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Being a Stay-At-Home Dad After Our Kid Started School

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Being A Stay-At-Home Dad After Our Kid Started SchoolIt’s spring break already! I can’t believe the school year is going by so quickly. Our kid started kindergarten last September and he had a very difficult time adjusting to the new environment at first. You can read more details from the link, but suffice to say that he was a repeat visitor to the principal’s office that first month. Luckily, he is behaving much better now. The office still sees him pretty often because he visits the nurse office regularly. RB40Jr is a bit clumsy and occasionally needs a band-aid or two. Oh well, I guess it’s good that everybody knows him so they can look out for him. Anyway, I am still a stay at home dad and haven’t even considered going back to work full-time. Why not? Let me share one stay-at-home dad’s perspective today.

Stay-at-home dad recap

First of all, we’ll do a little recap of my stay-at-home dad career so far.

  • I started Retire by 40 in October, 2010. Mrs. RB40 was pregnant at the time and she did not like this whole early retirement concept at all.
  • RB40Jr was born in 2011 and I took 3 months off to try being a stay-at-home dad. It was awesome and I had a tough time going back to work.
  • I retired from my engineering career in July, 2012 to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger.
  • RB40Jr started going to Preschool at the beginning of 2014. He started with 2 days per week and increased a day every year.
  • RB40Jr started kindergarten in September, 2016. Yes!!

Being a stay-at-home dad has many ups and downs. For me, the best period was between 18 months and 2 years old. Our baby was so cute and he did pretty much whatever I told him. It got more challenging as he got older, though. He became really energetic and wanted to assert his own personality. It was tough to keep up with him all day long. Kids can really wear you down because they just never stop moving and talking. I never get any peace and quiet at home unless I set him up with a movie. This isn’t good either because kids shouldn’t have that much screen time.

Hooray for Kindergarten!

Our quality of life improved immensely once RB40Jr started kindergarten. Well, the first few weeks were tough because I never knew when I was going to get a call from school. Life was so much better once he adjusted, though. I finally have a little more time to myself! From 8:30 am to 2:30 pm, I can do whatever I want. Here is a typical weekday for me.

  • 6:30 am to 8:00 am – Put together breakfast and lunch box for Junior. Then drive him to school because we just can’t make the school bus at 7 am.
  • 8:00 am to 10 am – Work on my blog, catch up with email, and do some chores.
  • 10 am to 11:30 am – Walk to the gym and work out.
  • Leisurely lunch break
  • After lunch until 2:30 pm – Work on the blog, read, and/or do some errands.
  • 2:30 pm to 5 pm – Hang out with Junior or take him to his lessons and appointments.
  • 5 pm to 7 pm – Prepare dinner and have dinner with the family.
  • 7 pm to 9:30 pm – Wind down, put RB40Jr to bed, and clean up.
  • 10 pm to midnight – Work on the blog, browse the internet, watch DVD, or read a bit.

The 5 hours of free time is awesome. Now I can go to the gym regularly and try to get fit. Blogging is also much easier now. Previously, I spent a lot more time working at night, but now I get most of the writing done in the day time. My sleep also improved because I don’t work late as much. Everything just runs smoother with the extra time.

All in all, I love kindergarten. Spending half a day with a rambunctious kid is perfect. That’s enough time to have fun and not get on each other’s nerves. All day is just too much especially in the winter when we don’t get out much.

Going back to work?

Some stay-at-home parents go back to work after their kids start school. This is a great time to do it because the kids are busy, too. Our school has afterschool care programs that students can sign up for. Working parents can pick up their kid when they get out of work, before 6 pm. The price is not too bad at $330 per month.

However, I have zero desire to go back to work full-time. At this point, I can’t go back to my engineering career anyway. My knowledge is out of date after almost 5 years away and I have no tolerance for BS. I really don’t know what I would do if I need to find a full-time job. The easiest option would be a minimum wage job, but I’m already making more money than that with my blog. Maybe I can leverage my blogging experience into a job somehow.

