My husband is a stay home dad and I’m happy about it!
And then I get this puzzled look from people!
…and that’s because they don’t know the non-monetary benefits of having a stay at home dad!
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It was in March 2007, when our third child Treigv was barely 2 years old, when both Jorge and I decided that he should stay home. It was a hard decision specially for him not to work and not contribute financially to the household. But with my pay as a nurse, it was a practical choice that I work.
As I have mentioned before, we are originally from the Philippines and we moved to Baltimore Maryland in 2004 since I got a job at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore as a Registered Nurse. The hospital sponsored our entire family’s immigrant visa. I was under a contract to work for them for three years before I was free to work for another hospital.
While we were in the Philippines, my husband was the breadwinner and he had a great job with great benefits and a very good pay. But I had the American Dream and so we relocated to USA, him knowing that at some point, he would have to not work and take care of the family at home.
Moving forward to 2017, my husband Jorge is still a stay home dad and I have never been happier! I am writing this to give tribute to him and to all other stay home dads who chose to not work, and stayed home to take care of their wife, children and everything else at home.
I always wanted kids and Jorge always wanted kids. We understood what it takes to have children and the sacrifices having children entails. We decided to embrace the wholeness of having a family with four kids and it was very hard!
The Baltimore years of our life as a family was the “dark ages” for both of us. I am a very practical person, Jorge is a very emotional person and I can honestly say that it is his great love for me and for the children and his undying commitment to our marriage, that we are still whole as a family and happy.
Today, after being married for 17 years, we can proudly say that we are going to grow old together, wrinkled and happy!
Let me tell you the benefits of dad staying home 24/7
He takes care of the household. I work 4 8-hour night shifts a week, 11 pm to 7:30 am and I usually don’t get home until 8 am. Jorge is home at night with the kids, he makes meals breakfast, lunch,dinner. Jorge drops off the kids to school starting with our high school Tyge at 7:05 am, 2 junior high Tyreen and Treigv at 7:30 am and our first grader Troy at 8:10 am and he picks them up from school in the afternoon. I can focus at work knowing that the kids are safe and fed and won’t be late for school.
He is always available for me and for the kids. When I come home from work, he is home with me and we never really have a problem spending time together. We are always together and we love it. I like spending time with my husband and he likes spending time with me. When the kids are in school,we could just lounge in front of the TV all day, or we split chores and clean the house together.
Sometimes, I would work on my blog upstairs and he does his own thing downstairs. We go out to breakfast or lunch when we feel like it or we just stay home. On my days off, we go out on late night dates and not worry about our schedule. And if school calls for anything regarding the kids, Jorge is always there for the children to pick them up or with me on my waking hours.
He is with the kids in their growing years. I sometimes envy Jorge’s time with the children. I feel a slight pinch of jealousy when the kids are sick and they go to him for comfort instead of me. Or when Troy chooses to snuggle close to him at night instead of close to me. Being home gave him the opportunity to see the children’s first step they took, hear the first word they said which was obviously “dada”.
He had time to teach them how to ride the bike, how to read and color and draw. His presence at home and his constant involvement in their daily lives has molded these kids into what they are now and will continue to mold them into what they are going to be as adults.
We can vacation anytime. I only work 4 days a week, and my weekend off is 4 days in a row every 2 weeks. With Jorge at home, we can just take off to a weekend getaway or vacation during summer break or we can do an impromptu day trip to wherever we like without worrying about his schedule. We love to travel and explore places and we want for the children to develop the love for traveling. We want to fill our memory banks with experiences so we can all look back to the times when we did stuff together as a family.
Since I work nights and Jorge is home, we also can go to church every Saturday as a family. It is very important for us to teach our kids about God, and church and religion because we believe it is our ultimate duty as parents to bring our children to God. Our children may choose a different path when they become adults, but as kids, we take them to church and introduce them to our faith.
We lessened our family stress level. With this set up, we have less stress on our family life, family schedule and on our marriage. We don’t have to juggle two jobs and two parent schedules. Jorge can focus on our children and family while I focus on my job and family’s well being as well. In this fast paced world of USA, we have a very laid back lifestyle.
We don’t have to rush to meet schedules. I only work eight hours and when I go home, my job and the stress from my job stays at my work place. I do have to work some extra shifts or extended hours if I choose to and if the need arises. But most often, I am at home at day time, and at work four times a week at night.
Jorge and me are focused on our number one priority, and that is to have a happy and peaceful family living. We are very blessed and very fortunate to have one income and be able to meet our family’s financial needs. We don’t own fancy and expensive things, we don’t throw elaborate birthday parties. We always tell our children we only have enough to meet our needs and to travel too and to help some family at home in the Philippines when needed.
At some point, when the kids are older and more independent, Jorge will have to go out and expand his horizons professionally. I have no doubt he will find his own place in the workforce with his education and skills. But for now, our children need him at home and I need him to be home.
And there is no amount of money in the world can ever replace the balance we have at home, the peace and happiness we enjoy, with our four beautiful children…Unless of course we win the lottery! And then we can just both stay home and enjoy our family!
So to all the dads out there who found the value of staying home to take care of your family, know that us moms are proud of you and that we value the sacrifice you are making for your children and for your wife. And even if we moms are the ones bringing home the money, we can’t do this without your sacrifice, love and support. And remember that this will not last forever, and these children will grow up and be independent, and you can then go back into the world and find your place.
Thank you daddy Jorge! You are the greatest!
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