My husband is not your typical stay-at-home dad. He enjoys being with our son even on days that are more challenging than others. Since I am the one going into the office, I get the phone calls with him yelling at our son to get off the TV or get the fish out of his nose. Needless to say, I take over most nights when I walk in the door from work.
Men who are at home with their kids don’t have the tight knit community that mothers do. And so often they feel like they are the only ones doing this. It’s starting to become not so abnormal to have a father staying home with the kids due to the economy. For us, it was more about what is best for our family financially at this time.
Since our son has 3 therapists coming in 3 days a week, it is hard to do a normal daycare situation if my husband was to work. And on top of that, the cost of daycare and therapy would be more than my husband would bring home. So, we count our pennies and coupons while my husband cherishes spending time with our son.
It isn’t easy for my husband to take care of our son all of the time. I am grateful that I have a job where I work from home two days a week. Those two days allow my husband to have a little more freedom since I can sometimes stop and feed our son lunch or change a diaper. Sometimes he does a movie marathon at the theater just to get away from it all when my work is slow. Or sleeps in when I am able to get our son up and dressed for the day since my work day starts really early.
Our son has his tantrums and his behavior has gotten worse lately. Our therapists keep reminding us that although he is making huge strides in some areas, other areas will suffer or even relapse. Something has to give when kids are learning new skills and sometimes their behaviors deteriate. This makes for really long days for my husband. I can usually tell by his voice what kind of day he has had.
It’s hard for me not to be at home with our son and even harder to let go so my husband can take care of him his way. Yes, I am a type A. I am a planner, a researcher and someone who wants to know everything! By not being the main parent at home, I am torn in so many directions. There is nothing wrong with how my husband takes care of our son. It’s just different from how I would do it and that’s not a bad thing at all!
My husband is a wonderful father and I am so thankful that he is willing and able to stay home with our son. Our son has blossomed in ways we could never have imagined. He needs his daddy to show him “manly” things and to have someone to imitate. He sometimes walks around in his daddy’s shoes, although on the wrong feet, but he wants to be like his daddy. He loves his daddy so much and it is evident when they are together.
Fathers in this society have been so devalued and dragged through the mud. It’s harder for fathers sometimes to work with their children especially if they are special needs or “at-risk.” It requires a special kind of patience and love. Fathers who take the time to show their kids how to catch a ball or handle a problem in life are to be cherished and revered. It is even more important to let them know how much they are appreciated and loved. They often don’t hear it enough.
Our son is “daddy’s little buddy” in all that they do together. My husband worked with him on his ABCs and is helping him learn to count. He is patient when I am not. Although I can’t be there all of the time, I know our son is in very capable hands.
In honor of all fathers who take care of our “special” little ones, Happy Father’s Day! You are a wonderful example of what a man should be to our children.