Anyway, this topic probably needs its own blog post. How can a stay-at-home dad return to the work force? It seems very daunting. I’d have to love the job and the boss to even consider going back to work. Oh, and I’d need to make 2-3 times what I’m making now with part time self employment. The job also needs to be low stress with minimal BS. Is that too much to ask?

Luckily, I don’t have to rejoin the rat race at the moment because we are doing well financially. Mrs. RB40 is planning to work for a few more years, so we’re set at least until she retires. My online income is also pretty good right now. If nothing drastic happens, we should be fine when Mrs. RB40 retires in 2020. My online income and our passive income should be enough to support our modest lifestyle.

Still enjoy being a SAHD

I have to say I really enjoy being a stay-at-home dad now that our kid is in school. It was fun when RB40Jr was a younger, but it was a lot of work, too. Now, life is just about perfect. Half a day is about the right amount of time for us to spend together. I also like volunteering at school once in a while. The kids are a lot of fun. I’m sure life will get busier again once he starts doing team sports so I’ll enjoy this good time while I can.

I read a few forums and posts on the internet about what stay-at-home parents do after kids go to school and a lot of people have a much harder time at this point. Many stay-at-home moms and dads feel a lot of pressure to go back to work. Money is the huge elephant in the room. Most families would do better financially if both parents work. I’m very grateful I have the choice to stick with my current lifestyle. Running a profitable blog really helps fill the time and smooth out the cash flow.

What about you? Have you ever gone though this phase? Did you or anyone you know go back to work after being a stay-at-home parent for a while? It sounds really hard for SAHDs.

Related post – How to Start a Blog and Why You Should.

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{ 68 comments… add one }
  • The Green Swan March 27, 2017, 4:44 am

    That seems to have worked out quite well for you, Joe. Starting up the blog and all the success that has come with it has helped out a lot it sounds like. Not only keeping you busy, but also bringing in a nice chunk of change. I would think that as long as you keep it up, you’ll continue to have a stable blog income and keep you from ever having to rethink a career again.

    Any big plans for spring break?

    • retirebyforty March 27, 2017, 8:00 am

      Life is really good right now and I hope it continue like this for a while.
      Blogging has been a blessing for me. It’s the perfect part time gig for a SAHD.
      No big plan for spring break. The weather is still not great. We’ll probably find something to do in town.

  • Matt @ Optimize Your Life March 27, 2017, 4:52 am

    Sounds like a good situation with solid balance in your life. I’m sure the money helps so that you don’t have to go back, but I’d imagine that having the blog to work on helps, too. I can imagine that a lot of people would feel lost with that chunk of free time dropped in front of them after getting used to spending all day with their child.

    • retirebyforty March 27, 2017, 8:01 am

      Having something to work on makes a huge difference. I think I would still be fine if I wasn’t blogging, but I’d probably be a lot more restless.

  • Apathy Ends March 27, 2017, 4:52 am

    I can see how taking money out of the equation makes the decision at lot easier than if your family wasn’t set up for retirement.

    My mom has been back at work for 11 years after being a SAHM for 10 years, she is doing pretty well now – but right away it was rough.

    Glad to hear he is adjusted to kindergarten!

    • retirebyforty March 27, 2017, 8:26 am

      I think money is the #1 reason why stay-at-home parents go back to work. It’d be really tough for me if I don’t have a choice. I’ll do it, but I won’t like it.

  • Go Finance Yourself! March 27, 2017, 4:54 am

    The best thing about FIRE are the choices it gives you. You’ve done an awesome job already of leveraging the internet to create a profitable online business. It’s also impressive that you’ve been able to do so while having so much time taken up by a kid running around.

