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Adjusting to New Roles...

 
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thousley



Joined: 03 Dec 2007
Posts: 1
Location: Dallas, TX

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 8:06 pm    Post subject: Adjusting to New Roles... Reply with quote

I am a new homeschool Dad. Very Happy
I have been homeschooling for about 2 months now. I have two kids, girl (11) and boy (almost 13).

I have worked from home for the last two years. I used to travel four or five nights a week for a large technology firm out of Baltimore. I was doing well, good salary, able to pick and choose my jobs, choose my own teams...but I was never home. I hated it...so, I quit and came home to start my own business. That has not been a real success, I was teaching two or three nights a week, and we were making ends meet. For years, I have been the bread winner. And now...I am not. At this point, I contributing nothing the income for our family and it is really doing a number on me.

I know that homeschooling was absolutely the right decision for our children and our family. I see a huge difference in the kids already. I do not wish I were on the road again either, but there are some days, like today, that I am feeling like less of a man. My wife keeps us afloat...I am not contributing...what kind of man lets his wife be the sole provider?

Now, I know in my heart that those are just feelings, and that they are not true. We, my wife and I have made decisions, together, for the betterment of our quality of life. But in my head it is really tough today.

Does this make any sense? Has anyone else gone through this?

Any advice for adjusting to this new life?
_________________
Thanks,

Tony
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Frank



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 148
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Tony,

You haven't gotten any replies so I'll shoot you a coupla lines. I don't feel competent to comment on your life but what I'll do is make some comments about mine. Our kids are currently 13 and 15 and we've been unschooling (John Holt style) for about 5 years. Before that, the girls were in public school. It wasn't terrible; but it wasn’t what we *wanted* to be doing. We'd always planned to homeschool for middle school at least and we ultimately chose to simply start that plan a little early.

From the time we were married, my wife and I decided that we'd live by a "family first" policy. When she had our first child, she quit work, giving up a bunch of very valuable stock options. Our second was born a year and a half later. During the next several months we talked a lot about our finances and lifestyle. I was working long hours and felt like I wasn't being the kind of dad I wanted to be. Our basic choice was that I could keep working and we'd be a "traditional" family and wind up pretty rich or I could quit and we'd have more family time but we'd live at a middle-class level. We stuck to our "family first" philosophy and I quit working.

That was in 95 and it's been great for us. I did my part to ship MS Win95, took what stock I was vested in, walked away, and never looked back.

Since 2000, our finances haven't been so wonderful that we could afford to both not work at all, so we occasionally take consulting jobs; but only one of us ever works at a time. So there are times when my wife is working and I'm the "noncontributing" parent.

I've always been a nonconformist. I don't pay much attention to "social norms" or what I'm "supposed" to do. However, I understand your feelings. All I can say is that I try to look at our family unit as an entity unto itself. Is the family doing ok? Are we all healthy, happy, having fun, learning, experiencing the world? If that's the case, then my feelings of inadequacy, which are imposed on me by social expectations, are NOT valid concerns. They're just silly crap which is cluttering my pathetic, old head.

My kids certainly don't care. They love to have their silly dad around. My wife doesn't care. So why should I?

Being together as a family is the best thing in the universe. Don't beat yourself up over cultural expectations. Enjoy your kids. Enjoy your life.

Frank
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fschools



Joined: 16 Feb 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:19 pm    Post subject: Hang in there. Reply with quote

Tony,

My wife and I decided that it would be best for one of us to stay home when our first child was born. Since she had and continues to have the best potential for providing for the family, we decided I would stay home. I quit my job and began the stay at home dad life.
I have two boys, one 8 and the other 5. There have been several times in the last eight years that I felt inadequate as a husband. Sometimes I felt unappreciated. Other times I felt like I never was able to be away from the children. It was the job that you could never leave and with young ones it would nice to get a break. There were times when other people looked at me differently, especially other fathers that did not stay home.
Over the years I have found ways to deal with the various feelings I experience as a stay at home dad. For me, taking various classes here and there give me something to do. I enjoy learning and it helped me to feel valued. Eventually, I had to accept the fact that my children needed to come first. I am offering them my time and a safe environment to learn.
As a stay at home dad I have numerous responsibilities. I may not bring home any money but I educate my children, cook the meals, clean the house and do other related things. I also cut the grass, take care of the vehicles etc. So, even though I do not provide monetarily I provide in other ways. My wife is great about sharing the house responsibilities.

Since my wife is in the military, I have met numerous fathers that stay home. I have not met many that homeschool their children, but they manage their homes. Fathers that stay home are not as rare as one might think.

I hope you are able to come to terms with the changes and not worry about the various roles some in society expect. Try to define yourself by who you are and not by what you do or not do.



Fred
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