Sunday, 8 December 2013

A Big Change Coming

I can grow a beard,
Drive a tractor,
Hunt,
Skin a rabbit,
Gut a fish,
Herd sheep,
Build a roof,
Hang a door,
Make a flight of stairs,
Start a fire without matches,
Read a map,
Sharpen an axe,
Change a tyre,
 
So with these many manly things under my belt, why is there a sense of trepidation when I tell you all that in the spring I will be a full time stay at home dad.
I know its down to the way we're programmed to think, and this decision has been met with raised eyebrows by some of the lads I work with. But this decision is one we've put a lot of thought into.
Put simply my wife works less hours than I do and earns more. When the child care for two is taken into account, after fuel, tax and other running costs I'll pretty much just be working to pay for someone else to bring up our children. That's not how we want to live.
There will be a shortfall in our money and I'll have to work some weekends and evening to make it up, but if we've done the maths right then we should be able to live how we want - Simply, with lots of time together as a family.
It should be another adventure and one I hope you will all stick around for. 

35 comments:

  1. I can do everything you listed except grow a beard, and frankly am working on that ( due to old age!!)

    Kev, none of that stuff matters, except doing what you and your wife feel is right for your family :)

    Best of luck in the new adventure, and if I can help, JUST SHOUT
    :)

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    1. I could only see the top half of your post when I wrote my comment?

      Anyway - now understand the rest of the post :) its a great idea, you will have a wonderful time and its a good choice, given the economics of your situation :)

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    2. Cheers! I just hope the economics work out right!

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  2. I stayed home with my daughter soon after she was born. By law I could take leave from work but it didn't go over very well with the guys at work but I didn't hear too much about it when I went back to the job. It was a good thing taking care of her and I am glad that I did it. I would have done it full time like you but it didn't work out financially as times were a lot better back then. Now I wouldn't even break even with what I make if I had to pay child care.

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    1. Yeah child care is a killer over here as well. It's been something we've talked about a lot and in the end it comes down to the things that we think are important. The main one is bring our kids up the right way so if things are a little bit tighter for us it's for the right reasons.

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  3. I did this with my daughter. It was flipping hard work but very rewarding to spend so much quality time. I still worked to bring in money occasionally, It is a good thing you are doing Kev.

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    1. Yeah I've got a bit of work lined up for it already but hopefully it shouldn't be too hard to find enough to fill Saturdays and the school holidays (when my wife is off). Cheers John

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  4. You'll be great...just great!
    Jane x

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  5. It will be a great adventure. Kids are wonderful creatures and want to learn what you know. The older girl will try to help, and you can tell them stories and read them books and after waiting a respectable amount of time, take them on hikes and fishing trips and do a little carpentry.
    1. A little advice... Don't get obsessed with the "real" fairy tales and read them the Hans Christian Anderson. It makes everyone cry. Also, dramatic readings of Edgar Allan Poe will also make them cry but for a different reason. Little girls don't really care so much for "The Charge of the Light Brigade," but enjoy the "Just so," stories.
    2. If you apply the same work ethic you apply to your carpentry you will find you can basically get the housework done by 10 a.m. and then you have the rest of the day to screw around. Obviously there are various tasks, keeping the laundry going, lunch, dinner, and so on. But, if you make a schedule for house cleaning and going to town and stay organized it goes pretty smooth and you end up with fair amount of time to do interesting things.
    3. NEVER EVER admit this is easy! (I've broken my own rule right here) It is a code of silence kept by women. In fact it is good to screw a few things up from time to time so you appear less competent than you are.
    My wife works as a school teacher. When my daughter was small I hauled her all over the farm in a baby backpack. One of her first words was when we surprised a family of ducks while disking. She pointed and said "Duck!"
    You can drag a cable through knee deep mud to retrieve a stuck tractor with a baby in a backpack!
    Also, if you eat lunch in a small cafe you can get the cute waitresses to fix special small salads or score free hot chocolate because they think a scruffy working class type with a cute little daughter is adorable!
    AND you have two! It will be great fun!

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    1. Ha Ha - long coment! I love the never admit its easy!
      I'm already planning my days in my head - they're going to be outside quite a bit over the next year! but the house work and other stuff well be on a list that I can tick off. I've got other projects that I want ot do with them as well. I think I'll build them a big wendy house for the garden and then I can be gardening whilst they're playing (I doubt they're let me get away with that one though!)