    • retirebyforty March 27, 2017, 8:27 am

      Blogging was really tough when our kid was a baby. I was working full time, adjusting to being a dad, and blogging. It was crazy. Now, it’s much easier. 🙂

  • Brad - MaximizeYourMoney.com March 27, 2017, 4:57 am

    Enjoy spending the time with your son! Our daughter will be 21 in two weeks … where’d the time go?!? I wasn’t a SAHD but rather a work-from-home-dad (you likely would be called the same) and I treasure the fact that I was able to see my daughter before she left for school and every afternoon, evening, and weekend. The time goes so fast and so many people miss out on their period of their children’s life. It actually makes me a little sad how many parents only see their kids a few hours per day during the week. Treasure the time!

    • retirebyforty March 27, 2017, 8:29 am

      Right! I can’t believe our son is already 6 years old. Time passes by so quickly.
      Our kid was in day care until he was 18 months old. We didn’t get to spend much time with him at all. He’ll come home and fall asleep pretty quickly. I hated it. We’ll treasure this spring break.

  • Mrs. Picky Pincher March 27, 2017, 5:05 am

    Being a full-time parent is NOT easy! I salute you for the tough stuff you do every day. 🙂 It does sound like you get to enjoy more of a FIRE lifestyle with the kiddo in school, and that’s pretty damn rad. It also means you’ll have time to recharge and be more available for Junior, too, which means more play time. 🙂

    • retirebyforty March 27, 2017, 8:30 am

      School is awesome. I love it! 🙂
      It’s really great for both of us. I’m a lot more even temper and our time together is more peaceful now.

  • Daniel Nie March 27, 2017, 5:13 am

    I was a stay at home dad and being a full time artist while my daughter was young. Now she is married. And my wife and I will become grandparents. I am learning to write a blog on How to be an inspirational grandparent.
    https://artistdanielnie.blogspot.com/?m=1

    • retirebyforty March 27, 2017, 8:32 am

      Did you enjoy being a stay at home dad and creating art? It sounds ideal. Good luck with your blog!

  • Roseanne March 27, 2017, 5:52 am

    Joe, you have gone through the ups and downs of retiring early and frankly they are mostly ups. You deserve this time for yourself to focus on what you’d like to do, but you are still available for your wife and son should they need you. It’s the best of both worlds! You are the reason I started my blog – thank you for that! I just have to figure out Google AdWords – one of your suggestions that I didn’t quite complete at the time.

    • retirebyforty March 27, 2017, 8:33 am

      Thanks! My time as a SAHD has been mostly ups. There were some tough moments too, but I think those are in the past. Life is really good now. Hopefully, our kid doesn’t cause too much trouble when he becomes a teenager… Good luck with your blog!

  • Max Your Freedom March 27, 2017, 5:57 am

    I used to worry about how I would spend my time during FIRE, and whether boredom would kill me. After I started my blog those worries have gone away. It takes a lot of time to keep it up, and I can see how the days would fly by.

    You have the added advantage of being able to claim a decent income from yours, which I’m sure is very helpful, and contrary to popular belief, rare. I doubt my spouse would appreciate me spending half my days working on a blog that generated no income, while she went to work every day.

    I think you have a good balance, if you suddenly find more time on your hands, you have a small business to plow it back into.

    • retirebyforty March 27, 2017, 8:37 am

      Blogging has been really great for me. I’ve been really lucky and I really appreciate it.
      I suspect you’re right about blogging if you don’t make any money. My wife wouldn’t be as supportive if we don’t make any money…

  • The Tepid Tamale March 27, 2017, 6:05 am

    Go Joe! You have worked, and earned it. That 50/50 split of family time, productive time seems about perfect to me. Man, am I jealous! Continue to enjoy it, the time really does go fast, and it’s one thing that you can never get back.

    – The Tepid Tamale

    • retirebyforty March 27, 2017, 9:20 am

      I love being part-time self employed. It’s the perfect work situation for me. Working for other people really isn’t ideal for me. Good luck to you as well.

