An increasing number of men are staying home with their kids, but it's a reality that not all moms are happy about. It's no secret that not every man is cut out for the job, just as every woman isn't either, but some moms are pushed into a difficult situation when they decide to go back to work, while the dad relaxes at home.
Here are 20 raw stories from women and how they feel about the fact that they're the working parent, while daddy stays home with the kids. While some of them describe fairytale-like situations of the dad running the household better than they ever could, many more find themselves at their wits' end trying to multitask holding down a full-time job and still coming home to a complete and utter mess.
If one parent stays home with the kids, many would agree that it’s only fair for that parent to also be the one to make an effort to clean the house, cook, and do laundry. And yet, even some stay-at-home moms would agree that taking care of the kids if a full-time job in of itself and that both parents, working or not, should be taking care of the household chores as well as the cooking. But who is right?
20 Burnt Out Mom
Ouch, we can definitively all sympathize with this mom who is having a hard time juggling being both a working mom and running the household:
"Well I don’t plan on leaving this job ever, and he doesn’t plan on working. I need him to work for my sanity. Selfish? Maybe. But am totally jealous. I bust my ass doing what I would consider a man’s job. Yes, I choose a very physical job, but it’s the career I want, and I want to be able to support my children. Since my husband won't. So it was half a choice and half based on the money. But now, I work anywhere from 50-60 hours a week laboring and he’s staying home with the kiddo.
When I get home he’s video gaming, reading, or eating. There’s never anything to eat. Nothing for my lunches. And the house is a disaster. I do it all. All of it! And if that's not worse, half of the trash I find in my house is all from his friends."
19 A SAHD Unicorn
Prepare to raise your eyebrows in astonishment at Serena’s story because she sure has herself a catch of a man:
“My fiancé Brad does everything with the kids and I mean EVERYTHING. He somehow manages to play with them so much that by 7 pm, they are already rubbing their eyes. When I come home from work, supper is nearly always ready, the house is clean and the laundry folded. It’s a good thing too because I’m no housewife and could never run the house the way he does. We pretty much have the same income but he chooses to be the one to stay home.”
She better never let him go then as husbands like these are definitely unicorns.
18 She Needs It For Her Own Sanity
Situations of men looking forward to going back to work are a dime a dozen in parenting groups, but Katherine’s story is in complete reverse:
"My husband and I switched spots when my little man was 18 months I went back to work until I went on mat leave with my daughter I believe both parents can take care of this children and if dad can then perfect I needed to go back to work for my sanity."
It’s definitely a breath of fresh air to read about the other side of things and just goes to show that moms don’t have to be the default ones to stay home.
17 Working At Home Daddy
The way Katherine feels about her husband being the SAHD is clear as day:
"I have the higher paying job and without it, we wouldn’t stay afloat. My hubby works but it’s freelance journalism in a small town so he’s home most of the time. He’s essentially a stay at home Dad but does make a little. As frustrating as it can be that he earns virtually nothing, it means we don’t need daycare and that our kids are being raised by us not strangers which I really like."
She went on to say that although she wishes roles were reversed, "you gotta do what you gotta do."
16 Not Wanting Mommy Anymore
In a Facebook parenting group, mom Kayla shared her frustrations with dad being the stay at home dad:
"I am at such a loss, I don't know what to do anymore... I work 2 jobs and I am not home as much as I want to be. My husband is a stay at home dad so he gets to be around the kids all the time. My oldest who is 4 won't let me do anything when I am home. He will scream and kick and fight and cry and say he hates me when I try to help him with simple things. I walk him to school he has a fit because he wants his dad, I try to help him get dressed or brush his hair, have a bath, fix a toy... The last goes on and on. He never wants me to do anything. I can't even play with him because he wants his dad all the time.
My husband says to just let it be and it's a phase... That it will pass... Well, this phase has lasted for over a year now. I am so tired of it. I don't even want to come home anymore because it just hurts so much. I cry all the time because he just doesn't ever want me. I don't even know if anyone can help me, I just needed to get it out."
