Author Topic: FiREd stay at home dads / parents , what is it like?  (Read 1972 times)

mubington

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FiREd stay at home dads / parents , what is it like?
« on: May 01, 2018, 03:27:03 AM »
So what is it like being an stay at home dad / parent full time, ifi ER at 40? What are the most difficult parts? 
 
Is there any issue with  parenting burnout, or does the ER thing render that a non-issue? Are you ever tempted to move back to a work / childcare arrangement, just to get some balance?
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 04:28:32 AM by mubington »

soccerluvof4

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Re: FIREd stay at home parents, what is it like?
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2018, 03:54:03 AM »
I'm Fire'd over 3 years now and initially with 4 kids now two off to college and 2 still home. Its awesome because I have a lot more time to do things with them and they really enjoy the fact that I have the energy to do so then when the life was sucked out of me working!

fuzzy math

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Re: FiREd stay at home dads / parents , what is it like?
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2018, 09:16:30 AM »
I work still and DH has been a SAHD. It can be isolating for men, most socialization opportunities for young kids revolve around moms. Try to find a SAHD group and just be aware that many moms may be wary that you are a secret child molester. Tons of moms have pulled their kids away from playing with my kids when DH has gotten too near. It's a very strange social culture.

slappy

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Re: FiREd stay at home dads / parents , what is it like?
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2018, 10:36:10 AM »
I work still and DH has been a SAHD. It can be isolating for men, most socialization opportunities for young kids revolve around moms. Try to find a SAHD group and just be aware that many moms may be wary that you are a secret child molester. Tons of moms have pulled their kids away from playing with my kids when DH has gotten too near. It's a very strange social culture.

I work and DH is a SAHD as well. He has never had issues with other moms, but he just doesn't really want to go to mom's group events or playgroups. Actually the moms have been very welcoming, but his only experience is picking up and dropping off the older one at preschool. 

He has a pretty established daily routine with the kids now, which is important to him. It's definitely hard for him some days, especially in the winter when it's tough to get the kids outside. But he does enjoy it and finds it worthwhile.  I also work later in the evenings sometimes, so by the time I get home, he is just done some days.  I totally get it because I feel that way sometimes on the weekends, depending on how the kids are being. 

Knapptyme

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Re: FiREd stay at home dads / parents , what is it like?
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2018, 10:50:07 AM »
I'm a SAHD while my wife continues to work. (Plenty of reasons why she works and not me, but I won't digress now.) Before semi-retiring to stay home with our kids, we had an in-home nanny which was a mutually beneficial arrangement as she has parlayed her relatively inexpensive experience with us for more lucrative offers elsewhere.

Back to the point, my kids are still young--6 and 2. We are hoping to have more kids, too. I am also homeschooling. No issues with other moms or SAHP, but I'm generally not that social anyway.

The freedom and flexibility is amazing. One silly example is that I can go on a midday run with my kids (one rides his bike, the other in a jogging stroller) to stay in shape or train for a race instead of coming home and leaving my wife and kids to go on a run. We don't have to plan around work or school to do whatever we want/need to do. I can go help a friend in the middle of a day in the middle of a week with his broken dishawasher. (His work schedule is flexible.)

Really, the joy is in being with the kids and not dealing with work drama or expectations. Some days, kids can be frustrating, but that happened whether I was working or not. Some days, I need to get something done, i.e. take the dogs to the vet, and kids really slow that process down.

Another benefit is that my working wife has more time to be with the kids when she gets home because I can take care of most everything house related while she's at work. Anytime she comes home frustrated, I remind her we could make it work if she never worked again. That may be more of an option when she's done having kids. (Paid maternity leave and healthcare are nice to have.)

afox

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Re: FiREd stay at home dads / parents , what is it like?
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2018, 01:22:17 PM »
my 3 months of paternity leave was the best 3 months of my life.  it was my only taste of freedom in 25 years and is one reason im here.

mubington

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Re: FiREd stay at home dads / parents , what is it like?
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2019, 02:31:59 PM »
Bump, not long to go know.