  • FullTimeFinance March 27, 2017, 6:11 am

    I can’t comment much on going back to work as my wife’s stay at home mom journey just started, but I can offer some thought on the front end. If your situation was like my wife’s it also took time to adjust out of the workforce. Habits and activities related to going to work or not take a while to break. If your really want to go back, and I’m not saying you should, then I’d start living as if you are. Dress up and regiment your hours similar to a work regime. See how you feel afterwards.

    • retirebyforty March 27, 2017, 9:21 am

      That’s probably a good idea. You gotta fake it until you make it. It’s tough to change habits.

  • Sam @ Financial Samurai March 27, 2017, 6:37 am

    Good stuff! What age is junior now? Private or public kindergarten?

    I think you can consider doing corporate consulting. There was a point for 6 months in 2015 where I was making more than my salary in banking given I had three fintech consulting clients. It was too much, but it shows there is actually a lot of opportunity there with our skills.

    Portland should be startup heaven as well!

    Sam

    • retirebyforty March 27, 2017, 9:22 am

      Our kid is 6 years old now. He is going to a public school.
      I’ll check around and see if there is a good corporate consulting position open. Maybe one would be good.

  • Mr. Tako @ Mr. Tako Escapes March 27, 2017, 6:44 am

    Wow, kindergarten sounds like heaven Joe! 5 hours of free time? Amazing!

    I’ve got about one year until our oldest son goes to kindergarten and 3 years for our youngest. I can’t wait!

    That sounds like a long time to go, but I have to admit — it still sounds better than working!

    • retirebyforty March 27, 2017, 9:23 am

      Kindergarten is heaven. I love it!
      Enjoy your time with the kids while you can. 🙂

  • Physician on FIRE March 27, 2017, 7:10 am

    You’ve got a great setup there, Joe. This year is also the first time we had both boys in school all day every day, and the first year tuition-free after paying for pre-school each of the previous five years. It’s wonderful

    I like how you state you retired from your engineering career to become a SAHD / blogger. That should satisfy even the strictest internet retirement police. I plan on using similar language: I’ll be retiring from clinical medicine, but won’t simply call myself a retired person. I’ll be part of a dual stay-at-home parent household (although we’ll be on the road quite a bit) and a blogger, too.

    Cheers!
    -PoF

    • retirebyforty March 27, 2017, 9:25 am

      Great! Life is perfect right now so let’s enjoy it while we can. I’m sure the kids will cause a lot more trouble when they become teenagers in a few years.
      I don’t know… You can never satisfy those internet retirement police. 🙂

  • My wife and I are both still working and we have a 3 1/2 yr old and an 8 month old. Sometimes we think my wife might leave at some point, but people ask why do it then when they’ll almost be school age. But even then, I think it would be great to have a parent at home after school. I used to feel bad for the kids who had to stay in after-school until 6:00. And by that time, it’s dinner, bath time and off to bed. I guess a part-time job would work during the school hours…and if we ever figure out how to make money blogging, that would be awesome too.

    • retirebyforty March 27, 2017, 9:29 am

      Part-time work during school hours would be perfect.
      Our kid was in daycare for a while and we didn’t like it at all. We didn’t get to spend anytime with him. When I became a SAHD, it was a bit too much time together. It’s tough to find a balance. I really appreciate kindergarten!

  • Al March 27, 2017, 7:23 am

    Nope. I was never a SAHD. Instead I was a 91 Fwy warrior traveling 60 miles each way to work everyday for over 30 years. It almost kill me.

    Love staying at home more than going to work or driving 2 hours each way. My life is,very simple and enjoyable now. Spent most of my time reading or planning the next trio. We are going to Lisbon and Madrid in May and China in October and a few smaller trios in between.

    After a year hadn’t found a balance yet to keep me using my time more productively but definitely enjoying the peacefulness and freedom. Can’t believe I am here still. Looking over my shoulder all the time and asking, it’s it real?

