Switch it up!
Are you among many people who have switched "traditional" roles with your spouse? Lately, there have been many layoffs, downsizing of companies, and other reasons causing spouses to switch roles. Additionally, many spouses have traded places and have gone from family breadwinner to stay-at-home parent. There are many people in this same situation, and many people who are having trouble adjusting to their new roles.
There are couples out there where the females are breadwinners; double income families where the woman makes more money than the man, women who work while their men stay home with the kids, and those who have fallen into the situation because of economic conditions. For women and men, being the primary breadwinner is empowering as well as frustrating.
There are some things to do to get rid of the frustration surrounding your situation:
- Guilty Feelings - Women are known to be worriers and tend to feel guilty about the time they're spending at work away from their family and vice versa. Stop feeling guilty! You are supporting your family.
- Keep Focused - When you are at home, be home; when you are at work, be at work. It's not productive to worry about home when you're at work and work when you're at home.
- Negative Perceptions - Don't worry about what people think about your situation. This is not the Brady Bunch or Little House on the Prairie. People who raise their eyebrows at a Stay-at-Home Dad need to realize what century they live in.
How does one transition from full-time working Dad to Stay-at Home Dad? The issues aren't much different than those for Stay-at-Home Mom; however, there isn't much talk or guidance for men.
There are isolation issues, only having conversation with little ones all day, all week. For Moms, there are resources and groups on-line to join to help Moms develop a network of friends. However, there are very few, if any, Dads in a neighborhood who are among a network of other men. There are money issues, such as how Dad reacts to spending Mom's earnings. These are very real issues for Stay-at-Home Dads. How will Dad refresh and recharge? Better yet, did he make sure Mom had "alone time" when she was at home raising the children? Dad will need to have some "alone time". Also along those lines, Mom needs to make sure there is time for Mom and Dad, separate from the kids so their marriage can flourish in these hard times as well.
People in general are coming to terms with Dads staying home and raising the kids while Mom works. However, there is still not complete acceptance. It will come around, and again, who cares what people on the outside looking in think of your decisions?
Being at Stay-at-Home Dad can be wonderful, rewarding experience. You will have emotional connections with your kids that most Dads know nothing about. Just know, it is hard work and society may raise their eyebrows at you when you are out and about with the kids. No matter. They don't need to know why you do what you do. You are awesome simply because you embrace it!
If you are struggling with your transition from main breadwinner to Stay-at-Home Dad and need someone to talk to, please contact the Orange County Relationship Center today. Our staff is a group of trained professionals ready to listen and guide you towards the future you are meant to embrace. Call us today at 949-220-3211 to schedule your appointment or use our online tool to schedule your appointment yourself. We look forward to helping you.