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Stay At Home Dad

Updated on October 16, 2013

Working Towards Being a Stay at Home Dad

I'm an aspiring stay at home dad. I've done the math, looked at the pros and cons, and found that staying home will have many benefits for our family. My becoming a stay at home parent would benefit my wife, our marriage, our kids, and be best for our family. The challenges are huge but they can be overcome. This page is really just me "thinking out loud" about being a stay at home dad - the benefits, the pitfalls, the obstacles that need to be overcome, and finding a way to earn a living while I stay at home.

One Step Closer to My Goal - Half interest in a rental...

My wife just bought a rental unit for her niece - a house with a small duplex on the back of the lot. Since we're spending the money to fix it up we'll end up with about a 50% stake when it's all done. At current market rates for rent, we should be netting a little over $500 a month. A few more deals like this and I'll be able to quit my full time job and get a part time one.

Why I Want To Stay Home

A stay at home dad is good for kids and families...

Being a Stay At Home Dad isn't just good for Dad - it's good for the whole family. For kids, having a stay at home dad is good for their physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioral development. While a Mom tends to comfort a child when they're upset or frustrated, a dad tends to encourage the child to deal with the frustration. A dad also has more influence in how a child (especially a boy) learns how to manage their body, handle social situations, and plays. In families with stay at home dads, the maternal and paternal influences are equally strong. In a more typical family arrangement where the dad works outside the home, the mom's parental influence is very strong while the dad's is insignificant to non existent. Since children benefit when both parents have equally strong roles, a stay at home dad can be very beneficial for children. Being a stay at home dad is beneficial for the parents, too. For dad, being at home means fixing that dripping faucet isn't an interruption to your day, it's part of your job description. It's very stressful to work at a regular job all day then come home and have to do yard work, household repairs, fix the kids' broken toys, and all the other stuff that comes with having kids. For mom, having dad at home means she can work at her career without worrying about who's taking care of the kids during the day, scheduling appointments, etc.

Why not just let mom stay home?

Some people like the idea of one parent staying home but think it should be the mom. I disagree that it should always be the mom. Every family is different, and every parent has different personalities and skills. In my family, it would work better for me to be the stay at home parent because I have the ability to earn money while staying at home and my wife doesn't.

Mr. Mom - A very funny look at Stay at Home Dads...

Mr. Mom is a very funny movie about the misadventures of a stay at home dad. When the movie came out in 1983, the concept of being a stay at home dad wasn't very popular, at least in the United States, so this movie was actually a little ahead of it's time. Micheal Keaton is one of my favorite actors and this is the movie that gave him his start. A very funny movie...

The Challenges of Being a Stay At Home Dad

I'm sure it's not going to be all fun and games...

As much as I like the idea of being a stay at home dad, I realize there are some down sides to it as well. The biggest one is loss of income. My paycheck currently pays all our bills, provides us with health insurance, and puts money in a 401(k) with employer match. My wife's income currently goes to pay for "extras" and into an emergency fund. While we could live on just my wife's paycheck, it would be difficult. I don't expect to be able to replace all of my income if I quit my job, but I will have to replace some of it. Figuring out how to do that has been a challenge and until I find a way I won't be trading my job for "stay at home dad" status. The other challenge will be redefining our roles around the house. Right now I pretty much let my wife run the house as she sees fit. I can see a potential problem if I'm doing all the housework and she has different ideas about how it should be done.

More Time for the Kids

The best part of being a Stay at Home Dad...

For me, the biggest reason to be a stay at home dad is to have more time with my 2 sons. My younger son is 5 years old and he loves spending time with me. With my job though it's difficult. Being a stay at home dad would let me spend a lot more time with him, playing with him, teaching him about things I think are important, instilling values, and just playing. He loves to help me work on my Barracuda, go for rides in our Honda, and help me work on my American Flyer train layout. My older son is 20 and has schizophrenia. I think if I had more time with him I could do a lot more to help him overcome his illness.

Making A Living Without A Job

This is the book that made me realize it would be possible for me to be a stay at home dad. It's not some get rich quick scheme or an MLM plan - in fact it's not a "plan" at all. It gives you a practical way of looking at your life and figuring out a way to earn money without a job - doing things you like and that you're good at.

Stay at Hom Dad Checklist

Planning ahead is essential...

For most guys, being a stay at home dad isn't just something you can just decide you want to do and jump right in - it requires planning. Becoming a stay at home dad will affect many aspects of your personal, family, and social life. Here are some things to consider before decidng to become a stay at home dad:

  • Eliminate debt, especially credit card debt. Since your family income will most likely be going down, it doesn't make sense to have to pay interest and finance charges. Some credit cards charge over 24% interest which can take a huge bite out of a family budget. Before quitting your job, make sure you're debt free. The only exception would be your mortgage.
  • Cut expenses as much as possible. Learn hot to make a budget and more important how to stick to a budget. If you have an adjustable rate (or high interest fixed) mortgage, now might be the time to refinance. It will be much more difficult to qualify for a good rate after you quit your job.
  • Find alternate income. If both you and your wife are working, it might not be possible to switch to a single income without drastic changes in your lifestyle and living arrangement. Maybe you feel like you should be making at least some financial contribution to the family even though you're going to be a stay at home dad. For me it's a little bit of both. In either case you're going to have to find an alternate source of income. Community colleges are a great way to learn new skills and there are many free online resources as well.
  • Talk to your wife about expectations. What family roles will each of you have after you quit your job? Will she trust you with cooking and laundry? (CAN you even cook or do laundry?) Do both of you understand the financial implications of dad not having a job and are both of you OK living with those implications?
  • Talk to your kid(s) about what it means for dad to stay home. Make sure they understand it's not all just play time.