Any FIREd SAHDs about with some insight?

Will be probably working 10 hours a week at home. I'm a homebody anyway, so I'm not really sure what to expect.

DadJokes

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Re: FiREd stay at home dads / parents , what is it like?
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2019, 03:34:51 PM »
I work still and DH has been a SAHD. It can be isolating for men, most socialization opportunities for young kids revolve around moms. Try to find a SAHD group and just be aware that many moms may be wary that you are a secret child molester. Tons of moms have pulled their kids away from playing with my kids when DH has gotten too near. It's a very strange social culture.

This is definitely an odd fear in society, and it sucks that a tiny amount of cases has resulted in this societal belief. I helped my wife in church daycare several tears ago, and they had a policy that men couldnít be in a room with children without a woman present and even didnít allow men to change diapers (no complaint).

I am certainly more concerned with men around teenage girls, but not much beyond that.

sol

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Re: FiREd stay at home dads / parents , what is it like?
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2019, 03:39:41 PM »
Bump, not long to go know.

Any FIREd SAHDs about with some insight?

Will be probably working 10 hours a week at home. I'm a homebody anyway, so I'm not really sure what to expect.

It's fucking sweet.  I love being a retired dad.

I have no problems with finding opportunities to socialize, because I'm involved in a couple of different community organizations now.  It might be different if you're going to sit at home and watch tv by yourself all day, but I'm presuming that anyone motivated enough to ER at 40 is also motivated enough to avoid that fate.

Adam Zapple

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Re: FiREd stay at home dads / parents , what is it like?
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2019, 03:46:59 PM »
I am the primary care giver of my little ones, not exactly a stay at home dad but my shift work has me home with them most days.  To be honest, I hate it.  It is mindless, boring and repetative.  If you always wanted to be a butler, housekeeper, orderly, dishwasher and short order cook all at once, this is the big break you've been waiting for.

MasterStache

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Re: FiREd stay at home dads / parents , what is it like?
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2019, 06:05:05 AM »
I love it! Grocery shopping with other retired folks in the middle of the week. Not rushing out the door in the morning. Being here when the kids get home (my SO loves this one). Exercising with no interruptions. Going for long walks with the dogs on nice days. Working on projects around the house. The list is endless.

ROF Expat

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Re: FiREd stay at home dads / parents , what is it like?
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2019, 07:30:28 AM »
It really comes down to what works for you.  Not every dad wants to be a SAHD just like not every mom wants to be a SAHM. 

That said, I love it.  This afternoon, I met my daughter at school and she held my hand as we walked through the schoolyard to the bike rack and then we rode home together.  We have a regular lunch date at local restaurants.  I know the day is coming when she's going to be embarrassed by me and won't want to hold my hand  in public or go out to lunch, so I am enjoying every minute of it while I can.  I loved my work, but being a SAHD is more important and more rewarding than my day job ever was. 

I have not found being a SAHD to be socially isolating and have no fear of burnout (although we do have a nanny and household help, so I might not be a good example on that). 

If you were to be hit by a bus tomorrow,  would you be likely to wish you had spent more time at the office and less time at home with your kids?   

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: FiREd stay at home dads / parents , what is it like?
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2019, 07:44:21 AM »
I dream of being a SAHD. Itís my biggest wish right now.

Hula Hoop

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Re: FiREd stay at home dads / parents , what is it like?
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2019, 09:02:36 AM »
I have a question for anyone who is a stay at home parent to older kids.  My daughters are 10 and 7 and I imagine I'll be able to FIRE in around 4 years.  Being a SAH parent to an 11 and 14 year old sounds like fun.  But I guess having me hanging around the house all the time might cramp their style.  My parents always worked full time and I remember feeling sorry for fellow teens who had SAH moms breathing down their necks all the time. 

sol

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Re: FiREd stay at home dads / parents , what is it like?
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2019, 09:26:41 AM »
I have a question for anyone who is a stay at home parent to older kids.  My daughters are 10 and 7 and I imagine I'll be able to FIRE in around 4 years.  Being a SAH parent to an 11 and 14 year old sounds like fun.  But I guess having me hanging around the house all the time might cramp their style.  My parents always worked full time and I remember feeling sorry for fellow teens who had SAH moms breathing down their necks all the time.

