So yesterday while I whined about our ailments, I promised a more exciting blog post for today. Here it is. It’s an interview with the most amazing stay at home dad I know–my husband, Cliff.
I went back to work when Joshua turned 1. Cliff and I decided together that he will stay home and care for Joshua 4 days a week, and I will take Fridays off to stay home. Cliff is not the most organized and structured person I know, and I expected disasters at home while I went to work. But Cliff has blown my mind with the transition into taking care of Joshua on an almost-full-time basis. He has become organized, kept the place in order, and actually put dinner on the table every night, while making it all look kind of easy.
So I thought it would be interesting to get Cliff’s perspective on being a stay-home-dad. But if I asked him to write a blog post, I would be waiting for the next 2 decades before getting anything. He has, however, agreed to an interview style post. So I asked the questions, and he answered them. Here you go.
1. How did you decide to become a stay-home-dad?
Financially, it doesn’t make sense for myself to work just to hire a nanny or pay for daycare. I am also flexible in my area of work so part-time was allowed, so I decided to give Joshua the best form of childcare which is with one of his parents.
2. Even though you call yourself a stay-home-dad, you actually still work. How do you manage that?
I am not a stay-home-dad for all five weekdays, just four. I do work at the studio one day a week which is Friday. I do work a second day which is made up of evening work once Joshua goes to bed. Since he sleeps through the night, I am able to concentrate and work.
3. What are some of your favorite moments or experience of being a stay-home-dad so far?
My favorite moments are seeing his ‘firsts’. Seeing him try to walk, say new words, or simply amaze me with something new… all those are my favorite moments.
4. What are some of your least favorite moments or experience?
I don’t know if I have any least favorite moments. Maybe when he gets hurt and bleeds or is having a sick day, those are more difficult to handle for me.
5. Since you’ve been a stay-home-dad, how has that changed your relationship with your wife or your son?
I have a greater appreciation for what my wife did before she went back to work. I think she is amazing and I have grown a deeper love for her. As for my son, we have a unique relationship where we are buddies and he just enjoys being with me.
6. You have to admit, not very many men become stay-home-dads. Do you feel that people look at you differently? How do you deal with that?
I am actually proud to be a stay at home dad. I feel I am giving Joshua the best start to his life by giving him genuine care and love. I don’t mean to look down on nannies,daycares, or family members… but it can’t be compared to the care and love by the parent. Sure people look at me differently, but I get a lot of respect from it. I may have sacrificed the ability to be more active in my field of work, but having the privilege of caring Joshua is far greater than career. I trust God will provide a career again when Joshua starts going to school fulltime.
7. We hear from Angela that you have dinner ready for her every night when she comes home from work. How do you manage that?
Joshua is quite understanding and lets me cook. He goes off to play and listens well. If Joshua is having a bad day, then I prepare simpler dinners or do the cooking while he naps. It’s all about being efficient without neglect.
8. On the one day a week you do go to work in the office, do you look forward to it?
I treasure the day I go to work each week. It’s my “rest” day or my time. Even though I drain myself with mental thinking and problem solving, I need that day of social interaction with adults, a constructive work day, and a sense of accomplishment in the world.
9. If you were to make the choice all over again, would you choose to be a stay-home-dad?
Absolutely, I would do it again, but probably would be nice if someone could walk the dog for me during rainy days! It’s not easy taking both the baby and the dog out during torrential downpours!
10. If someone is considering becoming a stay-home-dad, what words of wisdom would you have for him?
If you can, do it and no matter how hard it gets, your child will benefit greatly from your interaction.
I recently heard an interview with an author who wrote about the topic of stay at home dads. I can’t remember her name or the author. However, I do remember her saying it is happening more and projects that trend will continue for a number of reasons. Anyway, it sounds like it is working very well for your family.
Cliff is good at being interviewed! I think it’s great you guys are parenting this way. I feel very lucky to be working out of a home office so even though I’m not the ‘primary’ caregiver I still get to be around to see my daughter grow up, especially these first few years.
I wish there was someone to walk the dog on the rainy days too! Taking a baby, the dog and myself out in the rain is something I dread. Your son will appreciate the decision you and your wife have made to have you stay at home with him. Enjoyed the post!