Have you ever been a stay at home dad? Did people ask you those questions around whether you would return back to work?
I was once that stay at home dad who enjoyed being at home with my growing boy! Although it was intimidating to be home with my son initially because I was worried about what others would think about me it was the best decision my wife and I could have made. As I stated before I enjoyed the fact that I was able to be home with my son and enjoyed seeing him do his first of many things as he grew into the little boy that he is today. If it wasn't for my wife and i evaluating our situation at the time with her already working in her field and me finishing up my Associates degree so I can get a head start in my own career it wouldn't have been made possible. It was her willingness to do something unconventional that allowed our lives to be radically changed with me staying home and her working and taking on the duties of what most would consider a wife's role. I'm happy that I didn't allow the negativity of others allow me to come subject to where my family and I were.
I guess I'm getting a little off topic which you may be able to understand if you've been following me for a while. But back to what I was saying in reference to staying at home compared to working. I remember doing an interview with WWMT Channel 3 News here in my hometown Kalamazoo called Man of the House you can follow the link to my blog about it. In my interview I remember Alex asking me if I would stay home moving forward even after my son started school. I remember not being able to fully answer that questions because at the time I didn't know what was to happen with my family and I. Fast forward to now I've made the decision after being back to work after 2 years that I wouldn't return back to being a stay at home dad when my wife and I decide to have another child. To some degree it makes me sad to say it because I won't be able to give my second child the benefit of having me home for a short period of time to see them develop. However, I can truly appreciate the fact that me and my families life is completely different from then to now. There have been so many changes that have occurred over the past two year with my family concerning careers, business and educationally. i know that I'll have the opportunity to spend a fair amount of time with the next child and that sooner or later they'll understand the sacrifice that was made to give them a stable upbringing. All in all I love absolutely everything that I'm doing now in my field along with the people I encounter on a day to day basis and the team I have the pleasure of working, growing and developing with each day.
I recently read a blog from the Harvard Business Review written by Whitney Johnson titled "What It's Like When a Stay-At Home Dad Goes Back to Work" in reading the article it highlighted a few keys points that stuck out to me. One was the fact that compared to women men have a difficult time explaining to an employer the reason behind leaving working to care for his children and are less received compared to a women. Personally, I think it's something to admire a father who decides to stay home with his children so his wife can pursue her career and so he an have time to be with his kids. I also found it interesting that according to the article that relaunching a career for a man it more difficult and harder to come a come back from me coming from being home.
When I think about this article a lot of it from personal experience rings true. Although I didn't have a hard time getting a job and advancing to where I am now from being a SAHD I did have an encounter with a large company before becoming a stay at home dad. I'd recently resigned from my mental health care job and needed a drastic change and was looking for work a few weeks after my son was born through a temp agency. The interviewer questioned me quitting my job and being a new father a didn't seem to understand the logic of why I needed the change for more reasons than not. As a man it made me question my decisions being a new dad but as you see today it worked out and allowed me to transition to an even better company to grow and develop with.
My point in this post was for you to understand the difficulty men facing returning back to work and how hard it cane be for them to find work after being a SAHD. Have you ever looked at it through there lenses and been able to understand the difficulty it may bring for them? Do you have a personal story about that you'd like to share what it was like returning back to work? Was it hard to jump back in or was it smooth sailing?
Matthew Gamble Sr. is a father, husband, friend, and blogger. He writes about what it's like to raise Matthew Gamble II also known as M2 as a stay at home father. Join him on his journey into fatherhood with Mr. Daddy Duties!!!