the zoo, for walks around town, and feeds him bagels and lox with cream cheese and red onions. When my daughter gets home from work, she is able to relax and enjoy her son.

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #15)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 02:59 PM

16. Great post

good to see a happy Grandmother proud of her stay at home son in law!!!! My wife was saying this morning she likes to stay home but she likes it better that I always do. My kids kinda take advantage of her at times, I put the kibosh on that sort of stuff.

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Response to UglyGreed (Original post)


Response to UglyGreed (Original post)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 05:57 PM

23. Nonsense - and I know what I'm talking about.

 

Having the opportunity to be a stay at home parent was the best thing that ever happened to me, and the most common problem experienced by other stay at home dads that I'm familiar with is resentment by the breadwinner spouse.

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Response to UglyGreed (Original post)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 06:01 PM

24. Of course. It's a luxury for the entire family.

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