15 Love It, But...
Hannah’s story is a little different. Although her husband has been a SAHD for a few months, it sounds like he was ready to switch back:
“Mine has been home with our little one for the last 4 months, while I am back to work. He is amazing to do so, and so thankful his career allows him to be able to stay home... But now that baby #2 is almost here, he is ready to go back to work and mommy stays home."
But quitting her job after just four months may not be as easy, making us wonder if it’s a decision that they’re both on-board with 100%.
14 Forced Even Though EBF
Although Danielle was exclusively breastfeeding, she had to go back to work:
"My Husband is a stay at home Dad... he got put in Permanent Medical Leave about 6 months ago... our youngest was 6 months and she was ebf [extended breastfeeding]... I had to go back to work to be able to make ends meet. I stayed home for 7 years at this point... and trying to didn’t work was terrible... Thankfully, I have skills that are Very useful...I found work and am now managing said place."
Although she doesn’t state it outright, it doesn’t really sound like going back to work was her ideal situation.
13 Making It Work Despite The Judgment
As we already covered, an increasing number of dads are becoming stay-at-home dads. Unfortunately, the judgment is still very real, especially among the older crowd. On the bright side, Cynthia and her husband Mark aren’t letting the haters dictate their lives. She shared:
"I actually work. Hubby has been home the last 3 years taking care of the three littles. He definitely doesn't like the judgment he gets but its what works for us. He accepts the fact that I make more money and we don't want to pay for childcare."
At the end of the day, it really does often boil down to who makes more money.
12 Feeling The Appreciation
It's not uncommon for women to reveal that their husbands decided to do something nice for them as a token of appreciation for taking care of the kids. But since this mom is the working parent, while dad stays at home, she figured she would switch it up and give him a day off!
"My husband is a stay at home dad, he does it all. You just gave me an idea for him for Xmas - a certificate for 24 hrs of 'him' time, sleep in, won't have to lift a finger!" revealed Kathie.
No matter who the stay at home parent is, everyone needs a break sometimes.
11 Feeling Like She Let 'Em Down
Being the one to go to work, while the other parent stays home is harder on some than others. Unfortunately for Eden, things didn't quite go as planned.
"Tell me I’m not alone 😩 I recently returned to work and I feel like my little guy has like forgotten about me 😞 everything is 'daddy' now to the point that I can’t do anything if dad is around or he (my son) throws a fit..... I feel like I have failed as a mother and this is eating me up inside..."
Such situations are pretty common and the general advice is for the working parent to dedicate more time during the week to spend one-on-one with the kids.
10 A Walk In Each Other's Shoes
The web is filled with moms complaining that dads don’t do enough around the house and with the kids. But Kishan’s life goes to show how sometimes, you just need to switch roles to learn to appreciate each other:
“My fiancé is the one who stays home with my daughter and I work from 4-12am. I'm just wondering if there's anyone else in a similar boat as me? I was my daughter's primary caretaker from day one so it's been interesting switching things around.
My fiancé now knows how hard it is to be a stay at home parent and I know how hard it is to be away from my daughter all the time.”
9 The Dreaded Mom Guilt
For some, reversing the traditional roles is actually a godsend. Mackenzie shared the way she feels about her husband being the stay-at-home-parent:
"I went back to work when Ollie turned 4 months! It's definitely been interesting but my boyfriend is SO Good with him 😊 I definitely have sad days though where I just wish I could hang out with him all day! But yes reversing the roles was great for us to really know what the other one had been experiencing!"
The sadness is definitely to be expected, especially since no matter what, we all feel some mom guilt about something!
8 Bye, Felipe!
We all know how hard of a job being the stay at home parent can be. Nicola shared:
“Yep, I've been the primary breadwinner since I finished school. We split the year leave after my first but I took the whole thing with my twins and he is going to stay home with the three under three when I go back to work in October. It doesn't make sense for him to work and pay for daycare for 3 kids. I know he will do a great job but sometimes I'm sad I don't get to do it....then there are other days I miss work and think good luck to him!”
7 A Trashed House
Sometimes things simply aren't as peachy, especially when SAHD take advantage of the situation to do nothing at home. Reader Working Mommy asked Dr. Psych Mom for advice:
“I’ve been coming home from work this week and the house is trashed and laundry is still not put away."