    Just started working my newest list of Dividend growth stocks and finishing up taxes. We had to pay federal…

    • retirebyforty March 27, 2017, 9:31 am

      Wow, that’s a bad commute. It’s great to hear that you appreciate retirement. Your travel plan sounds great. We planned to visit Lisbon when we went backpacking in 2003, but never made it there. Someday…
      Enjoy you retirement. No need to feel guilty about taking it easy.

  • Dividend Growth Investor March 27, 2017, 7:26 am

    Hi Joe,

    I think that becoming a SAHD was a smart move, which had a better impact on your health and family life than continuing your engineering nightmare. This is a model to follow that is inspiring to people like me. It is nice to see that you had the flexibility to get what you need done, and how now you have even more flexibility

    When I was in second grade, my dad was in between jobs for about 3 months and spent a lot of time with us the kids. I loved this time as a kid, because usually, parents are busy working and providing for the family, but this comes at the expense of spending quality time with the offspring. So in my opinion, your spending time with Jr has been beneficial for him and his development. This will be something he will think of fondly when he is older

    DGI

    • retirebyforty March 27, 2017, 9:33 am

      Thanks for sharing. My parents were busy most of the time we were kids. They were both unemployed for a period, though. It was nice to spend more time with them, but they were just very stressed out by the finance of having no income. Luckily, that period didn’t last too long.

  • Joe C. March 27, 2017, 8:31 am

    Having two kids of my own (son is 8 and daughter is 6 1/2), I can relate when you say what a nice time it is when they start school and you can get that time back. Just be aware that depending on the activity level of your kid(s), as they get older, you can actually go back to to being very busy again managing their lives.

    My son plays a fair amount of sports (primarily basketball, soccer, baseball, but has also dabbled in golf, tennis, track, and drums) and my daughter is involved in swimming, ballet, and piano. Pretty much every weekday from the time they get home at 2:30, it’s get their homework done and then head out to one and sometimes multiple activities every weeknight. Weekends tends to be completely packed with multiple sports and/or other activities. I also coach as well so that takes up even more time managing the team, parents, etc.

    I still work but fortunately I have a very flexible schedule that allows me to be able to manage my kids sports/activities. If I had a regular 8-5 job in an office setting, there is no way I could get my kids to these activities without a nanny/babysitter driving them all over the place. Even if I did have someone else take them to these activities, I wouldn’t be able to watch/coach/participate and that interaction is very important to me.

    If you ever do decide to go back to work, I’d suggest you look for a job that allows a great deal of flexibility and/or a part-time job that allows you to get off work and home by the time your kid(s) get home.

    • retirebyforty March 27, 2017, 9:35 am

      Thank you for sharing! I heard that life gets more busy when the kids have more activities. I think we’ll limit him to one or two activities at a time. Just one team sports because that sounds like a ton of work. We don’t want to spend every weekend on kid activities.
      What kind of work do you do to have that kind of flexibility?

      • Joe C. March 27, 2017, 10:24 am

        Hi Joe,

        I’m involved in real estate as a builder, investor, and property manager. Historically, I built spec homes during the boom times in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. I was fortunate that when the market here in Oregon started to tank in 2008, my son was born and I was already planning on dialing back my spec construction to spend more time with him (I joke that my son was the reason I wasn’t caught in the real estate bubble like so many of my builder friends). I started picking up short-sales in 2009 thru 2012 when the market bottomed out and have kept them as rentals.

        As for limiting the kids to one or two activities at a time, I agree that kids can be a handful and very tiring. Just remember that you may be tired but most kids can outlast us adults so you may think your child is tired, but most likely they are not.

