The Hello Bar is a simple notification bar that engages users and communicates a call to action.

The Month I Become a Stay At Home Dad :)

by J. Money on Monday, October 1, 2012

nobody puts baby in the corner

Whelp, starting this week I become a stay-at-home dad every Tuesday and Thursday! A dream of mine finally come true, only without any “poker time” with the guys or the outside freedom to do as I please since I’ll still be the main provider of the house! Haha… But the additional 40/50 hour workweek aside, it’s still gonna be one hell of an adventure :)

And really it’s that, or we cough up an additional $900 a MONTH just so daycare can have him for two days a week – how utterly insane. And full-time is even worse at over $2,000 a month! *Vomit* That’s somebody’s mortgage! Or even 3 of them for some people :( Just can’t bring ourselves to do that yet… Plus, we’re still too new at the whole parenting thing that the idea of leaving him with strangers for 40 hours a week just totally freaks us out. He’s such a little guy!

So this week will be a battle of both time and patience to say the least. I have yet to spend more than 3-4 hours ALONE with Baby $ since he’s been addicted to his mother’s breasts the entire time (and rightfully so!), so it’ll be interesting to see how he copes with daddy all day long combined with some new bottle action. And then, of course, how well daddy can stay away from the computers and laptops and iPhones and everything else connecting him to reality and work stuff! He feels the anxiety building already! Haha…

On the other hand – taking work completely out of the picture – I’m also curious to see what being the main caregiver actually feels like too :) And what the Mrs. and all other stay at home moms go through on any given day taking care of our little pals. I already appreciate what they do as much as I an, but I have a feeling I’m up for a much ruder awakening come tomorrow, haha… But maybe I’ll completely fall in love with it? And then never go back to blogging again?? (Yeah right!) Only time will tell I guess, but please nobody email me tons of questions and/or awesome company ideas for the time being, cool? I don’t think I can handle it all :)

But getting back to the finance aspect of it all again, doesn’t that $900 price tag just SUCK? Would you stay at home twice a week instead of coughing it up too if you could? On top of your 40 hour a week job? Or do you think there’s no way you could do it? I mean, worst case scenario we could always use the money the wife will now be making to *barely* cover it all (the fellowship doesn’t pay much), but that would completely wipe out one of the three major reasons for taking it on in the first place. The other two being for the experience and resume building, plus the chance to get the Mrs. out of the house and back into the normal world for a bit. 3 months of no sleep and complete baby loving is turning her brain into much ;) Which is never good for anyone…

So that’s what’s going on in my life right now, anyways. Major lifestyle changes to try and save $112.50 a day ;) What do you think? Would you do it too? Anyone else going through something similar, or have any awesome tips or tricks to help me?

I’ll keep you posted as the days go by… If you don’t hear from me on Wednesday, you might want to page me at the budget hotline: 1-800-J-Moneyy, haha… I’ll probably be somewhere passed out.

———–
PS: Don’t really call that number, I just made it up. Unless you want to buy it for me? ;)
PPS: Shout out to my boy Aaron from Colour Lovers for the killer baby shirt up there! Thx man!


We recommend:

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

1 William @ Drop Dead Money October 1, 2012 at 6:12 am

Big picture, there can be no doubt that a stay at home parent is MUCH better for a kid than an extra income. Not one single couple I’ve seen make this choice has regretted it. There are some things in life more important than money.

It’s a sacrifice in more ways than one (as you’re about to discover) but 18 years from now you will not have a single regret, I promise you.

Reply

2 Lance @ Money Life and More October 1, 2012 at 7:16 am

Good luck, I don’t have kids but can imagine you’re in for a whirlwind. Daycare in your area is expensive (like everything else) but I wonder how much it’d be where I live. The full time day care is almost 4 mortgage payments for me so that is absolutely insane. Luckily I have family living close by.

Reply

3 Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies October 1, 2012 at 7:54 am

Rumor has it being a stay at home parent can be pretty exhausting. Good luck!

