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Do I Feel Bad About Being a Stay-At-Home-Dad?

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Feel Bad Stay-At-Home-DadA while back, I got an email asking – Do you feel bad being a stay-at-home-dad while your wife works? That’s a good question because there is still a lot of social stigma attached to being a stay-at-home-dad. SAHDs are pressured to feel bad because that’s how we were raised. Dads are supposed to work to support the family while moms have the option to work or be a stay-at-home mom. The image of SAHD has changed a lot over the past 10 years. Back then, the image of Michael Keaton’s Mr. Mom popped up into our heads when we thought about a SAHD. Mr. Mom is in over his head at home, out of his element, and he wants to get back to work. Modern family life is changing, though. Now, we are seeing a more balanced view. SAHDs can be a good primary caretaker too.

Stay-at-home-dads are becoming more common now because women are making great progress into higher paying jobs. In many families, it’s more economical for dad to become the primary care provider while mom continues to develop her career. The number of stay-at-home-dads has grown steadily over the last 20 years and now there are around 2 million of us. Wow, that’s a huge number!

With the increasing commonality of stay at home dads, there are many families sharing their stories on the internet. Some dads are happy being home. Some dads can’t deal with the adjustment and have to go back to work. Some marriages work out and some are struggling. Every family is unique and I don’t have the answer for your family. I can only focus on my family and my answer is I do not feel bad about being a stay-at-home-dad. Our family is better off with me being a SAHD.

SAHD Recapped

It has been an interesting journey to be a part of this growing trend. It’s a good thing that I blogged about my SAHD experience because the last 5 years was a blur. Here are some of my old posts about being a SAHD.

  • My 3 Months as a Stay-At-Home-Dad Blogger: I took 3 months off when RB40Jr was born. I loved the experience and I think everyone should take extended time off when they have a baby. This period was all about learning how to take care of a baby.
  • Why I Want to Be a Stay-At-Home-Dad: This was right before I retired from my engineering career. RB40Jr was 18 months old and I was looking forward to becoming a SAHD. We didn’t like having him in daycare all day long.
  • Being a Happy Stay-At-Home-Dad Isn’t Easy: After 6 months of being a SAHD, I was starting to feel the pressure. It was very difficult for me to socialize with the moms. RB40Jr was starting to develop a personality and we butted heads all day long. It was a tough time for me, but still a lot better than working at my old job.
  • Stay-At-Home-Parents Need a Little Break Too: RB40Jr was about 2 and a half at this time. We decided to send him to preschool 2 days per week. This was a long struggle and it showed us that he has a tough time adjusting to new environments. The first preschool didn’t work out because he cried all day whenever he was there. We took him out and let him mature a few more months and then we found another preschool that suited him better. I was very happy to have 2 half days per week to work on my blog.
  • Stay-At-Home-Dad Update Fall 2015: The next 2 years were mostly uneventful. RB40Jr went to preschool more often as he got older and I settled into my role as a SAHD. It was still tough to talk to other moms, but I was able to arrange a play date once in a while.
  • Stay-At-Home-Dad Update Spring 2016: This was earlier this year. Junior was wrapping up his preschool days and we were mentally preparing for kindergarten. He matured a lot in just 6 months. We still butted heads a lot earlier this year, but now we rarely get mad at each other.

Looking back, my biggest problem was staying patient with our son. He was (still is) a very energetic boy and almost every idea he had meant trouble. Something seemed to have changed over the last 6 months, though. He is causing a lot less problems and I haven’t been mad at him much. I guess he is learning how to stay out of trouble.

Now that RB40Jr is going to kindergarten; life is much easier for me. The regular schedule means I can go to the gym every morning. I need to exercise regularly to improve my triglyceride level. After that, I work on the blog and run various errands. This is a lot different than being a SAHD to a little kid. Life as a SAHD is awesome when your kid is in school from 8 am to 2 pm. Kids need a lot of attention and they want to interact with you 24/7. You don’t have any time for yourself when they are at home.

Anyway, I’m really glad I blogged about my SAHD experience. I have a terrible memory and I forget everything. Sharing my experience on Retire by 40 is a great way to share it with Junior when he’s older. If you don’t have a blog yet, you should consider starting one. Sign up at Siteground and they’ll help you get going for $3.95/month. That’s cheap.

