I believe that being a stay at home parent is a possibility for everyone.
Granted, it would be more difficult for some than others. You may have spent several years building a career for yourself at a specific organisation or financially it could leave your family vulnerable. These are facts, however, they still don’t close the door on the possibility of spending the most valuable and incredible years of your child’s life, at home with them. If you’ve found yourself in a comfortable position financially and that in turn has increased your costs of living the lifestyle you’ve worked for, then I understand the changes you’d have to make could be huge. I should add that my thoughts on this are aimed towards parents that want to stay at home, it’s not for everyone and that’s OK.
If you do want your primary role to be that of the main care giver and pot washer, then no matter what your circumstances you can just go ahead and do it, or at least work towards doing it.
- Could you alter your working hours?
- Could you use this opportunity to start your own business from home?
I think the mindset of our society could use a little altering when it comes to the perception of stay at home parents. In fact, I’ve written about this over on dadvworld.com The title, ‘stay at home parent’ simply doesn’t reflect the role. I’m what people, including myself until recently, would call a stay-at-home-dad (SAHD), despite the fact I don’t actually stay at home and when I do I’m generally working around parenting! The general consensus is that if you don’t go to a place of work where you are an employee or self-employed (or the boss of course), being paid a regular income, then you are a stay at home parent that watches Jeremy Kyle, Loose Women and Judge Rinder in between loading the washing machine.
For some this is accurate! For others, it’s simply a load of rubbish.
I have taken this opportunity and created my own blog/website and YouTube channel, I write for The Dad Network, I have also written for other companies and brands, some of it paid ‘work’ and I take my two eldest children to school, take care of the household duties, taxi for the wife who has a ‘proper job’, oh and I educate my soon-to-be 4 year old, in all things LIFE. Yup, I’m talking about home schooling. We go on adventures, we play, we learn and we explore. So does the label SAHD match my job description?
I used to have a place of work where I was an employee. I used to have a decent income that allowed a certain lifestyle. Our boy had an accident when he was 18 months old and it prompted me to do something I’d always wanted to do; quit my ‘job’ and become my children’s full-time slave, I mean employee. I gave up the guaranteed monthly income and as a family, we made decisions that were extremely hard and made us financially vulnerable for a while.
But this period of uncertainty is exactly that, a period, a short length of time in which I get in return to experience the first several years of my little boy’s development.
Every moment he flexes his imaginative powers, every new phrase, every moment that will never come around again I am part of it. It’s a small sacrifice to make; money and material objects can be made and bought at any time. If I live 70 years, in my 70th and final year I will look back at the 4-6 years in which I dedicated every waking hour to experiencing what it is to be a Dad and they will never feel long enough.
We have our whole lives to make money, our children’s childhood is a limited luxury.