Making the Decision to Become a Stay at Home Dad Gave My Husband a Gift Beyond Measure

I am a wife, mother, teacher, writer, and big dreamer. It’s taken 23 years of marriage to get to the point in life where I am now. The support of my parents growing up, my husband, and my 18-year-old son help me to pursue all of my passions. I owe a great deal to my partner in life, Jim. He has always been a solid support system for me. We’ve been a team since the start. We’d been married five years when our most precious gift arrived – our son, Patrick. Everything changed in that moment as he became our main focus. We forgot what it was like to be a couple. We were a family! We knew that every decision we made would have to be for his benefit. That included childcare. There was no way we would allow a stranger to raise Patrick while we worked. Fortunately, my mother-in-law was only too happy to watch him and we felt secure.

That all changed when Patrick was almost a year old. My mother-in-law moved to West Virginia. We were faced with a major decision. We could look into daycare, a babysitter, I could stay home full time or my husband could stay home. I was a teacher and carried insurance for our family, not to mention I had the perfect schedule when it came to holidays and summers. Otherwise, my husband would have to work three jobs to support us. After much discussion, we came to the conclusion that my husband would be the one to stay home. It was the best decision we ever could have made.

It wasn’t easy. My husband made many sacrifices and had to change his lifestyle. I had to make things stretch with half of our salary. No matter what challenges came up, we both had the peace of mind knowing our son was in the best of hands. Patrick and my husband formed an incredible bond, one that has continued today as my son prepares to go to college. Every morning on the way to elementary school, my son had the assurance his father would be by his side, walking him into school. At the end of every school day, his father waited for him outside. Through the middle school and high school years, until Patrick got his own license last year, my husband continued to drive him to and from school. My son always knew that he was at the center of our lives and someone was there for him. When he walked in the door, his father was waiting. Taking an interest in his interests. Encouraging him. Loving him. Always. I salute all of the amazing fathers out there. You offer a gift beyond measure to your children.

Heidi Sprouse lives in upstate New York. She has taught for over 20 years, spending most of her career with Pre-Kindergarten children, nurturing the youngest as they build their foundation to learning. She has written several novels that range from historical fiction to suspense thrillers and sweet romances. Her family, her students, and her writing are her passion.​

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