Why don’t I feel bad?

Shouldn’t I feel bad about having a fantastic time at home while Mrs. RB40 toils away at the office? Am I a sociopath for not empathizing more? Well, I empathize with her, but I don’t feel bad. Here are the reasons why.

  • I don’t overthink things. Our family is working very well and I take it at face value. Why complicate things by overthinking and feeling guilty? I’m just as busy as she is and I don’t have time to dwell on this. If Mrs. RB40 is unhappy, she can retire too. This is her choice to make, not mine.
  • I don’t pay attention to social norms. I’m an introvert and I don’t really care what other people think. Also, I haven’t been criticized in real life so it’s not a big deal. My friends and family support my decision and that’s all I care about. I have received some negative responses on the internet, but it’s easy for me to ignore those. I’ve got thick internet skin now, another side benefit of blogging.
  • I choose to be a SAHD. This is a big one. People need to feel in control of their life. Many SAHDs were pushed into the role and it is a lot harder for them. I choose to be a SAHD and it was a good decision for our family. Our family life is a lot better off with me as a SAHD than when both of us were working full-time.
  • We are comfortable financially. Money is a huge factor. We live a comfortable lifestyle, pay the bills on time, go on annual international vacations, and still save over $50,000 per year. If we couldn’t afford our lifestyle, then I would feel a lot more pressure to get a traditional job.
  • I’m contributing financially. I’m contributing financially by earning a little online income and taking care of our investments. I’d feel more guilty if I wasn’t earning any money at all.
  • Financial Independence. Our net worth is 40x our annual expense. That’s financial independence by most measures. If we can keep our lifestyle inflation under control, we will have a comfortable retirement. Financial independence means we don’t have to work if we don’t want to.
  • RB40’s career is taking off. Mrs. RB40 is a fantastic employee. She is really good at her job and her employer is lucky to have her. She just got a promotion earlier this year and now she is being encouraged to stretch herself further if she chooses. I don’t think it’s a good time to retire if your career is going so well. Why not see how far you can rise first?
  • RB40 has a good work/life balance. Mrs. RB40 works about 40 hours per week and rarely has to take her work home. I would encourage her to retire earlier if she has to work 60 hours per week and we never see her. She has a good work/life balance, so why mess with it?
  • RB40 plans to retire in a few years. She likes her job, but she wants more freedom to pursue her interests. There is no time time to do anything extra with a full-time job. She plans to retire before 2020, but she could retire earlier if things change at work.

Things are going very well for our family so I don’t feel bad about my decision to become a stay-at-home-dad. It’s the right decision for our family and our lives are better than if we both work full time. Yes, I empathize with Mrs. RB40 for having to get up and go to work every day, but her life is pretty good too. She has a great family and she loves coming home at the end of the day.

She has to make her own decision about retirement. We’re at a point where she could retire if she wants to. A few more years of work would really solidify our finances, though. It would be awesome to reach 50x our annual expense. We may not be able to get there if Mrs. RB40 retires now. She would feel more financially secure with 50x. I’m perfectly fine with 40x.

Stay-at-home-parents, how do you feel about your role?

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{ 62 comments… add one }
  • Mr. Tako @ Mr. Tako Escapes September 8, 2016, 1:26 am

    SAHDs don’t get a lot of respect, but I try not to let it bother me. I’m happy I get to spend time with my kids while they’re still young. They grow up so fast.

    What other people think about me being a SAHD is their problem, not mine.

    In Mrs. Tako’s case, I think she enjoys her work. She gets a break from the kids, interacts socially with other adults, and earns decent money too.

    I can’t really feel bad about it when she’s enjoying her work.

    • retirebyforty September 8, 2016, 9:25 am

      It’s amazing how time flies. I can’t believe our kid is in kindergarten already. Pretty soon he’ll be in middle school!
      That’s a great mindset about being a SAHD. I don’t care what other people think either. Our life is better so it’s the right choice for us. Not every family can fit the mold. It’s great that Mrs. Take likes her work. It’s great women have the same opportunities as men now (for the most part.)

