Role reversal personified.

Avatar for cl_annieb67
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Role reversal personified.
43
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 5:19pm
I had a very interesting conversation with a co-worker the other day. She's a psychologist, if it matters.

She commutes 5 hours away. Her dh and kids live in another city. She spends Mon-Thur here, and Fri, Sat and Sun at home. I asked casually, what her dh did. Without batting an eyelash, she said "he stays home with our children." He gave up a career in law to do this. I almost jumped and down, applauding. As anyone who knows me, could attest to. :O)

We discussed how this issue comes up IRL, and I mentioned some of our conversations on this board. And how I advocate a SAHD, if it's for the best of the family.

Her dhs' 40th Birthday is coming up, and she wanted to have a party for him. She mentioned how she really wanted something special to "honor" him for what he does. Then it dawned her the number of moms who do daily what he does, without being honored except for the whole Mothers Day Hallmark Holiday.

But, I found it interesting that even though she is 'going against' the grain so to speak, by having a SAHD, the deep-seeded thinking was still in place. Because he's a man he does something special, as opposed to what society thinks comes (or should come) so naturally to women.

I'm curious, I know there are some posters here who have done the long-distance commute. However, I believe it was the father spending most of the week away. How about mom being gone 4 days? The same? Better? Worse? I've dealt with this woman on a daily basis, regarding some very sensitive issues. She is damn good at what she does, and I believe an asset to the program.

I'm curious, what would you do in this situation? Continue doing what you loved, away from your family, knowing they were in the hands of dad? I can't comment on her income, but I'm presuming it's substantial. At least enough to afford her dh to give up a career in law. And, keep an apartment here.





"There in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I close my eyes, feel their beauty and follow where they lead."

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 6:09pm
I think people change jobs so much anymore that more people will do that.My dad does this because he and my mom want to keep their house and town for retirement,but his transfer was in a crummy town four hours away.Their house is paid off,and he rents a small apt and comes home Thurs night-Sun night.

If dh and I did this,I would feel better with one of us at home to handle all the sick days and holidays and to give some feeling of structure.If I was working far away, I would be a nervous wreck unless I knew dh was RIGHT THERE and waiting for any emergency.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 7:50pm
Ya know, aside from the who SAH issue, I could never advocate anyone male or female spending 4 days a week away from their family. Sure, may be great for them.. but it seems an inherently bad idea to me.
Avatar for cl_annieb67
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 7:59pm
I am curious as to why you feel that way.

Seriously. I can see your point, but on the flip side, and doing the math. If mom worked FIVE days home and let's say, an 8-5 day put her home at 5:30, and the kids go to bed at 8:30, that 12 hours a week. Are the kids really losing out when they get that extra twelve hours back by the extra night AND day? (In this case, she's home Thursday night)

This is one of those situations (generic, across the board) that sounds worse than it actually is.

"There in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I close my eyes, feel their beauty and follow where they lead."

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 8:59pm
I agree w/ the above poster.My parents do it, but it is far from an ideal situation, even for those w/out kids.The driving back and forth *does* take a toll, and yes,I do think it is hard on kids just to KNOW that mom or dad isn't there.I think there is value in a consistent presence.I wouldn't want my dh to do it,or to travel a lot,either..my dad did, and I didn't like it.You do what you gotta do, but I wouldn't CHOOSE it, and I think a 8-5 job for both parents is better than one gone most of the time while on sah.

And, psychologists,and social workers,etc can be very good with making decisions for others,but lousy at managing their own lives well.

Avatar for ahlmommy
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 9:33pm
Lurker here with a few thoughts...

<<>>

Sure this is true. I guess it is like having your spouse tell that you he/she loves you. You know that they do but it is nice to hear. I think it is great that she would want to do something special for him. Just as I think he should do the same for her as well. I guess I see it this way too...She works 4 days per week...logs in her time and she is off at the end of the day to do as she wants. He is working as a single parent 4 days per week. I think if we honored each other a bit more for our contributions to the family unit we would all be happier people.

<<>>

I would definately agree with you here.

I think if this works for their family more power to them. I personally would not want to be away from my kids for 4 days. It would not bother me leaving them with dad. I finally took my first weekend away with my best friend since DD#2 was born 15 months ago. I got back and DH and all 3 kids were still in one piece. Although the hamper was overflowing! LOL

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 9:47pm
I also think it can be hard on a marriage.nt
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 10:04pm
Its probably saved a few marriages as well! lol
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 10:43pm
And that time spent "away" may enable some more important things.

Most of the people I"ve known who had a situation like that commuted to DC from Virginia (chesapeake/Hampton area) ... a 3.5 hourdrive each way. They did it because schools in teh DC area suck; DC is a violent, nasty place; housing prices are atrocious; etc. It was much better for most of these people to spend 4 days away from home to give their kids a chance at a decent education, not to mention a chance not to get shot.

Dh did it for a while ... about 3 months when we first moved to VA, before kids. And for about 8 weeks right before Callahan was born. And although it was a pain, it wasn't voluntary for him ... it wasn't really a commute, it was weekly TDY.

Anyhoo ...

Hollie

Avatar for virgogirl914
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 11:14pm
Depends on the family/children/marriage involved.

My children and I obviously miss their dad/dh, but his absences have become a part of our experience.

There are positives and negatives to this lifestyle. . .but there are positives and negatives to every lifestyle.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 11:55pm
Well, I personally couldn't do it, but then again I have an almost 5 month old who screams bloody murder every time someone approaches her with a bottle ; )

Seriously though, in that situation, I still wouldn't do it. I simply could not spend that much time away from my children unless I had absolutely no other choice. That being said, I won't fault this woman for taking the opportunity to further her career while her dh sah. If her children are being well cared for in her absence by a dad who loves them, then what's the problem?

I suppose dh and I have wound up being more traditional than we thought we would be. He travels a lot on business (he's usually gone about 3 or 4 nights every other week). He doesn't like it, but it's pretty much unavoidable in his line of work, so he does it. I wouldn't. I would change jobs, move, sell my car, you name it, in order to be home more.

BTW, I agree with you about the irony of this guy looking like a prince for being a sahd.

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