Reply

4 Stephanie October 1, 2012 at 9:04 am

Ooh, good luck tomorrow!! We’re planning on doing something similar. After my 6-8 week maternity leave, I’ll be the “home 2 days/week” parent for awhile (probably mid-late March through mid-June) and the husband will be working full-time. When the school year ends and he’s home for the summer, I’ll go back to work full-time. When school starts up, he’s going to work a reduced schedule and I’ll continue working full-time. Fortunately, we have family nearby and my mom has offered to babysit 3 days a week, so barring unforseen circumstances, daycare shouldn’t even be a concern for us. Fingers crossed!

Reply

5 Emmy October 1, 2012 at 9:31 am

Good luck! I think you’ll do just fine. It’ll probably be hard at first, but you can do it. I have friends who would LOVE to be a stay-at-home dad. So you’re really fortunate to be able to spend so much time with your son!

Reply

6 Sean @ One Smart Dollar October 1, 2012 at 9:32 am

Both my wife and I work from home so I guess you can say that we will both be stay at home parents. The savings that we will have from no daycare is going to be great.

Reply

7 One Frugal Girl October 1, 2012 at 9:34 am

I currently stay home with my son and while I love being with him I will admit that it can be downright exhausting. My day job seemed like a piece of cake in comparison. I think you’ll have an amazing time with your son and it’s something not a lot of men get the opportunity to do, so kudos to you for giving it a try!

One word of advice: try to keep your cell phone some place else or set aside specific times to check your email, etc. You’ll live in the moment more if you put away the technology from time to time.

Reply

8 LB October 1, 2012 at 9:57 am

I would never pay that much for 2 days a week for a baby with another caregiver. I looked it up a few months ago and was outraged by the cost of daycare and preschool. A little one under 1 year is a freaking mortgage payment (not mine, I don’t have a mortgage or a baby hehe). That was one of the main reasons I decided not to have kids, because I wouldn’t be able to afford daycare or the cost of staying at home. NEITHER! Plus the other expenses, like doctor visits, feeding, clothing, blah blah blah. My spreadsheet didn’t even involve all of the problems that could go wrong. The problems that every doctor had to explain every visit over the last year. I mean EVERY doctor, even a sleep specialist decided to tell me about the percentages of birth defects because I had fillings. Um hello, I have tons of metal in my mouth, it’s called braces. :)

I am glad you are staying at home, because I would love to stay at home some of the time if I had a baby. I think it helps with bonding and having a real family life, even if it is part-time. Oh BTW I have a really cool business idea that involves babies, but you said no more awesome business ideas.

I would actually have to give up school in order to have a baby, because of money. Then waiting would only increase the chances of pregnancy problems. I guess I won’t be having one, because no F-ing way I am giving up school. I worked too hard and too long for school and I am already planning on adding 2 more years of it to get an MBA.

Reply

9 Kandace October 1, 2012 at 10:29 am

Good luck! That’s fantastic. Some of it will be hard but most of it will be awesome. I stay home with a 3 yr old and an almost 1 yr old. Just remember, good or bad, you’ll only get to experience those moments with him once. It passes so quickly. Soak it in.

Reply

10 SavvyFinancialLatina October 1, 2012 at 10:30 am

Yeah, daycare is not cheap. Although, one of my neighbors hired me when I was 12 to take care of her 3 kids during the summer. I would get a total of $60 bucks a week for working 60 hours a week with two kids and a baby. I thought it was so much money then! Little did I know I was working for pennies.
Have fun!!!

Reply

11 Levis October 1, 2012 at 11:06 am

I know when we had our 2nd child, I sat down and crunched numbers (Gas, wear and tear, time to drive off the normal path to the sitter, buying lunch a few days a week, etc.) and what her net pay was. We would have to sacrifice about $250 (over 3 years ago so I cant remember exactly) per month for her to stay home. So basically we decided to take the hit have better care for the kiddos, not to mention the side effects…cleaner house, more home cooked meals, decrease in having shirts laundered…

I still take a few hours a week to watch the boys so we don’t have to pay someone else to play with my kids. I get to do it. Being able to make my own schedule helps.