  • Michael @ Financially Alert September 8, 2016, 2:18 am

    It’s been over 3 years now as a SAHD for me and I love it. Sure it was challenging when the kids were in the infant years, but now that they’re getting older it’s a blast (for the most part… there are always “those days”). I’m trying to soak up every last minute of it while I can since it won’t last forever. There’s plenty of time to focus on other projects after hours or once they are old enough to go off to school. But, for now it’s a lot of mini- adventures throughout the week.

    My wife is happy with the situation for the most part. I’m sure she feels a bit left out at times, but she’s super passionate about her work. I’m not bringing in a ton of revenue currently, but I don’t feel bad given were are in a comfortable financial position from my prior efforts.

    • retirebyforty September 8, 2016, 9:26 am

      The first few years were a blur for me too. It was tough, but I think the hardest were from 2 to 4. Once our kid got into the groove at preschool, life became much easier. It’s fantastic that your wife is passionate about her work. We’re very lucky. 🙂

    • Mr. Tako @ Mr. Tako Escapes September 8, 2016, 5:26 pm

      I’m just making it out of the infant years Michael, and it’s already starting to get easier.

      We do little mini-adventures during the week, but I can’t wait until we can do cool stuff like going hiking.

      Honestly, it’s amazing how similar my life, Joes, and yours are! 🙂

  • Birgitte September 8, 2016, 2:24 am

    Great post!
    I have stayed home both with paid maternity leave and without, and it wasn’t a problem for me. Maybe because, once you’re married and have kids, it’s really *our money* not *husband’s money*. But I also think it is a lot easier for women to stay home, due to social norms, as you mention. My husband would not like to stay home without having investments or a blog or some way to bring in a little on the side.
    May I ask, why it was difficult for you to chat with the moms? Did you feel uncomfortable as an introvert, or do you think the SAHMs treat dads different? I’m asking because I find it very easy to chat to moms at the playground, in the supermarket, out for dinner… I sometimes feel I can’t have just 5 minutes of peace:)

    • retirebyforty September 8, 2016, 9:28 am

      I didn’t feel comfortable chatting up the moms unless I see them very often. It’s easier once my kid is good friend with their kid. Most of the moms seem to be more comfortable talking to other moms. It’s probably mostly just me.

    • Mr. Tako @ Mr. Tako Escapes September 8, 2016, 5:31 pm

      I think SAHMs do treat SAHDs differently. There are two on my street alone that pretty much refuse to talk to me.

      I think they just fear what’s different. Like everyone else.

  • Dividends Down Under September 8, 2016, 3:30 am

    I think you shouldn’t feel bad at all Joe. SAHD that are earning money is just home business really – and that’s you. You earn a lot and you’re an awesome Dad. There shouldn’t be a stereotype but there is sadly.

    I don’t mind staying at home and looking after children, I just wouldn’t be the best at it 🙂

    Tristan

    • retirebyforty September 8, 2016, 9:30 am

      Thanks! I don’t feel bad. 🙂 I think the question was just due to curiosity. I’m pretty sure they didn’t want to make me feel bad. I’m actually better at looking after our kid. That’s another reason why it’s better for me to be at home than Mrs. RB40.

  • [email protected] Smarter Decisions September 8, 2016, 3:51 am

    Joe – your post will really help SAHD’s to realize that what they want and what their family wants matters most! I think your son’s generation will have a lot less stress about going against norms like this because times have certainly changed. I also like your honesty about the challenges you faced with your son’s behaviors too. I think you will love some of the changes you will see in the next year or so too! I teach Educational Psychology and we are studying theorists and children’s developmental stages right now. Sounds like RB40Jr has some exciting times ahead as he engages with so many new people and experiences – in and out of school! Great job dad – enjoy the gym! Off to school now…

    • retirebyforty September 8, 2016, 9:32 am

      Thank you! Some dads aren’t comfortable being a SAHD and they should go back to work. Everyone has to find the right solution for their family. Kindergarten has been rough so far. He was sent to the principle office yesterday… There have been too many hitting incidents. He’s regressing. I think once he gets comfortable, he’ll be more relaxed. He is still scared and I think that’s making him act out.

