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Work-at-Home Dads Take on Dual Role


Being a work-at-home dad might not be what many people consider a typical stay-at-home dad. After all, this dad has obligations throughout the day that go beyond childcare.

But regardless of what the work-at-home dad does for money, family likely weighed heavily on his choice to work from home. If you look closely, his daily routine may not differ all that much from what a more traditional SAHD does.

The work-at-home dad probably works pretty hard during naps, likely drives the kids to preschool and he is making lunches.

So even if most people wouldn’t count a work-at-home dad in the same ranks as a SAHD – the U.S. Census Bureau doesn’t – it doesn’t mean he falls short in the caregiver role. By working out of the house he is taking advantage of a dual opportunity.

More than Working

There are at least two types of dads who work out of the home. One is continuing with the full-time job he’s always had, just telecommuting from home. The other is changing it up by starting his own business or freelancing in his chosen career and being his own boss.

Either way, chances are these dads are doing this to add more flexibility to family life. It gives them an opportunity to be with the kids, in many cases as the primary caregiver, without completely loosing the extra income.

A dad who is telecommuting during normal business hours probably can’t watch the kids full time, but it allows him to be flexible with his schedule and be with them when needed.

Not being tied to traditional work hours allows other work-at-home dads to be more of a caregiver and a wage earner.

Untraditional Hours

Working at home gives these dads the chance to work on their terms. Along with that comes the opportunity to keep the kids out of daycare and help out with their daily needs.

He can work while the kids are having downtime or after his wife gets home and at night or on weekends.

He’s developed routine that allows him to get work done when it needs to be, but to also to make sure the children are safe and happy. It may make for some long days, but if it means giving the kids ample dad time, saving on childcare and having added flexibility to family and career life, it is likely a good tradeoff.

Extreme Multi-Tasking

Obviously, toughest thing about the dual gig is balancing work and caring for the children. It’s inevitable that as soon as that laptop opens, the kids are hanging off of every limb trying to get dad to do something else.

He could turn on a movie or TV show to divert attention, but most parents don’t want the kids camped out in front of Nickelodeon all day.

Knowing the kids’ tendencies and when work can be accomplished is key. If the kids are old enough to understand that dad is working and to play quietly or read a book, then that is a good route to take.

This also can help the kids learn hands-on what dad does and the value of an earned dollar.

Other than that, part of the fun is working on the money-making job whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Mom and Dad at Home

There is a good chance that if the job is going well enough for dad from home, then mom might be around too. She could be staying at home with the kids full time or also working out of the home.

For families lucky enough to have this situation occur, it adds a little flexibility to care giving. The working parent has some backup so work can get done and the kids get to spend more beneficial time with both mom and dad.

So even if the work-from-home dad isn’t a stay-at-home dad in the traditional sense, many of the same attributes exist. And taking advantage of the work and home worlds at once can be an efficient option for those who have the opportunity.

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