Reply

12 Joe @ Retire By 40 October 1, 2012 at 11:16 am

Congratulation! It’s a lot of fun until they are about 18 months old. Our guy is such a handful right now. :)
$2000 is a lot for daycare! I thought we were paying a lot at $1,250/month. I love staying home with the kid. He will be going off to school before you know it so enjoy it.

Reply

13 bobebob October 1, 2012 at 11:28 am

Just has to see if there was some cosmic crossover:

Called the number and got “Get relief from credit card debt, call 1-800 . . . ”

Too funny.

Reply

14 Martin October 1, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Looks like I have something in common with the baby when it comes to addictions!

Man, day care is so expensive. How did our parents do it?

A friend of mine gave birth and did the math. She found it would be cheaper to NOT work. She factored in driving, gas, parking, food, and everything. It made more sense to stay at home.

Reply

15 J. Money October 1, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Thanks for all the well wishes guys, I’m gonna need it! I’m super excited and deathly afraid at the same time ;) We’ll see how it goes!

@William @ Drop Dead Money – That’s what I want to hear!! Thanks man, I hope you’re right :)
@Lance @ Money Life and More – That really is key – having parents live close by. My mom would DIE to watch him two days a week! I bet she’d even stop working and officially retire just to do so, haha… just sucks they’re so far away :(
@Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies – Thanks, I’ll need it!
@Stephanie – Awesome plan! I like that a lot – daycare is crazy out there for the wallet, I hope it works out as nice as you’ve planned for it! :)
@Emmy – I do feel kinda fortunate :) At least when I step back and think bigger picture here. When I’m down and dirty working hardcore the thought of stepping away for such a long time (and EVERY week like that!) scares the bejusus out of me. Esp since I’m our #1 source of income right now… but I also know it’s just a phase, so as long as we’re tweaking as we go I’m thinking it’ll be fine. We’ll find out shortly! :)
@Sean @ One Smart Dollar – Even better! Two stay at homes with two incomes :)
@One Frugal Girl – That’s an excellent idea, I think I’ll do that tomorrow and see how it goes. Maybe allow myself to check *only* when he’s sleeping or something? That way not only will I pay attention to him more throughout the day, but it’ll be a nice treat for myself every few hours too :) To connect to adults out there! Haha… And also work, ofcourse.
@LB – Now I want to hear your business idea!!! You can’t tease me like that!! :) You’re certainly right about all the costs and time/etc/etc on taking care of babies though, but the only thing you can’t fully understand yet is the OTHER side of things once they’re born. Like the feeling of love and bonding/etc/etc. Everyone tells you it’s amazing and what to expect, but ofcourse it doesn’t sink in until they’ve arrived. So yes, def. lots of cons with babies, but the pros totally outweight it at least for us. I have yet to meet a parent who says they wish they could give them back, haha… actually, I lied. I do know one person who genuinly told me that, but her aside the joys outweigh ;)
@Kandace – Will do! They keep growing so dang fast, so I have to pay REAL close attention! :)
@SavvyFinancialLatina – HAH! How about I pay you double that to come watch him over here for me? What do you say?? :)
@Levis – Nice! Flexibility with work is def. a key part here – if I had my old 9-5 we’d have been F’d… and I guess just had to dish out the money every month :( Glad you all found a system that works!
@Joe @ Retire By 40 – I bet! Our guy’s already double his size and fake-talking all the time now! Haha… before we know it I’ll be chaperoning his first date ;)
@bobebob – Hahahhaha… at least it’s still in the same kinda niche ;) I’m gonna go call it now and see for myself too – nice one!
@Martin – Oh yeah, I’m now convinced that’s one of the reasons a LOT of stay at home moms do so – it does end up becoming cheaper to not work in a lot of cases! My mom stayed home with us most of our early years too, and only started working part-time once we were all in school for the first half of the day. I bet it’s a lot harder work than a 9-5 too! And I’m gonna find out REAL soon about that, haha… wish me luck…

