I read an article on how stay-at-home-dads are on the rise. According to the article, part of the reason is because men were "hard hit by the steep job losses" during the recession. And while many have gained jobs back, many men - with their wives in agreement - have decided to stay home and be the primary care giver.
My husband is the stay at home parent and this decision wasn't entirely financial. For the majority of my early childhood (preschool to Kindergarten), I was looked after by my father and then later my grandparents. I didn't want a stranger looking after my sons and we were fortunate to be able to afford this choice; let me clarify - we were BARELY able to afford this choice. But, we figured it out as a family and decided it was worth it.
The article was interesting, however, it didn't address some of the issues related to the dad being the stay at home parent. Admittedly, when we decided on my husband being the stay at home parent, it was still a very new and very odd concept. Let's just say being a pioneer wasn't and isn't on our side. We are ahead of the curve and now that my sons are in school full-time, I don't think that the world has caught up to us. Getting back into the workforce has been a bit of a struggle for my husband, made that much more difficult because he doesn't have a college degree. But, we have been fortunate in that he has found something in the same field that he left.
Being the parent who works outside of the home is stressful whether you are the mom or the dad. What has made it even more stressful for me is the fact that I am still "MOM". By this I mean that I am still the one who plans the boys' birthday parties; makes the cupcakes for their birthdays to take to school; purchases gifts for the birthday parties that they attend; register them for school; help with homework; pack lunches and snacks; book their haircut appointments; book their doctor and dentist appointments; and the other "traditional" mom duties. I am sure that this has to do with the dynamics of my marriage but I am also certain that I am not the only one whose marital dynamics are like this.
It is TOUGH being a parent. In my case, it is made tougher because I am a working mother and my husband is the stay at home parent. But, even though it is rough going I do it because it's for my sons. As a parent, what WOULDN'T you do for your kids?