        My older sister gave me a good piece of advise long ago (as she has raised two great kids). The most important thing is that they get their homework done and are doing well academically in school. If they are, then let them do as much sports/activities as they like because what’s the alternative? Stare at each other across the dinner table? Let them play video games or stare at tablet’s/ipad’s all night long? I’d rather my kids be practicing/playing a sport, learning new skills, being out in the fresh air, participating and learning life skills, being involved with other kids, learning teamwork, learning to manage their time, etc. There’s many nights where my son goes straight from baseball practice to basketball practice, but he’s got all his homework done, he’s doing well in school, and most importantly, he loves it. As a coach, I tell parents all the time to check in regularly with their kids when it comes to sports. Ask them after practice if they had fun. Ask them if they want to go back to the next practice. Ask them if they are excited for upcoming games. Ask them after a game if they are looking forward to the next game. If the answers come back yes, yes, yes, then I say let them do all they want.

        My wife told me long ago not to tell other’s how to raise their kids (and my approach to my kids may not work for everyone), but that’s my two cents.

        • retirebyforty March 27, 2017, 9:30 pm

          Thanks for sharing. It’s great that you dialed back just in time. Great timing!
          Good advice with sports. I will think about it.

  • Michael @ Financially Alert March 27, 2017, 8:51 am

    Hi Joe, thanks for the sneak peek!

    My daughter is entering Kindergarten this July. I’ll still have my son with me, but he’ll be off to pre-school soon and with any luck, I’ll have a bit more time to myself during the day.

    I don’t plan on going back to work either, but perhaps I’ll have the opportunity to work more on the blog during the day time and cut back on my really late hours.

    Glad to hear that RB40 Jr. is acclimating to school better now.

    • retirebyforty March 27, 2017, 9:37 am

      It’ll be great, trust me. Life is so much easier now. I’m sure you’ll love it.
      Working late is okay, but I was tired all the time which made me easily irritable. Not a good combination with a very active boy at home. Working in the day time is much better.

  • Ty March 27, 2017, 9:15 am

    This is the first year that all of our kids are in all day school (our youngest is also in kindergarten). My wife & I talked a bit about her going back to work now that the kids are out of the house during the day, but like you mentioned, there are always calls from the school for one thing or another. Sometimes the kids get sick. Sometimes there are mid-day appointments that we need to go to. If my wife went back to work, then one of us would frequently need to leave work to do some type of parental work. We also have 4 kids – so the odds that someone needs mom or day during the day is greater for us.

    In the end, we like the idea of having one parent at home. There are great benefits to raising a family this way and we’re fortunate that we can afford to get by on just one income.

  • carolyn March 27, 2017, 11:32 am

    I take my hat off to all stay at home dads out there. Being a full time parent is not all it’s cracked up to be!

  • The Magic Bean Counter March 27, 2017, 11:36 am

    Glad to hear that things have balanced out with your free time/family time. My son also started kindergarten this year. Do you guys experience the INSANE melt downs that first month or so of school? Those were trying times to say the least. What are you planning to do with the little guy during his first summer break?

    Stafford

    • retirebyforty March 27, 2017, 9:32 pm

      We didn’t have the melt downs. Our kid express his frustration by hitting other kids and his teacher. That was rough, but he stopped once he was more familiar with the environment. It’s tough.
      We’ll probably sign up for day camps every other week or so. I’m not really sure. We’ll see how it goes. No huge plans.

  • Michael March 27, 2017, 12:22 pm

    It’s awesome that you are able to pull it off. In our case, we had a mix of parental support, nanny, daycare, and after school care etc at different point in life. Both my wife and I continued to work and didn’t take a break.

  • FinancePatriot March 27, 2017, 2:38 pm

    I find most early retirees, like your wife, try to retire with too much invested. You don’t get extra points for taking a large amount with you when you die. Have her retire a bit sooner, historic retursn of the SP500 with dividends is around 9.7% per year, compounded. That’s a huge amount of income to have once you retire, and if you live off of less, you can retire, at least in my opinion. I estimate we have about a 38% margin of safety. That is, if the market declines by 38%, we will be at part with our early retirement budget, which I wrote about on my blog. Plus, if the market does happen to decline, there is lots of areas where we could adjust.

