{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "My husband quit his job to stay home with our son when he was born a year ago. I took a new job and we moved. It's been a lot of change and really tough. Any advice for reverse gender role couples?", "post_id": "5e5d8e2571730b001df3c56a", "reply_count": 13, "vote_count": 13, "bowl_id": "5e593c84a513c7001dc3c730", "bowl_name": "Strategies For Working Parents", "feed_type": "qa_bowl" }

My husband quit his job to stay home with our son when he was born a year ago. I took a new job and we moved. It's been a lot of change and really tough. Any advice for reverse gender role couples?

likeupliftinghelpful
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Following for advice- my husband is a stay at home dad too to our 7 month old! It’s definitely been something we needed to adapt to, so far lots and lots of communication helps. Sometimes I feel bad about him being home all day with the baby and then I wonder, “would a man feel like this?” Anyway, wish I had more to help but I wanted to let you know you’re not alone!

likeuplifting

The answer from a working dad: yes. Absolutely. Dads also feel like this with stay at home spouses.

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I haven’t been in this situation but I think connecting him with other Stay at home dads may help.

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Yeah, my husband wouldn’t like this....?

I’m in the same situation. We’ve found that a weekend rhythm that gives him a break is critical. On Saturdays I do breakfast, take our son to a class, and then I do naptime. It means my husband gets a guaranteed break from 8am-2pm, and I get some proper 121 time with my son. Then on Sundays we do something as a family - going to the park, for a walk...anything to just hang out together.

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Just wanted to say thanks for sharing this. It’s uplifting couples choose this even if the experience is challenging. Hang in there!

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Oh that first year was rough! My husband stays at home and is almost in year 4. He’s itching to get back into the job market now, but has hit peak dad and is amazing. Planning really helped us. First monthly, then weekly. We set expectations for the kids and their focus areas for the week, classes he could and should join during the day with the kiddo, my work schedule, dinners. It’s become a fun chore to do this all together on Sunday’s. And I take as much time as I can when I’m home to take on chores or kid time, so I can bond and be there emotionally. We had to have more than a few talks about investment in our kiddos that first year though, and what that looked like for both of us. Counseling helped.

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I love this question because my husband was a stay-at-home-dad for 2 years. He was laid off right before our first child was born so it was an unexpected twist. His ego and feeling valued took a hit for sure. We talked about our vision for our family's future and how this phase of our lives was helping us to get there. We also talked a lot about mutual expectations -- so that I wasn't coming home complaining about the mess and he wasn't resentful of my time at work.

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I’m primarily a stay at home Dad - my spouse works full time w/seasonally tough hours. I freelance mostly remote when I can but taking care of our daughter and day to day home is priority #1, I’ve been doing this for years. I am 38 and our daughter is 12. Both you and your husband have a tough job with a 1 year old - esp if it’s your first. It’s really tough to be home most of the time for anyone, especially with a little one and since you recently moved to a new city I’m sure it’s really hard for your husband to make new friends as a support during the day, esp with his hands full taking care of your son. This situation can be uniquely tough on Dads because most men are not primary caregivers to kids or care for the home. Being connected to other stay at home Dads could be a godsend (I know a couple, but all far away) but only if they get along / have things in common. We live in suburbia and I have yet to meet a Dad in our area who does what I do, let alone one who is also trying to keep some semblance of a career alive. Stay at home Moms are AWESOME and have great suppprt structures, becoming part of one of those can be a challenge due to the gender difference and is an entire conversation in and of itself. Just the reality I’ve experienced. I do have a couple stay at home Mom friends and they are AWESOME. The good news (if you want to call it that) is the bulk of the challenges with being a stay at home parent apply to either gender. I have friends both men and women that primarily stay home and struggle with the same things (little contact with outside world, the extreme strain of taking care of small kids, walls closing in, feeling hopeless, letting their careers slowly die, feeling kept etc). The stay at home Mom friends I have share the same gripes. They are all college educated and had careers 1st before becoming Moms. The parent that is staying home may feel their career or job prospects atrophy every year they are not working and thus may be less useful if the need comes for them to go back to work. This is not necessarily an ego thing, just a helpless thing. I felt this way early on and drove my desire to start a freelance business. At a certain point kids no longer need constant care and as we all know: life and college is expensive. Parents, especially Dads just want to be able to provide. We also want to be able to give you a break someday after so many years of slogging it out. It’s the world we grew up in, hard to break the mentality. If you enjoy what you do for work (I do) leaving it behind makes it all the more difficult. TIPS Grass is always greener: staying home with small kids is a JOB and to many - it is frequently not pleasant. In much the same way I’m sure you at times dream of leaving the terrible meetings and emails behind to spend all day with your son, your husband probably sometimes dreams of chucking his last diaper over the fence and going to an office with no children and social engagement and snacks that he does not have to remember to buy. You BOTH are making great sacrifice for your family and son, mutually appreciate it for what it is. Household: there may be things you notice or would have thought he would do since he is home all the time and you may get annoyed are not done. Discuss what you feel is important at home and things you appreciate so he gets an idea. They may not be important to him or things he even thought about. Remember, staying home with a kid is a job and most people want to be good at their job 😊. That means meeting some of your needs in the home too. It’s easy to feel like a failure if you feel like you aren’t hitting the mark with your spouse when it comes to the household. We know you are not there all the time and miss out on stuff and it can make us feel guilty. We know working is hard & we appreciate it. We just want you to be happy and able to enjoy the time you DO HAVE at home. Make him know he is enabling that for you & that the sacrifice is appreciated. Gripes: find out the biggest thing your husband is missing from before you had kids and he began staying home and do your best to support him in fulfilling that need best he can once he is able. Trust me, it won’t go away. It may be part time work, a couple trips a year, a project, small business etc. Super important. If you have to get a housekeeper or something to free up some time for him, just do it. Hope this helps!

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Thank you for the super thoughtful advice. This was very helpful!!!

like

Am in exactly the same situation and it’s tough. It’s been a huge adjustment for him and I know he gets a bit bored sometimes. I try and do as much as I can to help during the week and on the weekends. We order groceries online, plan our time to include a lot of relaxation and are conscious not to over-extend ourselves budget wise so we don’t take on additional financial stress

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Letting him have time to himself and respecting that, has worked for us

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