Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Neverending Commute

In every marriage, there are sacrifices. And in marriages where both partners work, there are often geographical sacrifices.

I've made sacrifices. When I was getting ready to apply for residency, my husband got into a graduate school far away from my family and friends, in a fairly competitive location. Because of this, I had no choice but to apply to internal medicine residencies to maximize my chances of matching and getting to live with him, which was the most important thing to me. When I was in med school, I loved neurology and PM&R, but there were only 6 PM&R spots in the entire area and 8 neurology spots (4 of which were at a "malignant" program). And prelim spots were impossible to come by. So I made a sacrifice and applied for medicine instead.

Amazingly, it all worked out okay in the end though.

Then when we were job hunting, I chose the general quadrant of the country where I wanted to live, and my husband job hunted first. Once he found a job, I looked within the same city for mine. It limited my choices, but I found something.

Now his sacrifices:

I hate to drive and I suck at it. I have been in four car accidents, one of which was a serious one requiring a hospitalization, so while I'm willing to have a long public transportation commute, I don't want a long drive. My husband's job is 30 miles away from mine in the Middle of NoWhere (MONW). My job is a bit in the middle of nowhere, but less so in that there is public transportation here, which allows easy access for us to get into the city and for visitors (such as our parents, who don't have cars) to visit us. So we live in the city where I work, and in exchange, I chauffeur our daughter to and from her daycare (also in the same city).

This has become a source of guilt for me though. Usually his commute is 45 minutes to an hour. But on bad days, especially now that the weather has taken a turn for the worse, his commute home has gone up from an hour to an hour and a half.... and it has twice taken him TWO HOURS to get home.

When he gets home from such a long drive, he is not a happy camper. He generally just wants to lie down and not talk to anyone, and usually says a few four letter words about the highway. And of course, I feel totally responsible and very guilty. I did look for a job near his work, but the economy sucks. It's amazing that I found a job that I like in the same general area and that pays well (more than his).

All this is further complicated by the fact that he is considering going back to school on his company's dime. All the grad schools are closer to where I work, but that won't happen for a year and a half at soonest.

I don't know what to do. I constantly feel guilty about this. I've scoured google maps but any place we moved that would shave ten minutes off his commute would add thirty minutes to mine. It doesn't make sense, especially since my days are longer than his and it takes me at least 30-40 minutes to do the childcare stuff in the morning.

Sometimes I feel like the only solution is to quit and stay home.

43 comments:

  1. It sounds tough. Josh used to drive about the same length of time to work everyday and he really disliked it...he hates driving anywhere now because of it. I drive 45 minutes to 1.5 hours to and from school every day and for me it is no big deal. On a good day, I even enjoy it because it is just me, the radio, and my thoughts...it is rare to get that sort of quiet time. I'm forced to relax...there are no kids around needing things from me, no studying that I should be doing. Nothing to do but sing and drive!

    I think you are probably feeling the guilt of this more acutely right now because of the bad weather has made things worse. If I were you, I'd try to tough out the winter without making any major decisions and see how things look in spring when things get a bit better. Hang in there.

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  2. Fizzy -- Your situation makes me look positively selfish. I live in the city a 30 minute walk from work. My husband commutes 45-75 minutes to and from work, each way every day. People ask me all the time why we didn't just move to the suburbs so he could have a shorter commute. But truthfully, he would still commute at least 30-45 minutes each way, and my commute time would have ballooned to 60 minutes each way at least. We might have also had to purchase a second car. AND we would have had to live in the suburbs, which we really wanted to avoid for as long as possible. Plus I figured that if I ended up in a residency program here, I didn't want to be driving 45 minutes home on the expressway post call. So here we are. I am a selfish bitch, but we are making it work.

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  3. Kyla: I actually used to enjoy driving too for the reasons you said, but having a bunch of accidents, especially my last one, just ruined it for me. That brings up another point that I forgot to mention, which is that I also worry about my husband during his commute, because when you're a doctor, you get to see all the bad stuff. (Although he claims I shouldn't worry on account of that we have a safe car and he never gets to drive faster than 20 MPH.)

    OMDG: I don't know why you say you're more selfish than me. Sounds like kind of equivalent situations. When I was an intern, we lived a ten minute walk from the hospital where I worked, because I honestly am not sure how I would have driven home after 35 hours awake.

