It's working for Jeremy
“Moms need to bond with their babies after births in ways that a male cannot. There is no changing that biology. But males need to spend time with the new family as well.”
When his first daughter was born, Jeremy was both working for his college and finishing up his degree. His wife was in medical school. “They gave me a week, I believe. I skipped a few classes . . . but I also wanted to make sure I graduated top of my class, so I chose not to endanger that.”
While his wife was able to take nearly nine months off, having padded her schedule in preparation, after that it was off to Indianapolis for her intern year then on to Cincinnati for a 3-year residency. They decided it made the most sense for Jeremy to be the primary caregiver. “We are big proponents of raising our own children should our situation provide the means for one of us to stay at home,” he explains.
“The lack of normal adult conversation was difficult to deal with,” he recalls. He felt that being being a dad sometimes put him at a disadvantage in meeting new people. “It can be quite isolating as an at-home dad trying to navigate a territory mostly occupied by at-home moms. It can be awkward to be asked by or ask an at-home mom to meet up for lunch or a play-time.”
Luckily, Jeremy has found a good source of community in the National At-Home Dad Network, a closed Facebook group comprised of SAHDs from diverse workforce backgrounds and representing all types of relationships. Some, he notes, stay home out of a strong desire to be home, while others do it out of necessity. “We can share tips and tricks, vent a little and get advice on how to handle various situations,” he explains. The group is hosting its 20th annual conference this September, which Jeremy looks forward to attending.
By the time the couple welcomed their second daughter, Jeremy had a well-established stay-at-home routine. His wife’s residency program gave her 6 weeks (four weeks paid and two vacation). Males in her program, Jeremy notes, were not granted leave at all.
“She is an amazing mother and she dearly misses the girls while she’s at work, but we both understand that she needs to finish residency.”
“There has to be an exception for longer maternity and paternity leaves. But I know that more AHDs means more working moms. Moms need to bond with their babies after births in ways that a male cannot. There is no changing that biology. But males need to spend time with the new family as well.”