  • Jon @ Be Net Worthy September 8, 2016, 3:56 am

    It’s funny how people are hypocrites. If you were to even suggest that the woman should stay home with the kids, people would call you a male chauvenist (sp?). But if a dad chooses to stay home with the kids, it seems like it’s OK to try and make them feel bad? What the heck?

    I’m not a SAHD, but I think it is fantastic! Whatever works best for your family is the route to take.

    • retirebyforty September 8, 2016, 9:33 am

      Thanks! I think the question was just due to curiosity. I don’t think the email was trying to make me feel bad. Luckily, I haven’t had any problem in real life. Our area is pretty progressive and people are mostly accepting.

  • The Green Swan September 8, 2016, 4:14 am

    I think it is sad that people still think differently of SAHDs vs SAHMs. For me that stereotype is well in the past and I never think about it. I think it is great what you were able to do with your son as he grew up. One of the biggest things I look forward to in early retirement is having more time with kids.

    • retirebyforty September 8, 2016, 9:34 am

      It’s still a big hurdle. It takes a long time for people to get over these things. I’m sure things will keep getting better for SAHDs.

  • Apathy Ends September 8, 2016, 4:37 am

    I wonder if the people knocking the choice could even make the choice if they wanted to. Very few people can retire and do something they like vs work a traditional career before 40.

    If you and Mrs Rb40 are happy, you made the right choice

    • retirebyforty September 8, 2016, 9:35 am

      Thanks! We made the right choice for our family. Life is really good and I’m very thankful. Every family has to find their own solutions.

  • Maria Martoral September 8, 2016, 4:53 am

    First be true to yourself and your family. It takes courage and faith to make the decision you made. It has been a good one because you have grown financially without serious cost to your health and well being. Plus caring for a child, home, rentals and blogging is full time work! Now, can you give me some good advice on starting a blog. How powerful a computer will I need and what were your 10 lessons learned in the process ! Take care and continue to prosper!

  • ESI Money September 8, 2016, 5:39 am

    It depends on the couple/person. If it works for you and your wife, why would you feel bad? And it seems awkward that people would even ask you that…

    My wife stayed home with our kids and I don’t think I could have (they would have driven me crazy or I would have run away mad). Just two different personalities, so we divided up the responsibilities they way we were naturally inclined.

    Now that the kids are older, I’m the one responsible for most of the decisions/issues in their lives. It works for us and glad you’ve found what works for you.Your situation may reverse as well or stay the same. No matter what happens, just do what makes you happy and forget the haters.

    • retirebyforty September 8, 2016, 9:40 am

      Yes, a little awkward, but I can understand. Some dads can’t handle being at home while their wives work. It just depends on how you’re raised. I think it will be easier for the following generations.
      When our kid was born, Mrs. RB40 didn’t want to be a SAHM. There were just too many things going on. Now she’s more relaxed and she’s open to early retirement. Things change.

  • Mike Drak September 8, 2016, 6:22 am

    I’ve really never given it much thought before but I’m also a SAHD. My wife the Contessa works full time as an investment advisor and loves her job so why quit something you love doing? On my side I feel good being able to contribute watching after Austin and doing the home stuff. I’ve also just recently co-authored a book and now run my own blog. Life is pretty good right now and everything seems to be in balance which was not the case when I was in the corporate world. Because we have achieved FI we are now in control of our lives and that is a very special place to be. Trust me on that!

    • retirebyforty September 8, 2016, 9:41 am

      Exactly. That’s my answer when people ask me about my wife working. Why quit if she likes her job?
      That’s how I feel about life too. Everything is so much easier with one parent being at home. Our family life would be a lot more hectic if we both work.

  • FIRE Travels September 8, 2016, 6:37 am

    I’m not a SAHP, but I have the utmost respect for them.

    A quick bit of background: we have a four-month old son and both work from home. I’m full-time and my wife works part-time (she specifically asked for this in order to take the brunt of childcare duties). It’s working out great for us so far. She loves the extra time she’s able to give him. Our jobs are flexible enough that we can cover for each other when necessary, so we’ve also been able to avoid daycare costs (a huge plus).

    The main point, though (like what many other commenters have said), is figuring out what works for your and your partner (if you have one). We’re already seeing the truth about how a kid needs lots of attention and lots of patience. So for right now, I think we’re both enjoying the fact that the other parent can help out and we get to “take a break” by focusing on the work we enjoy doing. Neither of us is quite ready to go full-on SAHP, yet.

