Is Stay-At-Home Parenting For You?

While some people may be perfectly happy assuming the mantle of homemaker, is the stay-at-home parent role really for you?

Fathers staying at home and being the primary caretaker/homemaker is a trend that continues to thrive. If your family can benefit, why not? There are a lot of things to take into consideration when approaching this move as a family – regardless of which parent it is that will be staying home more or full time. Here’s how to make a decision, and stick to it!

  1. Make a career-oriented choice: Sometimes, your career may not be going the places you wanted it to go to, while your partner’s career may have taken mach speed. Isn’t it wise, then, for one partner to take a break and rethink their career choices, decisions and directions – while the other continues to milk the cash cow? You can always swap roles again after a year or so. The extra money will help you set up something of your own, too, if you so desire.
  2. Make a work-from-home oriented choice: A lot depends on your choice of career – those in the writing field or in creative fields have the viability of flexi-hours or even the luxury of opting for a work-from-home environment. This works especially well if the partner has a typical 9-to-5-on-the-desk job. If one parent can work from home, it’s a great way to stay at home for the kids and yet still be bringing in a check at the end of the month.
  3. Be proud of your decision: Face it: we live in a relatively narrow-minded society where new trends are first derided and then accepted. So there will always be some people who don't understand the concept of a man being at home while the woman of the house goes to the office each day.  If you find yourself in this situation, remember that it was your decision and no matter who says what – you have to remain comfortable with it and not let it get to you. Hold your head up high and let everyone know you're happy being a stay-at-home dad, be it temporary or long-term. Even stay-at-home mothers may find people questioning their decision to “opt out” of using their hard-earned degree/knowledge/skills/experience. Regardless of gender, your decision is for the betterment of your kids, so let the world do its thing while you do yours.
  4. Draw up a chore list: So yes, you and your partner made a conjoint decision on who will stay at home and you will go to work. This means that the house, the kids and the chores are your responsibility. However, it’s important to recognize boundaries; the stay at home parent cannot be responsible for every chore on the list. If you can't get it all done, there's nothing wrong with asking for help from your partner, or external sources. Your sanity has to be a top priority, for you are the primary caregiver for your children!
  5. Be social: Connect with other parents – mothers and fathers. Talking about children, swapping parenting tips, and welcoming the chance to have an adult conversation are great ways to build meaningful connections throughout your day – park visits, the doctor’s office, or out for ice cream. As an added bonus – you might find that your children enjoy playing together, and a play-date for them can become a social-outing for you, too!

Remember the only “wrong” in your life is what is wrong for you and the family – with an increased societal awareness and more and more people stepping out of the stereotypical gender-oriented roles in life, being a stay at home parent can work if you and your partner are happy about it. You have to make and accept the decision as a family; the world will accept it sooner or later.

Is anyone here a stay-at-home parent? Or do you know of someone who’d like to share his experience with us? Do write into us in the comments section below with your thoughts and more.

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