I never thought we’d be those parents. I imagined we would both be working full-time jobs and be sending our kids to daycare, but to be completely honest, I really didn’t think about it all that much until we had our first child. After a multitude of happenings, one of us became the stay-at-home parent – and it wasn’t me.
My husband obtained his degree in English (Creative Writing) and a TESOL Certificate to teach English as a second language. While we did get to teach oral English classes in China for a year, it was not something my husband loved doing. He wants to write a science fiction novel, and we both know that ain’t paying the bills unless he publishes a best-seller. So, here we are.
I can’t say it was an easy transition for us. There was a lot of stress and tears. It’s not traditional for the dad to stay at home. It took the better part of a year for him to get used to the role of a stay-at-home parent. Part of me was wishing I could be the one to do that, but I didn’t want to leave my job, either. It would have made it a whole lot easier to pump at work, though.
After 3 years, we both love it. The kids get the support and love of their dad, they’ve acquired some of their dad’s hobbies, I get a lot of communication and pictures of them throughout my workday, we aren’t both wondering how our kids are doing with someone else, and my husband gets to do some chores when needed. It has also been nice that when I have to go out of town, at least for the fun gardening field trips, they’ve all come with me. We’ve been to the Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska, Bustani Plant Farm in Stillwater, Tulsa Botanic Garden, and Westwood Nursery in Arkansas to name a few. We get to spend quality time together and it’s great.
It’s what works for us. I can’t say every husband should be the stay-at-home parent, but my husband should. He loves our kids with everything that he has, he looks out for their well-being, he shows our son that it’s okay for men to cry sometimes, he talks with them and reads to them, he plays board games with our son, he keeps them from watching television most of the time (I’m not so good at that) and he sets a good example for our kids.
I know it’s not the path either one of us planned, but we believe it’s the path we were blessed to follow.