Being Married to a Stay-at-Home Parent

Are you married to a stay-at-home parent? In today’s blog, I wanted to dive into this topic as I have dealt with it on-and-off in my military career. I will touch on some pros and cons I have dealt with throughout my career. Let’s jump into it! 

These views are solely based on the mental effect being married to a stay-at-home parent has on the serving member… 

PROS

availability.

My mind is always busy (especially in the mornings), and I can be quite forgetful. While my husband was a stay-at-home dad, this was quite convenient for me because he could bring me what I forgot without having to rearrange his entire day.

dating.

When you are married with children, their needs kind of take precedence over yours. So, when my husband was not working, he would surprise me with dates a lot more often. Granted, these dates were day/afternoon dates, but we had that alone time to spend with each other without the distraction of the kids. Who does not want to go on a date without their kids?

adapting.

Any time I was due for deployments or TDYs, it was quite easy for my husband to adjust to caring for both children on his own. There was no asking his employer for an adjustment in the schedule, so he could drop-off and pick up the kids on time. As long as his schedule was free, he could devote his needs to the children. This was a plus because I didn’t have to jump through hoops before I left to make sure that he had additional help available for the children.

CONS

being taken advantage of.

It seemed like every unit that I have been attached to do not bother to give me time to prepare my home TDYs or deployments. In my opinion, it felt as though they knew my husband wasn’t working so there wouldn’t be a problem. I say this because when I was tapped for a TDY after having my oldest, I asked my supervisor for a little time to prepare my home, and her words were “well, isn’t your husband at home?” This has only continued since my transition into the Guard/Reserve life. I’ve been called countless times asking to go on a TDY that would be starting the following week.

lack of adult interaction.

Consequently, this might be a normal side-effect for all stay-at-home parents. Unfortunately, I would have to be greeted by my husband overloading me with his day almost immediately after arriving home. Furthermore, he would call me countless times throughout the day to “talk” while I was at work. Eventually, I had to remind him that I was at work, and it was not necessarily appropriate to be on the phone all day.

again…always available.

Since I’m in the Guard, once a month I have to report to duty on the weekend. Occasionally this inconveniences family trips. Mix that in with my regular job requirements, I am spread pretty thin when it comes to free time. Hence, since my hubby was a stay-at-home parent, he could go anywhere, however, I would have to stay back and due to my training. Eventually, this started to make me look bad amongst the family. I know my husband understands, but it’s hurtful when you know that it’s not your fault, but you still are blamed. Meh….Not too many people understand how being in the military works. That’s a different story for a different day.

in conclusion.

After all, is said and done, I think there are many positives and negatives about being married to a stay-at-home parent. Also, this is a look at the situation from an outsider’s perspective. My husband’s opinion may be totally different (as I reaped the benefits from this situation). Additionally, I must say that my husband would choose working over staying at home because he thrives off of adult interaction. However, if it wasn’t for him staying at home, we wouldn’t have caught half of the milestones we’ve witnessed on camera. From our experience, most daycares do not document milestones on “camera” per se. They document milestones to track growth progression.

being married to a stay-at-home parent

17 Comments

  1. I can see how being a stay at home parent would be a mixed bag for both the stay at home parent and the working parent. I love kids, but I know I would definitely feel the lack of adult interaction.

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  2. I agree the positives outweigh the cons and I feel your mind is kind of at ease knowing that you’ve got the right support you need for the kids back home.

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  3. I can see how the positives outweigh the negatives to being a stay at home parent. I also understand it could be an inconvenience for the stay at home parent, as some feel that they’re home all day, “doing nothing”. While I do love our kids, I know I would go bonkers without some adult interaction.

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  4. You stated some straight facts in this post. Being a stay at home parent is one thing, but being a military spouse stay at home parent is quite different. When you add on the moving and starting over all the time without a close support system, it can be the pits. From first-hand experience, staying at home can be a challenge, but it was also super rewarding. Also, like you guys, we were able to catch milestones that we would not have gotten otherwise if we both were working. During my time at home, I was able to finish school, and that gave me a sense of achievement during that season.

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  5. Being a stay at home parent definitely has its pros and cons! I’m the stay at home one in our relationship and find it tough at times. I know my husband would find it difficult too!

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  6. Yes, being a stay at home parent is not always easy. My husband stayed at home for six months and it was driving bananas. Always talking to me and I was getting distracted way too many times.

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  7. Being a stay at home parent does have its own downside but I would choose it any time if it means spending more time with my children. This is a really interesting read!

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  8. I am a stay at home parent too, and although I find it better to be this way than to commute back and forth to work and be under tons of stress, there are still some not so nice things that I never knew i could encounter. The biggest challenge for me is lack of adult interaction. I rarely go out of the house because of the housework, the online job, and the caring for the kids 24/7.

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  9. I think being stay at home parent has its own advantages and disadvantages. I know that you can maximize your time with your family and friends. There’s so much housework too!

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  10. Wow I love the approach you took with this! I’ve read so many articles on being a SAH parent but never what its like for a marriage!

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  11. Great post. There are always aspects of things that people don’t think about when it comes to a parent staying at home.

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  12. Great post. I have learned something new in this post I will have to keep in mind the advantages of it because I am thinking of to be stay at home parent kinda working at home.

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