Reply

16 Angella October 1, 2012 at 2:41 pm

At the beginning I considered staying home. Financially it made sense. Then we moved, expenses changed, and I was losing my sanity. For me it wasn’t a financial choice, it was my mental health (ppd). I needed to go back to work and in the long run I realize I am a much, much better mother when I’m working. :) I didn’t enroll him until he was 15 months though, once he was able to communicate with us (sign language ftw!). Our son is 2 and his “school” costs us $825/mo full-time. About 25% of our income at this point. It makes for a tight budget, but we’re all happier in the long run! And he’s made friends and learned so much!! If it were $2000 you can bet your ass one of us would be staying home though. WOW! Enjoy it J$, they really do grow up quick! My only suggestion is to figure out a routine and stick with it!! Also start using baby sign language!

Reply

17 J C October 1, 2012 at 2:52 pm

OMG! $2,000 for one month of day care… ONE MONTH?! no way! That’s $24,000 a year. And if the kid go to daycare until they are 4, that’s $96,000! That’s a down payment for a nice freakin house or the kid’s college tutition right there. Blows my mind…

Reply

18 Melanie October 1, 2012 at 4:03 pm

This is awesome! My husband has been a stay-at-home dad for 4 years (our kids are 4 1/2 & 3). The two biggest things we strive for – consistent schedule and breaks. Developing a consistent schedule makes it easier to work around any speed bumps and his love of all things WOW (World of Warcraft) is what gives him a break and sense of adventure in his down time. You’ll do just fine and what an amazing time to bond with Baby $!! I always get excited and gushy anytime a family can work these things out. Great job, Mom & Dad $.

Reply

19 Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager October 1, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Good luck being a stay at home dad! I’m sure you’ll rock it!

Reply

20 Brian October 1, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Your daycare price is insane. Ours is literally $25/day. That is standard price for around here (Mid MI). My mini-me goes 3 days / week. It is great, and he learns to interact with other children and makes friends. My child shares better than I do now :-)

Plus you get some money back at tax time. I believe that it works out to be 20% back, as long as the daycare is legit and pays taxes. So really it is only $20/day when all is said and done.

Good luck flying solo

Reply

21 Ornella @ Moneylicious October 1, 2012 at 6:45 pm

$900 is pricey for daycare…ouch! I like that you are taking the initiative to be a stay-at-home dad. You should feel very grateful that you have such an opportunity to spend this time with your son :-)

Reply

22 debtgirl October 1, 2012 at 6:56 pm

I think you are lucky and its a great idea if you can swing it! I would have loved to do that. I handed my 8 week old over to a stranger and headed to the office. It was the hardest thing I ever did, but as a single mom, I had no choice.
Do it if you can! You are blessed!

Reply

23 Gina October 1, 2012 at 7:03 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wb5b20FR2kQ&feature=related

Lonestar Mr. MOM watch and laugh…this will be you!! I just know it…LOL ;0!!!!

Reply

24 Revanche October 1, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Good luck my friend, you are going to be totally exhausted and feel like you have never worked so hard in your life! :) I just spent a few days with my best bud SAHM and holy meebers, I was busting my butt just helping.

But I would make the same choice: financially and for the kids. I thought about this recently and if I’m going to have little cuddly snotballs, then as much as possible, I do want to commit to being there for them. We’ll need help, we can’t avoid that, but my preference is in-house help while I’m home too, not daycare. That’s an insane pricetag, isn’t it? And it’s just as much as it is out here – seems like no matter where you go, it’s about the cost of rent or mortgage. ugh.

Reply

25 Jacob @ iheartbudgets October 1, 2012 at 7:23 pm

There are so many financial benefits to become a say-at-home parent, I think most people don’t realize it! You’re doing an awesome thing by taking care of the little one, and you won’t regret it. And he’ll love you so much for it. I had my kid (9 months old) for a weekend for the first time last week, as mommy was at a church conference, and it was a freaking blast.