She also went on to say: “I have this fear that he is on his phone all day, but I know can’t/shouldn’t ask that. I miss when we paid a caregiver who picked up the house and did our laundry.
What’s a sole breadwinner woman to do? Take a chill pill and be thankful that I have such a loving husband who is great with kids? They are 6, 3, and 20 months. Suck it up and pick up the house myself? Try to make more money and pay someone to pick up/clean the house? Be okay with a cluttered and dirty house? All or none of the above?”
We can all probably agree that he should definitely be doing more around the house.
6 Can We Rent Him?
In her blog Life Is Adventures, Lilibeth made it clear that the decision for her to go back to work as a Registered Nurse, while her husband stayed home with the kids, was the absolute best one for them as a family.
"He takes care of the household. I work four 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."
Wow, I think many of us are drooling over this kind of first-class treatment. Then again, it only makes sense, doesn't it?
5 Already Dreaming Of The Future
For Sarah, being a stay-at-home mom just isn’t in the card for her: “I am now on maternity leave with our second and I am lucky that I get to have at least 6-12 months off but to be honest, I can't wait to get back to work ...LOL!”
However, it does come with its fair share of problems as she explained that when she was still working, there were some disagreements.
“I also find myself cleaning up the kitchen on most days as I am a bit of neat freak when it comes to clean kitchens. There are days when I walk into the house from a long day and the house looks like hurricane Katrina blew right through and I have to take a really deep breath and not complain too much.”
4 At Least She's Laughing About It
Raya's situation is peculiar. Although it's clear that there is no division of tasks in her household, she is still keeping up a cheery attitude about the situation... at least for now.
"I work full time. My husband works 4 months out of the year (taxes). Otherwise, he stays home with the kids. I still do everything....wake up with them at night, get them changed and dressed in the morning if they are up before I leave, get the baby's bottles prepared for the day, cook, clean, laundry etc. when I get home it's all me. He tells me he shouldn't have to do extra chores cuz technically he still works....yeah only part of the year. So lazy lol."
3 The Happiest She Has Ever Been
In an article on Romper entitled "My Husband Is A Better Stay-at-Home Mom Than I Could Ever Be," Phaea wrote:
"My husband is a manly Martha Stewart mixed with Mary Poppins, minus the magic — although to be honest, maybe he is magical. That would explain how he manages to also get all the laundry done."
She also went on to say: "Our house is truly a place of gender equality where everyone pitches in and does what needs to be done. My kids still come to me for cuddles and comfort – I’m their mom, after all. But recently, when Mabel was sick and couldn’t settle down at bedtime, she asked for Daddy. I delivered her to him in the living room (where he was resting after putting our son to bed) where he rocked her gently to sleep. As I tip-toed her back to bed, she roused momentarily and blew her daddy a kiss before settling in for the night. It was probably the happiest I've ever been."
2 'Men Are Lazy'
Sometimes, the life of a working mom isn’t as peachy as it sounds, especially when the SAHD doesn’t do anything at home other than just watch the kids. Kyleigh shared:
“He never cleans. I'm going crazy. I work all day, come home and eat something quick, play with the kids, nurse the 3-month-old, put her to sleep. Then I come downstairs and play with my oldest until her bedtime. I put her to bed then I clean the kitchen, pick up the living room, clean her high chair, find bottles from around the house that he doesn't even rinse out!”
1 It Doesn't Always Work Out
Sometimes, there are factors outside the stay-at-home parents’ control. Although her husband suffered from depression and it didn’t work out for him to be home with the kids, Jennifer remained understanding the entire time. She explained:
“DH (dear husband) had a bout of depression when he was a SAHD with the kids. Most of it stemmed from school not working out as planned and not having a social life other than me and the kids.
Honestly, we ended up making the call that he would not be a full-time SAHD anymore. He got a part-time job that he kind of likes that lets him socialize and get out of the house while feeling that he is contributing to the family. Sure, life has gotten much harder with two parents out of the home, but after the first month, I can say his depression has largely lifted.”
But if the dads can pull the plug on being the stay-at-home parent, then moms should be able to as well.
References: Facebook, Dr Psych Mom, What To Expect, Romper, and Circle of Moms.