Finances and Other Basics Article

Career Path Convergence

Having a baby in the 1950's was a lot simpler for most. Dad worked, mom stayed home. You and your mate face a lot more choices now. If you are the major breadwinner, mom wants to stay home with the baby, and you can afford it, cool.

Just don't get cut out of your child's life like many of our own fathers. Also, be aware that many of today's moms find this new role very confining, especially after they've tried it for a month or two. In this case a part time, flexible job for her, combined with limited day care, may be the ticket.

If she is the major breadwinner and you want to stay home, and you can afford it, cool. Be aware, though, that you may find this role confining, and given the tradition of men bringing home the bacon, you may need a thick skin to make this work. Some sort of part time, home-based business may work for you.

If you are a two-career couple and both of you want or need to work, you have lots of company today. Juggling jobs and daycare is tough, and it works a lot better if you understand that your mate will not be able to work full time and take care of the baby full time.

A lot of guys, particularly those who earn more than mom, don't get this, and it is a major source of relationship turmoil. Work with your partner to expand your options. Think them all through, particularly with regard to what you consider essential expenses.

Maybe a big mortgage is not appropriate for your new family. Maybe your baby's welfare is not dependent upon an expensive new SUV. Take your time to sort it out, and stay flexible. Really flexible, as mom (and perhaps you) may have different feelings once the baby arrives.

The least important thing is what someone else thinks. Ultimately, you will want to do what works best for your new family as determined by you and mom.

She is a doctor and I am finishing medical school. With a baby on the way, typical medical careers for both made no sense.

We thought it through and decided we will both work 3 1/2 days a week. We can share the baby, have a career, and earn plenty for a new family.
- Veteran Dad


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