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semispiral

Father to a child or slave to the machine?

Hi there, I must confess that this is my first time posting on a forum but I was hoping to find out how some of the other fathers out there are  managing to find a balance between working for a living and maintaining a presence and bond with their new child (mine is a daughter and is nearly a year and a half). I've read in newspapers that there are an increasing number of stay-at-home dads and I would love to trade experiences (I work part time and go to uni full time, but find I spend alot of time at home), emotions, heartaches and woes; I find that my family are struggling financially but I am torn because I don't want to spend all hours at work as I don't want to miss even a second of my daughters childhood. How do other fathers or prospective fathers feel?
Helen Swan

Hi there new dad! I am not a dad but maybe can help in a way.
email me and I can let you have a list of dads websites I usually give out at my antenatal classes. You can get support and info too from these sites. Find me at naturalhealthanswers.co.uk. go to 'contact me' or there is probably a link on this forum.
There may be local dads groups near you??? Or baby/toddler groups welcoming to dads?  
The work-home balance is really difficult. For mums too. Its really because we live in such 'small' families nowadays - if you were part of a tribe, sharing work, childcare and so on, it would be easier! Here in the civilised West we can easily become isolated especially when we are really busy. Support is so important, most of us feel alone with our problems when in reality thousands of others are going thru something similar.
Well done for dipping a toe in the world of forums. I have a love-hate rel. with them and am a bit of a novice myself. they do have the advantage of convenience! but watch your internet security.
I would recommend sticking with it if you can survive a bit longer on the dosh you have. your relationship with your child is a priceless thing. Many people find the toughest time is till the child is about 18 months, they are tired, they lack adult contact, they want to get back a purpose outside of the home...its especially true if you are part time or self employed. Hang on in there cos soon enough your little sweetie will be away at nursery, preschool and then school and you will find that her teachers see more of her than you do! However you will get more sleep. Unless you have another one.
You sound like a great dad, your daughter is lucky.
best wishes, Helen
If lack of money threatens your relationship, or your house, maybe re-think? things are tough for a lot of us these days but relationships are so precious. Of course one way to save money is to do without the computer.....!
adeline

Hi There,
Have you looked up your local SaturDads group? They run activities for fathers to enjoy with and without their children, and usually no Mums allowed!
There is a very successful one at our local surestart Children's center.
Even if you aren't interested in the activities, they would be able to put you in touch with other dads, some of whom may be 'stay at hom-ers.'
Most families with young children struggle to prioritize finantial responsilities, and all too often these fall to Dad. A Saturdads group might give you a working example of how other men manage.
Good luck.
michellejaneholmes

We have been working through this issue since our son was born nearly 3 years ago.

We've now decided that time together is more important than money so we are moving to Cornwall (from Surrey)... my husband is going to do what he always wanted to do - paint for a living - he does pretty well at it - could be better but hey, it allows him to be at home the whole time AND earn some money.

I also work from home on a very part time basis.  We are expecting number two in March and have decided this is the way to go.  We want to share the parenting AND money making responsibilities instead of having one or the other miss out on either the children or feeling like a fully functional member of society.

We'll be pretty poor for a bit I should think - just having enough to scrape by on but we'll both be doing what we love AND be there to watch our little ones thrive on the love they receive every day from both parents!

:0)  You sound wonderful!  Keep it up! x
townbird7

Good news, semispiral!  My hubby and I found ourselves in your spot ten years ago.  He had a great job, but was away from home too much.  Between commuting to the city daily (an hour drive each way) and flying out of town a couple of times a week, he was never around to bond with our newborn twin sons.  He approached his boss with the idea of using a conference call  with clients and staff.  His boss went for it and it reduced his days away from home to just 3 per week.  Not only did his idea save our marriage, but it's put him in the Dad of the Year category with our boys ever since.  Good luck to you in finding a way to make your home and job life work!

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