We’re toying with a radical idea – or not so radical, depending on how you look at things – of switching up some gender roles. As a family, K and I would like to keep our child out of day care for a while. It’s not only a desire, it’s a financial reality. K would be working to pay for daycare at an almost 1:1 ratio. It’s a bit harder than we’d like to admit to both work and keep nurturing our fifteen week old on a daily basis. Our heads are above water, but barely. By the time it’s 5:30 on Friday evening, we’re beat. Saturday and Sunday are allocated to recharge, but it’s not enough.
We’re considering making K a stay-at-home-dad. Both of us would love to be the stay-at-hom-parent. I mean, sign me up for a winning lottery ticket and just watch how the two of us would rock it. However, since one of us needs to work, we’re playing this out in our heads right now.
He’d keep the existing legal clients he has – and continue to grow as a boutique practice. He’ll continue to teach at the community college – one class this semester, maybe adding an additional online course next semester. He’d still be active in his professional and community groups. But, his primary duty would be caring for our kid during business hours.
Shocking? Crazy? Amazing? Dude, we have no idea what this would be like.
As we were discussing this opportunity (could we afford it, will K do the chores, will I be able to not be the primary parent during the day, will K still feel validated as a professional – and on and on go the questions), we realized that for the last eighteen months or so all of our decisions have been made deliberately. Reactionary? Not us, not anymore. Instead of reacting to conditions outside of our control, we’ve been making choices that are really our choices. It’s sort of empowering and scary all at the same time. This is one of those decisions – like moving further south – that we’re making with all eyes open.
Culture-dependent gender roles, who needs ’em?