If your teenagers are anything like mine, they will not be bothered by having you around.  They will retreat to their rooms and devices when they want privacy, then magically appear when they need a ride somewhere.  And they will need lots of rides.

Being a full time parent means I never need to miss concerts or athletic competitions.  It means I get to hear about which girl likes which boy according to which third party friend, every day.  It means I'm on hand when they have sudden and unexpected questions about colleges, or sex, or controversial news items they saw.  Some days it means I have to stay out of the way and provide a quick dinner while they struggle through homework assignments, and some days it means driving out to some unfolding disaster to help pick up the pieces when they're freaking out.  But in any case, I get to be available.  I'm the support parent, the backstop, the security blanket, the one they can always count on for whatever kind of help they need.

I already have enough money, and having twice as much wouldn't change very much in their lives.  So there's not much good to be done by being stuck in an office every evening, or disappearing for a week at a time on work trips, but there is a huge amount of good to be done by being present for them each and every day. 

Several of my working friends who are parents also have enough money to retire, but stick with the slog for personal reasons.  They are strivers, diligent ladder climbers, guys who think that their next promotion or publication or honorary title will finally validate their existence and give meaning to all of that hard work they've put into their careers.  But they sacrifice their family lives in ways big and small in order to pursue personal validation from their jobs, not realizing that they are giving up personal validation from their families.  It's different, but for me it has turned out to be more meaningful.

Lots of other people can do my old job.  No one else can be a parent to my kids.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: FiREd stay at home dads / parents , what is it like?
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2019, 09:06:55 PM »
I have a question for anyone who is a stay at home parent to older kids.  My daughters are 10 and 7 and I imagine I'll be able to FIRE in around 4 years.  Being a SAH parent to an 11 and 14 year old sounds like fun.  But I guess having me hanging around the house all the time might cramp their style.  My parents always worked full time and I remember feeling sorry for fellow teens who had SAH moms breathing down their necks all the time.

Itís weird how we think about things. Some parents think teenagers resent them and donít want them around. Not true and if anything, itís the opposite. Teenagers are going through one of the most difficult times of growth and quite frankly, itís all a shock to them, getting used to new bodies and feelings for people and wanting some independence but scared of adult life. Most teens donít like themselves that mich so they think others donít like them either and they also test to see, who likes me? This includes parents. The kids that adjust well are the ones with parents who are there for them, truly present and donít stop caring about their lives, interests, school, friends, etc.  And really, this is all you get generally, these 18 years of being intwined in their lives before they go and make their own. You donít get it back and youíll never regret being there but youíll always regret not.

Margie

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Re: FiREd stay at home dads / parents , what is it like?
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2019, 11:18:47 AM »
@ sol you covered my thoughts exactly!    My kids are 16 and 13 and I love that I am home after school and was able to walk them home everyday when they were younger...they tell you a lot on that walk!  Now that they are teens it is exactly as sol indicated when they need privacy they go to their rooms but all of a sudden they come out and start asking this or that

When they were little I used to meet a SAHD once a week at an indoor playland (during the winter) - our kids would play we would read the paper and debate all sorts of stuff.  He was a great guy but I didn't ever extend an invitation to a playdate at home because I wouldn't have wanted anyone to think we were cheating.  I did feel badly for him at the time because there were womens groups everywhere but not much for men.  When the larger group of women were there he would usually join the kids on the playland. 

My only real advice would be is to get your children involved in the things you like to do so you can have the best of both worlds.  I loved biking, hiking and reading with mine.  They are both very active still so I am hopeful that seed has been set.

I'd say to any parent considering it - try it you can always go back to work if you aren't enjoying yourself.