So you want to be a Stay At Home Dad...

 

Please sign my Guestbook - I appreciate all comments and feedback...

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    • kenweiss66 profile image

      kenweiss66 4 years ago

      I have been a stay at home dad to two girls for 5 years now. I make money with internet marketing and writing posts for other websites, so it is very possible to be a SAHD and make money, too . This is a really nice lens that covers different aspects of being a stay at home dad.

    • Tobint44 LM profile image

      Tobint44 LM 5 years ago

      I would love to stay at home with my son! Best times are spent with him.

    • Alex Cortes profile image

      Alex Cortes 5 years ago

      Love this! I dream of having enough alternate income so that I could stay home one day and spend more time with my kids.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Real men aren't afraid to be Stay at Home Dads, nice job!

    • profile image

      mattydaddy 6 years ago

      Brilliant lens! Another voice speaking out for our community. I tip my hat to your sacrifices, challenges and inevitable daily triumphs.

    • profile image

      amandahobbs 6 years ago

      Great lens. Really nice blog to read. All thumbs up for this...

    • jdwheeler profile image

      jdwheeler 6 years ago

      We are birds of a feather. One day, one day.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 7 years ago

      I think it's entirely possible for anyone with a computer and phone to make a good income from home. It's up to each family to decide what works for their situation.

    • SpellOutloud profile image

      SpellOutloud 7 years ago

      Kudos to you! I admire SAHD because it is not easy but so beneficial to the family. I hope you are able to work out the finances to do so.

    • myneverboredhands profile image

      myneverboredhands 7 years ago

      Great lens. Thumbs up! I've added it to my Favorites list. You can do it, I'm sure. Good luck!

    • DreamingBoomer profile image

      Karen Kay 7 years ago from Jackson, MS

      I am married to a SAHD. It is tough sometimes, but we manage. I think it is really good for my son to have so much time with his Dad.

    • profile image

      BazSmith 7 years ago

      Great lens, I am a SAHD too and it is awesome. I also run an Internet business from home to keep my sanity as well.

    • businessblossom1 profile image

      businessblossom1 7 years ago

      Glockr -- follow what the Lord has put on your heart. This is an age when dads exist in the majority of public thought as an object of ridicule and resentment. But when I read about your sons, it is clear that the best place for you to be is with them. The skills you learn on Squidoo will be of great use to you as you progress in your quest -- and there is at least one stay-at-home mom on Squidoo who is earning close to $1,000 a month just from Squidoo. She has great tips for aspiring stay-at-home moms and dads. Here is the link: http://www.squidoo.com/workathomewithsquidoo. DO NOT BE DISSUADED OR DISCOURAGED (because it is a long road); maintain the pursuit and keep trusting the Lord.

      Oh, I almost forget -- thank you for stopping by my Free HIMbook lens.

    • profile image

      whatsreal12 7 years ago

      Great thoughts! I was especially intrigued by your comments about the way Dad's can disappear into parental oblivion if they work too hard outside the home. We *all* work and stay at home, so it is a foreign concept to me, but I cannot wait to hear how this works out for you! Maybe you could blog the whole process! Best of luck to you!

    • sheriangell profile image

      sheriangell 7 years ago

      I hope you realize your dream. It sounds like you have everything in place.

    • bigjoe2121 profile image

      bigjoe2121 7 years ago

      I like your well-thought out argument here. Best of luck to you.

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 7 years ago from Western Mass

      go for it!

    • BetsiGoutal1 profile image

      BetsiGoutal1 7 years ago

      Best of luck to you! Squidoo is definitely a good way to supplement your income as a SAHD. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I was a stay-at-home-dad for a period of 9 months. It was a great experience and I'd recommend it to anyone. However, living in Hong Kong, we also have a domestic helper so it was probably easier than it would be for most stay-at-home-dads. I put the prime focus on raising my son, while our domestic help cleaned the house. I think that it would take a very special guy to be able to clean up as well because I think I am much better at making a mess!

      To some extent, I am still a stay-at-home dad, however most of that time is spent in my 'man-cave' as a student.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 7 years ago from Central Florida

      Best of luck in developing your online income and becoming a stay-at-home dad. It's great that men and women have more roles to chose from these days, though it isn't always easy to make the shift.

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 7 years ago

      I am quite impressed with your thoughts here. I hope you do get the chance to be a stay-at-home dad. You seem to be the right kind of man to handle it. Angel Blessed* and featured on Angelography.

    • Wbisbill LM profile image

      Barbara Isbill 7 years ago from New Market Tn 37820

      A very interesting idea. My wife has mostly been a homemaker and has actually worked harder then I, even though I made the money part of our family. Mostly, we worked together! Thumbs up! Staying home always requires sacrifice, but its mostly worth it! I always tried to show my children my love and respect for their mom!