I fantasize about being a stay at home mom a lot, particularly on mornings like this one when I’m herding the kids out of the house at 6:45 so I can make it to work on time. I think about being a stay at home mom when the girls are grumpy and tired because they spent the past 10 hours at school/daycare. I think about being a stay at home mom when, after a long, long day for all of us, we still have to get through dinner, homework and bedtime routine.
Lately, though, I fantasize almost constantly about having a stay at home husband. Truthfully, I don’t really want to be a stay at home mom – I lack the skills and temperament to make it the right decision for me – but being a working mom with a co-parent at home is something I could really get behind.
Here are just some of the SAHD benefits I fantasize about:
I could spend more time with my husband (as it is, with our schedules, we don’t see a whole lot of each other).
I would never have to worry about missing work (or working from home and feeling guilty about it) when the kids are sick/daycare is closed/etc.
I could advance further and faster in my career if I didn’t require such a flexible schedule based on my childcare duties (i.e., leaving early to get them from daycare, staying home when they are sick, missing work for various appointments…). Having a stay at home husband means I could work a steady schedule, and I could work longer hours when required without killing myself. As unfair as it is, the reality is that it’s hard to get a promotion when you are pulling double duty at home.
I could drop some of the parenting duties I dislike*, like making meals, keeping up with the goings-on at my kids’ school, scheduling appointments, cleaning the house, etc. and hand them over to hubby without feeling bad about it.
* Special note: I do not believe that, just because you stay at home, you should be solely responsible for all of the home and childcare related duties. I work at my job 9-5 and so should my partner. I believe anything above and beyond the 9-5 should be divvyed up equally. I wouldn’t dump all of the home duties on my husband; just some of them.
My kids would not have such long days. I am not knocking daycare or the hours parents spend at work because, like everything, there are pros and cons and everyone does what needs to be done. BUT I do feel bad that my kids are away from home for so long each day. They are tired and cranky when I pick them up, and I know their bad moods are directly proportional to how long they have been at daycare. Being on their best behaviour all day (and we’re talking 8 to 10 hours a day) is hard on them (hell, it’s hard on ME), so when they get home, it’s meltdown city. I feel for them, even when I want to strangle them. We could spend a lot more quality time together if they weren’t so damn exhausted all the time.
I think, a lot of the time, when people think of stay at home parents, they think about how lucky they are. They say “You’re so lucky you don’t have to work” (which is BS, by the way. Taking care of kids is a damn hard job), or “You’re so lucky you get to spend time with your children.” I don’t think enough people realize how lucky the spouses of stay at home parents are. I’d kill for a good stay at home dad.