Stay At Home Mom vs Working Dad: How To Find Peace

There’s a crazy war-like cycle in the households with the stay at home mom vs working dad. Here’s how to stop it.

Let me go ahead and acknowledge this post is making some broad generalities. Mainly, that women stay [at] home with children and men go to work. Obviously, this is not true, and I’m not even trying to advocate there is only one ideal. I know some incredible men that stay home to care for their children, and I know some incredible women who work their “9 to 5” job. However, my hope is to address the pervasive tension that happens between husbands and wives. It’s a tension that arises when the woman’s main responsibility is to stay home with the children and the husband is away from the home working in the professional world.

Before I jump in, let me give you some context. My wife, Casey, is a stay-at-home mom, meaning her primary responsibility is to be home with our children during the day. However, she also has three other jobs. Yes, I said three. Talk about a massive juggling act. But even with her jobs, like all stay at home moms, she is home with our children during normal “business hours”.

Recently, we adopted a baby boy, which means that I have been taking paternity leave trying to help navigate our family through a transition of adding a newborn. We can’t complain about the transition, but it hasn’t been easy.

During my time at home on paternity leave, I struggled being away from work. There were many things that needed to get done and initiatives that needed my leadership. I knew I needed to be home to help with our three children (one of which was being potty trained), but I felt the pressure of being away from work. This tension began to wear on my patience, joy, and overall attitude. Being at home with three kids was overwhelming and often exhausting.  When I expressed my feeling and angst to Casey, it brought up the tension I mentioned earlier in the post. It’s a tension I believe for most couples has caused more fights, arguments, and disunity than we would like to admit.

In the moment when I expressed how difficult it was for me to be away from work, it inadvertently communicated a few things to Casey. It said to her that I didn’t think staying home with three children was difficult or really that important. It communicated in a subtle way that I didn’t want to be home to help and would have rather been at work. But when Casey began to express her own emotions, here is what I heard (albeit not what she said). I heard that she didn’t think I had a tough job and there wasn’t a ton of pressure on me.  I heard that she didn’t appreciate the time I took off of work to be home. Enter the “crazy cycle”.

Brett Clubb
Brett Clubb
Brett is the Programming and Development Pastor at Brentwood Church. He and Casey are parents to Ali, Jax, and Gray. Besides Brett's slightly obsessive passion for sports and Apple products, he also loves helping bring health to families and the local church. This desire to see families and the local church thrive is the fuel that drives not only how he leads, but also why and what he writes for the Brentwood Blog.

Related Posts


Recent Stories