And yes, you will be tired :)

Reply

26 J. Money October 1, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Thanks guys!! All great tips!!! I’d respond to each of you separately here, but it’s time to go get off this computer and rest up :) I’m gonna have my hands full tomorrow for the first time in forever, haha…. WISH ME LUCK!!! Thanks for all your positive thoughts and vibes, it’s getting me more excited to take on the challenge!

I’ll let you know how it goes….. *takes a deep breath*

Reply

27 MakinSense Babe October 1, 2012 at 9:04 pm

he is such a little nugget I can’t even handle it!!!!

Reply

28 Adam Hathaway October 1, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Wow J, forget the blogging and open up a dady daycare center! 2k a kid per week, think if you had 10 kids. Who need sanity anyway? You can do what I do, make it up as you go along. If you think about it, thats what most of our dads did anyway. Good luck and I know you will look back on this time as one of the greatest moments of your life.

Reply

29 mrsplungedindebt October 1, 2012 at 10:08 pm

Good Luck! You’re right he is worth much more than 900/month ;) I’m on Mat leave right now and giving up 1day/week when I do go back to work in May, I could use the money for extra debt payments but at the end of the day she’s only young once and if I cant afford to stay home with her FT I’ll take as much time as I can! {Tip- If baby is exclusively breast fed, before your wife is back to work try and find a bottle that works because it can take some time to find one baby is comfortable with, once he’s good on the bottle your life will be much easier! }

Reply

30 Brent Pittman October 1, 2012 at 10:14 pm

Making money can take a backseat to family any day of the week. He’ll be walking and talking before you know it–trust me.

Reply

31 Lynn @ The Photographer's Wife October 1, 2012 at 11:06 pm

My husband has been the stay at home dad for the past almost 2 months after I went back to work after 6 weeks of maternity leave. It was definitely a shock for him at first…on the first day, he thought he’d accomplish this long list of things to do and yet I came home from work and he was on the same spot on the couch and hadn’t accomplished a single one! Haha. But he’s becoming better each day. Some days I stress about the financial aspect of it, but there’s no way I’d put my son in daycare this young. Good choice. :)

Reply

32 A Family of Geeks October 2, 2012 at 9:29 am

I’m a wahm because I would need to pull $60,000 a year just to cover the costs of working. Child care in NOVA is just ridiculous. Be prepared for obnoxious moms who either think you’re a pedophile because you’re unsupervised with a kiddo and rude people who don’t think dads can handle childcare.

Reply

33 Daisy @ Free Money Wisdom October 2, 2012 at 11:23 pm

Daycare is extremely expensive. It’s hard to believe that any family can manage day care expenses, a mortgage, other bills, and the costs of a baby all at once. I think it’s great that you are staying at home with your baby. When he gets older, he will cherish the time he spent with you.

Reply

34 J. Money October 3, 2012 at 11:54 am

Well we did it!!! I survived the first day alone with the baby!! And it was awesome!! We hung out and did some pretty fun stuff together (tummy time, walks around the park, napping in bed) and he rarely put up a fight :) I doubt it’ll be that easy ALL the times I have him, but man – what a way to help ease me into it this round. And I barely missed work! Haha…

The Mrs. did well on her first day back at work too, but she did miss him and forgot how nice it is to be at home vs. fighting with rush out two times a day (it took her almost 4 hours in total just in driving – ugh.) Yet another reason to try out a new area soon – DC is getting horrible w/ traffic :(

Really appreciate all your comments and thoughts you left – it was nice to read and think about while I was away all day :) You guys really are the best readers a blogger can have – THANK YOU!!

