“Stay at home mom” has been a widely used term held for years. Now, of course, we’re also hearing about “stay at home dads”. Chris Butler shares what it’s like to be a 21st century dad, sharing work and parenthood equally from his family headquarters.
“New opportunities to work from home and to telecommute have enabled many parents to create a new approach to raising a family, with responsibilities being shared in innovative ways.
I’m a work at home dad now, but before I was presented with an opportunity to expand my horizons (also known as a pink slip), I used to spend five to six days per week in a dangerous and toxic machine shop for 10-15 hours at a stretch. My wonderful wife, Kristen, would graciously tackle at-home tasks while also working on the computer to bring in a little extra money. Over time, Kristen found innovative ways to create an online income for the both of us. The challenge for me was that I didn’t know a thing about working at home and had no idea of how I could get work done with so many distractions. Although it may seem like fun to work in your PJ’s, I learned early on that I needed very serious discipline to stay on task.
As we settled into a groove, I found that it was great to split work between the two of us. But it was when we had our first child that we really learned the value of working together!
How do we share the responsibility?
What we found that worked the best for us, was for both of us to be able to do everything when needed. So when Kristen is “at work”, I am focused 100% on our daughter. I feed her, change her, clean her, teach her and put her down for naps. And once our daughter’s asleep, laundry, dishes, and even window washing is part of my to-do list. When I’m working, our roles reverse. Kristen takes charge of caring for our daughter and doing what needs to be done around the house. We’ve found that our relationship works even better when either person can pick up slack wherever the need exists.
For me it’s truly been a blessing to be a work at home dad. I get a lot done on the work front and on the home front, and there’s just something special about taking your lunch break in your own kitchen with your family.”
Are you a stay at home dad? Share your experience in the comments below!