    • retirebyforty March 27, 2017, 9:33 pm

      It’s up to her. I can’t force her to retire. She likes working. I can see that starting to change so hopefully she will be ready to retire in a few years.

  • The Grounded Engineer March 27, 2017, 6:45 pm

    This post resonates strongly with me! I would love to be able to stay at home with my child, but my wife is doing that right now! As a fellow engineer, I wonder if I could pick up some side gigs that wouldn’t require as much of my time that could still pay the bills?? I’m still working on that 🙂

    You said being out of engineering for five years and going back into it wouldn’t work – I think you could do it! Maybe look for some side gigs where you could consult? What type of engineering were you in? There is so much content available online to learn new things – I bet you could pick up on it again quickly!!

    • retirebyforty March 27, 2017, 9:41 pm

      I was a computer hardware engineer. I did design and validation. Younger engineers are better at that kind of thing.
      It’d be tough to think that way again and the hours would be too.

      • The Grounded Engineer March 28, 2017, 5:54 am

        I found your post where you discussed working for Intel on DRAM… My company used to be the manufacturer’s representative for Intel in the midwest selling hardware products: processors, motherboards, NIC cards, etc. In 2014, Intel moved to a direct sales channel, which wasn’t good for my company. Small world!

        Have you heard of Arduino and the Raspberry Pi? Might be something fun to tinker around with for you and Junior to teach him hardware and software – it is something I enjoy playing around with.

        • retirebyforty March 28, 2017, 9:10 am

          I used to work on the DRAM interface. It was interesting in the beginning, but I think most of it is done oversea now. I’m not sure.
          I’ve heard of Raspberry Pi. Sounds like fun. I’ll check it out when Jr is a bit older.

  • gfaseed March 28, 2017, 3:33 am

    You said you will develop a new site. I’m confident that you will find new occupations!
    Keep up the good work!

  • Mr. SSC March 28, 2017, 6:27 am

    I think transitioning to a stay at home dad role once both kids are in school would be key for me. I’m not sure I’d have the patience to be full-time SAHD, so making that transition once they’re in schol seems perfect. It sounds like you have a lot of options, especially since you don’t need the income from any other side gig.

    That’s a great position to be in.

    • retirebyforty March 28, 2017, 9:12 am

      It was tough staying home all day with the kid. You’re right about patience. You only have so much and it runs out… Half a day is perfect. 🙂

  • derek March 28, 2017, 7:54 am

    We are in a similar spot, but a few years behind you.

    We’ve got a 10 week old and another who turns 3 next week.

    As I sit here at home writing this, our almost 3 yo is at a pre-school she goes to 2 half days a week. My wife and I both work from home and juggle the housework and taking care of the kids. Mostly I take care of the housework and our almost 3 yo (and run my business) while my wife runs her business and takes care of our 10 week old. It’s pretty crazy, but it works.

    It’s hard to describe the feeling of having a few hours of “free time” while she’s at school. I obviously miss her terribly. But wow! Free time! haha.

    We are making it just fine, but I can’t imagine what it will be like in just a few short years when both our girls are in school full time. I don’t want to wish away this phase of life, I LOVE having two little girls at home. Each phase has it’s pros and cons I guess.

    • retirebyforty March 28, 2017, 9:13 am

      Sounds like you’re doing great! I don’t miss our kid at all when he started preschool or kindergarten. 🙂
      Life is better for both of us because I’m a lot more patience. The whole day is just too much with a crazy little boy. He is so active and energetic. I can’t keep up with him. My wife couldn’t either. On the weekend, she’d be worn out after half a day alone with him.

      • derek March 29, 2017, 1:00 pm

        I totally get this.
        It seems like every morning I’m rested and ready to chase after our 3 yo.

        But by 6 PM I’m totally done! Completely spent emotionally. It’s amazing how much mental energy it takes to keep up with a kid all day.