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  6. IOnce you adjust to being a stay at home Dad, I think you will not regret your decision. Think of all the things you will get to see your kids do as they grow up rather than hearing about it second hand from someone else raising them. Today you have to look at what makes the most financial sense for your family. Your right about staying with your current job just paying for a stranger to raise your kids.
    The downside is that being a stay at home man or woman can be an isolating experience, but only if you let it be. I would be very helpful to look for other stay at home Dads to form a support group. It really makes a difference to have other men in the same situation to get together with to share advise, talk about everyday issues and talk about what it is like to change your role in the family. It gives you a chance to talk to another adult you can identify with. Maybe schedule some outings with a few other Dads to take the kids to places they would have fun visiting. Even online support is helpful. Don't forget to find a sitter, so you can go & do your own thing one day a week or for an afternoon. Everyone needs some personal time & it will keep the routine from getting boring. Maybe once a week, so you can have some time to do something other than what you do the rest of the week. You don;t want to get bored or forget that you have interests & you don't want to forget who you are as an individual. As they grow up the kids should see that even parents need to take some time for themselves. Having a sitter scheduled also makes it easier not to get resentful of being the stay at home caregiver to the children.
    I think it takes a real commitment to your family to be willing stop working outside the home to give your children the best possible childcare. Prepare to be very busy. Start making a list of activities to keep your older daughter happy & busy. Make a daily routein & stick to it. Kids like knowing what to expect each day & it will help you get what you need to get done too. If you prepare for activities and keep the schedule everyone will have a smooth adjustment. I think you will not regret your decision & you will give your girls a great example of what a good man really is. I don't think you will regret your decision & your kids are lucky to have a Dad who will be taking care of them while Mom is away at work.

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    1. Thanks or you comment - theres some great advice in there! I'm planning to be pretty busy with them both. Making things, raising animals, growing fruit and veg. I'm goginto do a list of jobs and chores that we have to get done each week and work from there.
      I currently don't know any other stay at home dads but lots of mummy friends so will arrange baby dates with them. I find the blog is a great way to keep adult contact, and I've got some great mates who phone me up for chats quite often but I know what you mean about the fact I might feel isolated - although at times that might be a good thing!
      Thanks again
      x

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  7. What a fantastic decision, I think more blokes should do this although from reading above it seems more do than I thought.

    It makes sense as a couple to play to your strengths or earning ability, we are in the opposite position as a dual qualified nurse my hubby can earn far more than i ever could in a 'part time fit around school kind of job' and to be honest I can save us money by being at home and being creative with our cash.

    Good luck cos your gonna need it , but enjoy every minute ......and having some sort of rota will help in the early days

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    1. Yeah I think with me at home I should be able to save a fair bit of money making and growing stuff and my job lends itself to part time quite well. thanks for your comment

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  8. Here in Angola the girls would call you a Black & Decker Man. The adverts for B&D tools in Portugues always finished with, Black & Decker, Faz Tudo! meaning Does Everything!

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    1. I bet theres not many dads that stay at home over there though! I thought you might have thought it wasn't very manly of me to go down this route!

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  9. We always thought we could save more money than i could earn by me staying at home and we were right.
    You'll be fine!

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    1. Cheers for the vote of confidence! I'll probably need it!

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  10. This is wonderful news! Excellent decision; I don't think you'll regret it. Those precious babies are worth it.

    Folks don't realize how expensive it can be to have a job, especially a second job. I know of more than one couple who increased their income by cutting back to one job!

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    1. Cheers leigh! Fuel costs alone cost me more than I'd care to admit for getting to work for a day, then theres other overheads as well - it all adds up. Hopefully I can find some small ways to make an income from here as well in the long run.

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  11. Well done you. It must have been a huge decision to make. We have also stopped working for others, and are now completely in control of where our finances are coming from, which they aren't at the moment, but hopefully next year they will be!

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    1. Yeah it's a worry but then again it's another adventure so I think it could be fun. I might not have to mortgage paid off by 40 now though!

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  12. Good effort , Enjoy.
    We started off with me being full time with my two girls but ended up 50 50 as my wife missed it . You will not regret it. Mine are now both in the mid twenties and can fix anything !

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    1. I do feel like I might be taking something away from my wife but the advantage is she gets a lot of time off from her job so will have her own time with the girls as well. I think it could work well if we do it right

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  13. Oh boy, I'm becoming the king of the "too much information" comments on your blog!

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  14. Fantastic news! You'll be very busy but you'll have so much fun and your girls will really enjoy spending time with Daddy.

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    1. I hope they do or they'll be sick of me pretty quick!

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  15. That's awesome, my husband does the same thing. We're not rich, but we're happy!

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    1. Yeah we never planned to be rich and this way we're making sure we won't be - I do think we're be much happier because of it though

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  16. How wonderful! Many congratulations on your baby girl and on your decision to stay home. Every girl should be so lucky to have her daddy home more.
    -Jaime

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    1. Thanks Jaime, I hope they look back on it with fond memories when they're older rather than the time they had to endure with daddy!

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  17. Good for you guys! I think its so great ya'll want to raise your kids instead of having a daycare do it! Just think of all the things you will be able to get done as well besides your kids :O) and they will get to learn and enjoy it all! Farm life is a great one for kids.

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    1. I always knew I wanted my kids to have the smae kind of upbringing that I had, and although this isn't a farm (it's a mini version) it still means they're brought up in the countryside and hopefully they'll have a love for it like I do when they're older

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