If you would have asked me a year ago whether or not I could have seen myself as a stay-at-home dad for two, I would have answered with a resounding “no.” The very thought of being home while my wife went to work every day (even if I do work from home), would have provoked a less than pleasant emotion inside of me. The phrase “I am the man of this house, the provider,” would have been my go-to statement. How can I be that man if I’m at home with the kids, doing laundry and cleaning the house, and not out in the workplace? In my own mind, I couldn’t. And I don’t think I’m the only man who would think that. Guys?
But over the last four to six months, God has changed me. I am confident in attributing these wonderful changes in my life to God, because in some ways, they have been miraculous. In all honesty, I’ve had a complete 180 degree turn-around.
God did two things (among other smaller things). First, he used my precious wife, Jessica, to daily expound to me the joy of knowing that our children will not have to be raised by others. Jessica had always feared—actually despised—the thought of our kids being dropped off day after day at daycare. To me, that was just a part of life. That’s what everyone else does, right?
But that thinking changed with a new job opportunity. Before I was hired as a Case Manager for individuals with disabilities, and before I learned that I could make money writing, the option of staying at home with our two future gifts was unfathomable. Like I said, I’m a man—the provider. It was a pathetic perception. Within a month of doing this new work-from-home job and freelancing, being a stay-at-home dad seemed the only plausible solution. God had given me this opportunity, an opportunity that few men are ever allowed, and I didn’t want to squander it. But I would not have seen this opportunity without the help of my beautiful wife. With her help and God’s gentle nudging, my heart melted, and my desire to be a dad grew immensely. This heart change was the second thing God did.
Again. God changed me. He changed my heart. My desires. And now, as Jessica and I plan to welcome our two little ones into this world, I can see how God’s work will continue to affect my life, and the life of my children. Yes, this decision will have resounding effects. I can think of at least three major ones.
1. This one has already been mentioned, but my children will not have to be raised in daycare. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of cases where both parents have to work outside of the home. I am not judging these cases. Both of my parents worked full-time jobs and I turned out just fine…okay, depending on who you ask. But, given this opportunity, it would be unwise not to take full advantage of it.
2. My children will get the daily benefit of God’s Word and teaching. I am in God’s Word daily, and as these little ones grow older, I will have the opportunity to share this part of my life with them, not only in reading the Bible together, but in action. I will get to be a daily role model for them as they grow older, and until they go to school. In these very transformative years, they will get to watch how daddy serves mommy and others. How wonderful a thought! And how great a responsibility.
3. My children will learn to understand true gender roles, not the misconceptions of many, including some in the realm of religion. Even though I will be changing diapers, potty training, doing laundry, and washing dishes, I am still the man of this house. I am still the leader, as God commanded me to be. And mommy and daddy will be a team, equals on the playing field of life. This was my biggest problem, and still the hardest for me to reconcile. It’s a work in progress, but I hope to share with my children this lesson, a lesson that God continues to share with me.
We’ve still got a month or so before our two little “bundles of joy” arrive, but I’m thankful for this opportunity. Few dads are able to do this, and I count it a blessing to be one of those. Though I will still wear many hats, this job will be the greatest. I have been blessed as an author, a freelancer, a social worker…but I’d honestly trade all of that for the chance to stay at home with my two babies.