Reply

35 Pamela October 4, 2012 at 1:39 am

I think it’s great that you’re the one taking care of the little guy while your wife works. Our society doesn’t place enough importance on parents in a child’s life (my opinion). Children don’t need to have lots of toys, the latest clothes, and be involved in every activity and sport – they need mom and dad, a stable home life, time to play, chances to explore. I’m glad to hear your first day went well.
And DC traffic…ugh. My sister used to live out east and the traffic out there is awful. North Dakota is good, though – no traffic to speak of (that’s where I’m at now) :) Unfortunately, we’re about to get hit with a snowstorm…

Reply

36 Skint in the City October 4, 2012 at 8:02 am

Hey J Money, how are you holding up? I’m going through the same thing myself at the moment – Baby Skint is almost four months old and I’m at home with her all the time just now and trying to fit blogging at all the other stuff into her naptimes. Too young for childcare and Mr Skint working full time. It’s doable (just!) but tiring! I’ve found the only way to do it is to work work work during her naptimes and leave all the household chores etc to one side. No washing dishes, just straight to the computer the second she goes down! Yes, the house is a bit chaotic but hey, something’;s got to give! Hope you’re doing well with it all and having fun. You’ll do great.

Reply

37 J. Money October 5, 2012 at 10:24 am

Awesome!! I totally forgot you had a wee one at home now too – that’s exciting :) And I’m slowly figuring out that same stuff too – no errands get done when you’re with baby 100% of the time, but that’s OK as long as you know when to turn off and on your brain like that :) The first day with him this week was awesome, but I did catch myself trying to squeeze stuff in here and there only to get more frustrated. On the 2nd day I wised up and just “let it be” and wow was it more smoother and relaxing – I loved it. Well, actually I loved BOTH days, but the 2nd one was more chill :)

Here’s to spending quality time with our babies! We’re def. blessed, indeed.

Reply

38 LB October 5, 2012 at 10:43 am

Hey J,

If you ever get some extra time I could always share my business idea with you. I do, however, plan on using it or one of my other ideas to become an owner once again. It has been driving me nuts for years not having any ideas I truly like. The baby one is pretty cool, but not sure if it would be feasible. Anyway, I hope staying at home is going well and the baby bonding is fun!

Reply

39 J. Money October 5, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Awesome!!! I’d love to hear it, even if I can’t participate or help or respond ASAP :) Why don’t you shoot me an email on it and I can peruse? I think it’s great building something out you believe in! The more passion, the better!

(And yup! I’ve bonded more this week than I have at any part of the previous 3 months of his birth so far! I’m loving it!!)

Reply

40 Katie October 5, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Enjoy being home with your baby! My husband and I take turns being the stay-at-home-parent. I work part time (about 30 hours) he works full time+ (self employed). I’m home most days but 1-2 days a week I teach and he’s home with the baby. We love the balance and the equality it brings to our relationship – he knows where things are and what to do as well as I do.

An added bonus is that we each have a much clearer idea of each others professional responsibilities, priorities and work style. For example, we’ve learned that I am much more productive first thing in the morning, while he gets stuff done better later in the day. If we’re both swamped I’ll work from 6-9am then take over childcare. He’ll then head to the office and stay as long as he needs to, I’m no longer stressed because I started my day by being productive.

There were several months of transition and figuring it all out but I think we’re both more efficient with our time now and our communication (particularly around time management) has improved dramatically. Most importantly, our baby girl is thriving and sees an example of parents balancing work and family time daily!

Hope your experience is as positive as ours has been!

Reply

41 Glen Craig October 7, 2012 at 8:46 am

For sure there will be some adjustment as you get used to the little guy’s schedule. But you can do it. You’ll find watching him may be harder than any job you’ve had but most times it will be awesome hanging with him.

I’ve been a stay at home dad now for three years. For us it was the same issue – if we both worked then essentially one of our salaries was going to go to daycare basically. It’s insane.

Best of luck. Beware the up-the-back poop. And feel free to shoot out an email if you’re finding you need some guy support.

Reply

42 J. Money October 8, 2012 at 10:47 pm

Hah! I’ve met face to face with many a up-the-back poops already – they get me every time! ;) Pretty cool you’ve been doing it for 3 years too, I didn’t know that. If only we lived near each other so we could have dad parties!

@Katie – Awesome!! I’m glad y’all are finding a nice balance over there :) I *think* we’re getting closer to one, but still way too knew to know yet… I am enjoying myself though! Hehe… even as I sit here doing work at 11pm ‘cuz I know all day tomorrow will be filled with baby time! Pros and cons, I suppose. Totally worth it though :)

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: