According to salary.com the projected annual wage of a Stay at Home Dad is estimated at $125,340.
My husband, a disabled veteran, wakes up in pain almost every day of his life. He wouldn’t tell you that and you would never know it to look at him. Despite this, he keeps our house running and our acres of land looking beautiful. The vehicles are maintained, the huge lawn is mowed, errands are run and things I break are magically fixed. Seriously, how do I break so much shit? We have ninety pounds of meat in the freezer because he provides through humanely hunting. We save money and eat healthier because of it. This isn’t to say I don’t do my share around here, but sometimes the share is greater for him.
When we got married, we lived in one of the most expensive cities in the United States. We now live somewhere that a house payment is less than the rent on the two-bedroom condo we used to stuff ourselves and his girls into when they’d come to visit. Suffice it to say, money goes a lot further here allowing us a bit more flexibility than we had before.
I am now remotely balancing a full-time career I had before we got married along with the 175+ days a year of travel that go along with it. My days are sometimes 18-hours long and my husband keeps me sane. And fed. Oh and there’s my blog, too. My career has been important from the get-go and I lucked out because unlike other men I have dated, he is man enough not to ask me to give it up to fulfill some sort of 1940’s skewed image of what a marriage should be. Stay at home? Work part-time? That just isn’t me. My husband served his community as a police officer for thirteen years then his country for another six. Now we find having him home is better. The compensation he gets from his military service also means despite outward appearances, I am not exactly the sole breadwinner, even if I bring home more bread. In addition to all of the other things he does, most importantly, this allows him to be available to his children – the reason we moved across the country.
More and more husbands are staying home and 28% of women are out-earning their spouses. Yet 70% of men feel there is a stigma associated with being a stay at home husband. Why do people have such an issue with this? If a woman marries a man who makes a good living allowing her to stay at home, she’s applauded and praised for finding a good provider. No one would so much as bat an eye. Yet if a man stays at home, he’s seen as lazy or “kept”. Can we all see how ridiculous this is? Call a stay at home wife or mother lazy and watch all hell break loose.
At the same time we’re shouting for equality, it seems that it’s only acceptable if it is on our terms as women. When did it become acceptable for men to be left out of the equation? We so often hear it shouted from the rooftops that children need their mothers, but when and why did fathers get left out? When did children stop needing them? Oh wait. They didn’t. We’ve robbed fathers of this responsibility then get angry at them for not being there. When they are there, they’re wrong for not going out and providing. The double standard is a disservice to YOUR CHILDREN.
Now that his service in the military has come to its close, no paycheck could trump the most important role of all – finally getting to be the great dad he is. That $125,430 a year? Bogus. Insert priceless and then they’d be close.
About the author: Heather Wilson is an Air Force brat who said she’d never marry a man in the military, so of course she did. After her husband finished his career in the US Navy, they made the move from San Diego, California to his native rural Northwest Arkansas to be with his children. Honored with Business Traveler Magazine’s title of Business Traveler of the Year, Heather is an events and experiential marketing expert, cancer survivor, tea aficionado and biker chick who strives to live the ‘gift is in the giving’. She is amusing herself and others learning to be a city girl living in a country world. You can follow her adventures at Country Life, City Wife and via social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.