  • Lazy Man and Money March 28, 2017, 6:09 pm

    I feel exactly the same way. I’d be interested in going back to work, but my software engineering skills are beyond rusty at this point.

    I still might try to code some pet projects myself. The problem for me is that I don’t have a consistent block of time to work uninterrupted. I have 10-15 minutes here and there, enough to get some blogging tasks done, but not devote fully to building something significant.

    Like you, it would take a very specific job to lure me back to the rat race. It has to be local, with flexible hours, and something I really like. I have a craigslist saved search for Wordpress, but it seems that most of those jobs are very low-level and part of an entry-level administrative assistant type position.

    • retirebyforty March 29, 2017, 9:18 am

      I think not having a block of uninterrupted time is the key. It’s a lot easier to work when our kid is at school. When he’s here, I can’t get anything done. Maybe when he’s older, we can work on an engineering project together.

  • Mustard Seed Money March 29, 2017, 8:59 am

    Sounds like you have really found a great routine as a SAHD. I would love to hit FIRE in the next five years or so and then keep busy with my blog or some sort of work around financial counseling that would be the life for me 🙂 But we’ll have to see what the future holds.

  • I don’t know why, but I really enjoy when bloggers write about how they spend their days! I like the hour by hour breakdown.
    I’m incredibly jealous of your free time and leisurely lunch. 🙂

  • Mary Kay March 29, 2017, 9:58 pm

    I work full-time and my husband had been a SAHD for the last 8 years. He’s currently looking for work and the transition back into the working world has been hard. I think it’s good that you have the blog that keeps you in the working game. Also, it sounds like you have a really great schedule with your son.

    Having a SAHD had been wonderful for me and the kids. It gives me a lot of flexibility at work. Now, I’m looking forward to another income! We aren’t on the ER path, but it will help us reach FI much sooner.

    • retirebyforty March 30, 2017, 9:25 am

      Good luck to your husband. Will he go back into his field or start over in another field? I’ll probably have to start over with something else at this point. It sounds really tough.

  • Ms. Frugal Asian Finance April 2, 2017, 11:36 am

    Wow you go to bed late! I go to bed at 10:30. I really admire stay-at-home dads since there’s still a lot of social pressure for dads to work full-time and support the whole family financially. Keep up the great work!

    • retirebyforty April 3, 2017, 9:53 am

      I know… I really need to go to bed earlier.

  • Leigh April 3, 2017, 8:09 pm

    I was laid off last fall, which while a huge emotional shock, gave me a reasonable severance package for my tenure, and I’m honestly not that interested in going back to a high-stress tech job. I’ve been working on finishing my Masters since the layoff, with some occasional small jobs on the side and some volunteering (including doing taxes at the local library!). It’s been pretty fulfilling. I’ll probably end up going back to tech for a bit as I don’t quite have enough buffer to sustain my lifestyle forever and it wouldn’t take too long to accumulate enough for that. At the moment, I only have enough to cover my half of the joint expenses, with no room for discretionary expenses or health care yet. I’m happy with that progress though! After seven years in tech, I have my half of the condo paid off and enough in investments to sustain a 4% withdrawal rate to cover my half of the joint expenses. Now I’m just working for the fun stuff, right?

    • retirebyforty April 3, 2017, 9:08 pm

      Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you’re doing okay for now so enjoy the time off. Yes, you probably need to put in a few more years to beef up your investment. It shouldn’t take that long, though. You know how to do it now and you see how nice the payoff would be.
      Good luck!

  • Big Game Jamed April 30, 2017, 9:03 pm

    I’ve been SAHDing for about a year and a half. So far so good. Money isn’t the elephant in the room, but I’ve never not had a job where I’ve not earned money. So I picked up a few yards to mow. After seven years of school, I’m back to doing manual labor and I do t mind. It helps out. It’d be hard to fit in an hourly job somewhere, so i decided to make a few bucks on the side to pay for schooling and activities.

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