It’s amazing to think I’ve known Jodie Howerton and her husband Mike for almost 9 years now. Mike was one of the pastors on staff at my wife’s church when we first met, did part of our premarital counselling, baptized me and dedicated our firstborn son. Over the years we loved getting to know them and their family better; carving pumpkins in their living room, and even crashing their Easter dinner when we were back in town one year. I was also honored to work with Mike on producing artwork for several Christmas services, one of which was turned into a book. They’re a very special family to us.
I could not be prouder of Jodie’s latest project, where she and the family are courageously taking on how public education handles teaching our children about HIV/AIDS. I’ve asked her if I can share her story, and I hope you will watch the video above, read what she has to say below, and find a way to get involved.
More than just as a chronicle of my own experiences as an at-home dad, or outlet for my opinions, I really love it when this little blog helps dads want to be more engaged in parenting, and in the wider conversation about parenting.
One of the things I have learned though is that a dad doesn’t have to be doing what I am doing, the way I am doing it, for the reasons I am doing it, to be a highly involved, heavily engaged, active and loving father.
I’ve been thinking recently that it would be nice to open the floor of the Daddy Doctrines up to more guest posts, to bring a wide range of perspectives, experiences, and opinions — not just from other at-home dads, or even just dads at all, but from anyone with something to share that helps engage more dads in the parenting conversation.
Kicking things off is my friend Neil Newman, one of my fellow Lehigh Valley Club Dad dads. Neil has written a nice piece about his transition to being the primary caregiver for his kids, how it has challenged him, and how he is learning to appreciate the challenge.
Swallowing my Pride . . . and Savoring the Flavor!
Neil A. Newman
I used to be one of those guys. I was raised to be one of those guys.
Not intentionally, but it was in the genetic make up of the sub-culture that I was in. I was raised to be the provider, to make sure my family was financially sound, to work hard, make a living, and be the best father I could be when I was not assuaging the desires of the career I chose to follow. In the end, however, this did not work out.
LearnVest is a large website that provides financial tools, resources and support to women.
They asked me recently to write an article for them about my experience as an at-home dad, as part of their “Money Mic” series, where people share different opinions on finances.
While it touches on many aspects of being a SAHD I don’t think I’ve ever been specifically asked to write about the financial considerations and challenges, and it was interesting to do so.
In our LV Moms’ Money Mic series, we hand over the podium to people with controversial views about money and parenthood. These views are theirs, not ours, but we look forward to opening up the floor for discussion.
In the past, we’ve featured writers with ideas on everything from how to earn extra cash while doing other people’s chores to why one mom home-schools her kids.
In today’s story, Chris Routly, a stay-at-home dad in Allentown, PA, explains how he and his wife came to the decision that he would leave work to stay home with their two young boys, aged 3 and 1, and how they make it work raising a family on her salary alone.
You’ve probably read a lot recently about how there has been an increase in the number of stay-at-home dads in the United States in last few years. You’ll mostly hear that this is because the troubled economy is hitting traditionally male occupations like construction and manufacturing the hardest, while women are graduating from college at a higher rate, and more often than ever bringing home higher salaries than their husbands.
However, while there are certainly plenty of men who have lost their jobs and stepped up their responsibilities at home, I think, for many dads out there, the reason for becoming “at-home dads” is actually twofold—both financially based and a chosen decision.
I am one of those dads, and I’d like to share my family’s story…
Please go read the rest of the article here!
In addition to pregnancy and giving birth, most discussions about the importance of mothers surrounding Mother’s Day tend to focus on celebrating moms for the more domestic aspects of parenting.
Often, ideas for how to pamper moms on their special day are encapsulated in suggestions like giving her a “break” from cooking or from watching the kids, or to clean up the house for her. Sometimes we seem to forget that almost 70% of mothers with young children actually work outside of the home full or part-time, and time with their family is what they want more than anything.
While some relaxation, some pampering, and a celebratory meal she loves are certainly welcome, we should recognize that there is way more to being a mom than cooking and cleaning and childcare.
My wife Anna is one such amazing mom, and I’ve asked her to share some of her thoughts on why she loves being a “Working Mom.”
Being a Working Mom
Right now, I am a working mom married to a stay-at-home dad.
It wasn’t always our intention to raise our kids this way, but life goes in crazy directions sometimes and we’ve always liked to keep all of our options on the table. Throughout my marriage to Chris, we have taken turns both being at home and working full-time. But the last time we were both working full-time simultaneously was shortly before our eldest child was born. Since then, our boys have always had at least one parent at home with them. This arrangement has worked really well for our family.
I loved being at home with my kids. After Tucker was born, he and I had some wonderful times with just the two of us. We attended what I affectionately called “Baby Class” at the hospital where I delivered, which enriched my life in countless ways. We got together regularly with different friends for playgroups. We napped together in the middle of the day (possible if, like me, you can fall asleep virtually anywhere and at any time). Life was good.
But when I started working again, I realized how much there was to love about not being at home.
Here are seven of my favorite things about being a “Working Mom” (particularly, one married to an at-home dad):
I get to shower. Every day. For those of you with kids (especially those who have stayed at home with your kids at some point), you understand how sweet a gift this is.
When I’m at the office, I have grown-up conversations. Both conversations with other adults and conversations with grown-up topics. After I leave in the morning, I really don’t think about diapers for the next nine hours or so. It’s a nice escape.
I’m no longer the parent running most of the errands. Though I enjoy grocery shopping, I’m usually not the one doing it anymore. The same is true for other random stops that need to be made. I now typically don’t have to commit the time, and if I do make a stop on my lunch break or after work, I can be in and out very quickly because I’m only transporting myself.
I almost never have to make dinner. I am blessed with a husband who loves to cook and is really very good at it. I don’t mind preparing meals, but it is so great to get home after a long day and have my job be to play with my kids while someone else takes care of getting the food ready.
My lunch time is my own. If I want to run errands, I can. If I want to sit quietly at my desk, I can. If I want to eat with friends, I can. My schedule isn’t dictated by anyone else. And if I’m eating with other people, the person next to me doesn’t steal the napkin out of my lap to shred up and throw on the floor.
When one of my boys does something particularly adorable, I get a call or email about it. This makes me feel connected to them in a way that’s really special, and I appreciate so much that I can feel like a part of their daily adventures.
When I get home at night, I almost always get an enthusiastic greeting. This is something Chris has encouraged since my oldest was really little, and it’s a wonderful way to end the day. Mama’s home! Hooray!