    To all those that do, major kudos.

    • retirebyforty September 8, 2016, 9:42 am

      That’s a great setup. I couldn’t get any work done while my son is around. Good luck when he gets older. 🙂

  • Alberto September 8, 2016, 8:02 am

    Excellent. We used to call this the crab effect. When you put crabs in a bucket, they tend to fight each other to not let anyone out.

    Don’t let people or yourself feel guilty for your success or tell you that you can’t have what you have earned. Enjoy and be thankful you have achieve the right thought perspective. Congrats!

    • retirebyforty September 8, 2016, 9:43 am

      Thank you! I think you’re right about the crabs. 🙂

  • Physician on FIRE September 8, 2016, 8:37 am

    You should be Glad, not Sad for being a stay-at-home Dad. It’s no longer a Fad, and I’ll bet it’s pretty Rad. The most fun you’ve ever Had? Staying home with that Lad.

    Cheers!
    -PoF

    • retirebyforty September 8, 2016, 9:44 am

      I agree, but some dads really couldn’t handle it. We’re fortunate that our finance is in a good position. It would be a lot harder if the finance doesn’t work out. Thanks Dr. Seuss.

  • Brad, Financial Coaching September 8, 2016, 8:59 am

    LOVE that you have family as a priority. Our daughter is away at college now, but from when she was 5 years old both my wife and I started working from home. It was a huge blessing being able to be there for her in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings – and to attend every single sporting or social event she had. It made us so much stronger as a family, to which she would also attest! I see so many friends and relatives who drop their kids off ~6am to be picked up ~6pm just to feed them and get them to bed. Certainly sometimes this is required, but it always makes me feel a little sad that those families are missing out on the time together.

    • retirebyforty September 8, 2016, 9:46 am

      Thank you for sharing your experience. It’s great to hear that it works out well.
      We used to drop off our kid from 7 am to 6 pm too. I hated it and it was a big reason why I decided to become a SAHD. We had very little time with our baby.

  • David Michael September 8, 2016, 9:14 am

    Congratulations to you Joe for being a stay at home dad, being a loving and caring dad, and prospering at the same time. Amazing!

    For me, it would never work. I enjoy going to work and having the challenge of solving new problems and meeting new people as part of my daily routine. I really miss college teaching which was my best job ever. In my retirement, for a host of reasons, I work seasonally for five years (usually pre-Christmas months) and then take off five years. Yesterday, I applied for a seasonal Costco position and intend to celebrate my 80th birthday during that time. Then…five years of freedom. Wahoo!!!

    One thing I have observed about women in the work force, espcially those who have stayed home to take care of the children, is that they become dynamos around age 50. While men hunger for a slower pace and retirement, women seem to take off and accomplish some of
    their best professional work in the years 50-60.

    • retirebyforty September 8, 2016, 9:49 am

      Thank you for your feedback. I know it doesn’t work for a lot of men. That’s okay. Every family has to find their own solution. That’s interesting about women in the work force. I’ll make sure Mrs. RB40 reads this. I think she would be great in her 50s too. Maybe she could take a year off and then go back to work. Her decision, though.

  • James September 8, 2016, 9:17 am

    There isn’t anything wrong with being a stay at home dad. However, do you feel as though you are not living up to your potential by not working? Working doesn’t have to be at a corporate environment, but part time income by writing blogs isn’t exactly that much work. If you have good recommendations and enjoy writing about finance, perhaps dedicate a year to write a book?

    • retirebyforty September 8, 2016, 9:52 am

      In my field, I went as far as I could. My ability didn’t fit the career anymore. I may try doing something else, but it’s hard to start something when life is already comfortable. Writing a book is a very long shot. It’s a lot of work and only a very small minority of writers make any money. I’ll think about it.

    • J. Money September 8, 2016, 1:31 pm

      Love this man! I’m considering being a HT-SAHD (Half-Time Stay at Home Dad :)) now that one of my kids have entered pre-school and I’m already driving all over, and this stuff is refreshing to read. Interestingly enough I’ve been trying to talk to the SAHM Club too, but turns out having a mohawk seems to make it a little harder, haha… And they all seem to know each other? I did make progress this morning though and chatted one up, along with a fellow bearded dad!, so we shall see…

      In either event, really appreciate you putting this out there man. And hope to see you later this month at Fincon!

      • retirebyforty September 8, 2016, 9:13 pm

        It’s great that one kid is in preschool. It will get easier from here. 🙂
        Yeah, I think the moms have so much more in common. They get to know each other very quickly. It’s tough to break into the conversation as a dad. See you at Fincon.

    • J. Money September 8, 2016, 1:39 pm

      @James — “part time income by writing blogs isn’t exactly that much work.” – Have you ever ran a blog before? And made money at it? It’s deceptively harder (and more work) than it looks 😉 Though on the plus side you actually have a better shot at making more $$$ from a blog (at least personal finance one) than you do writing a book.

      • James September 8, 2016, 10:22 pm

        No I haven’t and I’m sure there are exceptions, but can’t imagine the typical person writing a finance blog working as much as someone working at a full time job. I enjoy reading people blogs to get different inputs and also think highly of stay at home moms & dads, but I don’t consider the work & pressured involved in those tasks similar as someone with deadline pressures having to meet deliverables, managing office politics, fixing bugs, manufacturing issues, pressure to constantly grow sales, etc… at a full time exempt professional job. Just my two cents.

        • retirebyforty September 9, 2016, 9:19 am

          It depends on whether you treat it as a business or not. Financial Samurai, Budgets are sexy, Making sense of cents, and a few other sites are true small businesses. They spend a lot of time and effort on their sites. They need to develop new businesses with advertisers, grow their sites, net work, etc… Owning a small business is more stressful than working for someone else.
          For me, it’s a side hustle. It is less stressful than working full time and that’s the way I like it. Of course, I don’t make nearly as much money as those other sites.

  • Mr. All Things Money September 8, 2016, 10:37 am

    I don’t have kids and I am stay at home “whatever I like”. Just like you, I spent 20 years in a very stressful and demanding high tech job. You and I both worked for the same company so we know what’s it like.

    You shouldn’t have to feel guilty, you work hard and provide for your family and still contributing financially and making it possible for even your wife to retire early.

    My wife works while I stay home and manage our finances and investments. I also take care of household chores like cooking, doing dishes, cleaning, or whatever is needed. We don’t have kids, so I have some free time which is great because I can use it to blog or exercise or do something that I enjoy.

    I don’t miss engineering career at all and feel I have lived my professional career to the max.

    • retirebyforty September 8, 2016, 10:48 am

      That’s the problem with high tech jobs. They burn you out.
      If we didn’t have a kid, I’d still retire. I’d probably travel more and Mrs. RB40 can join me whenever she can. Actually, I think it’s better this way. Our kid pulls us closer.
      Enjoy your ER!

  • Fiscally Free September 8, 2016, 10:49 am

    My wife is currently a stay-at-home-mom, but I told her I would be happy to stay at home if she wanted to work. For us it made more sense for her to stay home because I was making more money and I can’t breast feed.
    I definitely wouldn’t feel bad about staying home. Raising our child is the most important job in the world, and any stigma surrounding it should be the last thing on your mind.

    It’s pretty cool that your wife’s career is going so well. A big part of why I’m ready to stop working is because I don’t see a bright future with my company, or any other company I’ve worked for. They seem to value time served over competence.
    My long commute isn’t helping either.

    One caveat I’ve mentioned here before is that I wouldn’t feel comfortable calling myself “retired” if my wife was still working. I would stick with SAHD until she called it quits.

  • Millennial Moola September 8, 2016, 12:02 pm

    I’m seeing this in my future and am a little scared about it. But thanks for writing about your experience. Feels more normalized knowing that more guys out there are doing it.

    • retirebyforty September 8, 2016, 9:11 pm

      You just have to try and see if it will work for your family. You might have the right personality for it. It’s tough to work when there is a kid at home, though.

  • Linden September 8, 2016, 12:32 pm

    My husband was a SAHD for seven years with our two kids while I worked (for your former employer, Joe). IMO, he had the much harder job. He also found some resistance among the moms until we joined a co-op preschool that had a great community of SAHP – both moms and dads. That’s really what made it enjoyable for him, as an extrovert. There is some stigma among people who have very traditional values with respect to gender roles, but in the end it was the best for all of us (mom, dad, and the kids). I agree that once the kids are in school for 6+ hours a day, it gets a lot easier!

    • retirebyforty September 8, 2016, 9:12 pm

      We tried a co-op preschool and it didn’t really work. Our kid didn’t like it and the co-op was taking a lot of time. The regular preschool worked better for us. 🙂

  • Ty @ Get Rich Quickish September 8, 2016, 6:18 pm

    I think that it’s amazing that you’re a SAHD and wish I could give it a go. Right now I’m the sole breadwinner and it’s my wife that stays home with our four kids.

    Being a full time parent (i.e. not going to work) is much more difficult and exhausting than the average 9 to 5. Sometimes I’m ready for the weekend to end so that I can get back to work and have a break!

    Thanks for writing about your experience

    • retirebyforty September 8, 2016, 9:16 pm

      Oh wow, 4 kids. Congratulations! That sounds like a ton of work. 🙂

  • Sam @ Financial Samurai September 9, 2016, 11:56 am

    So long as the wife is happy, I say why the heck not! No regrets. Marriage is a team sport, and there’s no use for both spouses to be miserable or working in a job when they could be doing something more enjoyable if one can escape.

    I like the strategy of one spouse working for stability and the other spouse being more entrepreneurial.

    • retirebyforty September 10, 2016, 8:21 am

      I like that strategy. It’s probably best to do that early instead of waiting. I’m feeling less entrepreneurial as I get older.

  • Finance Solver September 9, 2016, 5:36 pm

    I told my friends this, if my (future) wife had made more money than me, I would LOVE to be a SAHD. Not because money is the determinant factor in who is more important in realizing career aspirations, but if we put an equal amount of importance in realizing career aspirations, then the difference should be the money that decides it. With that said, I wouldn’t want to be a SAHD if I made more money than my wife because it would be better for the team overall.

    I hope the social stigma of SAHD’s get broken soon.

    • retirebyforty September 10, 2016, 8:23 am

      If you both like working, then it might be best to both keep working. You can hire a nanny or put the kid in the daycare. Sounds like it is still a long way off for you, though. 🙂

  • Doug arnold September 9, 2016, 9:23 pm

    I think it’s always been taboo in society for dad to be MR Mom but it shouldn’t be. Especially in today’s economy. If people are able to afford it why not? And if you are close to FI why not?

    • retirebyforty September 10, 2016, 8:23 am

      It’s changing slowly. People are getting used to the idea of SAHD, but it will take time. I’m sure my kid’s generation will be a lot more open to it.

  • STE September 10, 2016, 8:13 am

    Great post ! SAHD is more and more common nowadays ,,I’m also one of the SAHD,,, enjoy quality time with kids and better bonding with them.. This is definitely not something money could buy ,,,
    Cheers !

  • Joseph September 10, 2016, 9:49 pm

    When did it become a novel idea that parents being at home for the kids is a good thing? I’m really happy that you found your groove as a SAHD and kudos to any men that can pull it off. I think you’re a great role model.

  • Steven September 11, 2016, 2:35 pm

    Awesome post! I just became a stay at home dad myself 6 weeks ago. I am planning on documenting my journey on my blog as well! It is a lot more different then I expected (a lot more work LOL). But, I can already see a big difference in our two girls, 4 and 2 right now. We were rushing all the time, never could keep up with all the housework and the kids were at day care more than they were with us…

    I have really embraced my role as a stay at home dad, but I also got to choose to be one, big difference from those who didn’t. It is very busy at the moment, but I’m sure once they get into school, things will slow down and I’ll have a lot more time to work my blog and grow it. Thanks for sharing your journey!

    • retirebyforty September 12, 2016, 8:32 am

      Good luck on your SAHD journey. Time really flies so enjoy it while you can. 🙂

  • Centsai September 13, 2016, 11:27 am

    Great article! If you and your family are happy, then don’t let any social norm ruin that! You seem to be a great stay at home dad and that is so great for you!

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