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  4. Fizzy -- Probably because people have asked me this question so much!! I should really stop apologizing for myself. :-)

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  5. OMDG: Usually when I tell people about my husband's commute, they wince a bit. But then they also wince when I tell them I do all the daycare dropoff and pickups. Makes me wonder what other people do.

    I have a coworker whose husband commutes close to two hours each direction every day, but his commute is on public transportation, so he can supposedly get work done. We don't have this option because public transportation doesn't go out to the middle of nowhere.

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  6. This is not something you should feel guilty about. You might consider discussing it with your husband, though, to get his perspective. Does he want to move or have you find a different job?

    My husband drives an hour to get to work (except when there's a wreck, I think his longest commute was 3-1/2 hours) and feels that it's worth doing so that our kids get to... well, the specific reasons don't matter. We made choices based on our values, and it sounds like that's what you did in your family, too.

    You and your husband evaluated your priorities and made choices accordingly. If the drive has gotten to be too much, or more of a committment than he thought it would be, it's okay to re-evaluate. Decide what's important to him, to you, and for your kids' well-being. And don't apologize for doing what works best for your entire family. You're a team, and everyone has unique responsibilities. Don't feel guilty about it.

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  7. If the commute is really a problem, from what you've said, it sounds like your husband should quit his job and take over the childcare full-time. It's an option.

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  8. Warm Socks: We have discusssed it and he always says he knows this is really the best option for right now. He says maybe in the future, one of us (hint: me) can find another job, but he understands it's not a possibility right now. When we discuss it, it doesn't seem like a problem. But when he comes home after a particularly bad drive and seems really unhappy, it's hard to ignore and not feel bad about it.

    Outrider: Would your husband consider doing that? Cuz mine wouldn't.

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  9. Fizzy, can you post more on the switch from IM to PMR?

    Do you think your husband's boss will let him work from home a couple days a week/month?

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  10. >>Would your husband consider doing that?>>

    Yes, if it made the most sense for the family.

    In your situation, you make more money and your husband has a commute which is adversely affecting the quality of your family life. Given only those facts, why would you say the "only" solution is for YOU to quit and stay home? I don't follow the logic.

    Your fellow bloggers RH+ and Dr. Whoo? have stay-at-home husbands, IIRC. It's not earth-shattering in the year almost-2011.

    >>Cuz mine wouldn't.>>

    You seem incredulous that a man might decide to take on this role.

    Well, then, that's another issue entirely.

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  11. OR -- It could be that Fizzy's husband loves his career and that's why he won't quit. I don't know if mine would quit either, but that's because he's an OCD workaholic, not because he's morally opposed to the idea.

    F -- I recall your husband was in grad school for a while. If you don't mind sharing, what field is he in now? Just out of curiosity.

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  12. >>It could be that Fizzy's husband loves his career and that's why he won't quit.>>

    If that were the case, I'd feel little or no guilt at all over his long commute.

    Fizzy has said before that she worked hard to become a physician and wouldn't consider giving up her career. Why consider quitting now, because of her husband's commute?

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  13. OMDG: I don't mind sharing with YOU, but not with the whole blog. You can email me (fizzziatrist@gmail).

    Outrider: I might take backlash for saying this, but *most* (not all) men are much more reluctant to stay home with the kids than women. Some love the idea. But I think that *most* feel like they need to work to feel productive. Additionally, considering I'm not done with my childbearing years, he can't pick up any of the slack I'll need at the end of my pregnancies, maternity leave (when I won't get paid), pumping, etc. What if I get put on bedrest and my income is all we have? These are things that are not transferable.

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  14. Anon: I think I made a whole post about the switch from IM to PM&R. If you have any specific questions, you can email me.

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  15. >>I might take backlash for saying this, but *most* (not all) men are much more reluctant to stay home with the kids than women.>>

    Most? Really?

    Have you considered that most intelligent men may actually be far more flexible than you think?

    >>Some love the idea. But I think that *most* feel like they need to work to feel productive.>>

    Staying at home full-time with children is work, as I'm confident any stay-at-home parent would confirm. Correct me if I'm wrong.

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  16. While bon bons are very tasty, you are far too educated to take on that position.

    I hope you find something that works for both of you.

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  17. Outrider: Forgive me, I misspoke... being a stay at home parent with a small child IS a lot of work, probably harder work than what my husband does now.

    OK, for the sake of argument, if most intelligent men are eager to be stay at home dads and this is such a great idea, why are SAHDs so rare?

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  18. >>if most intelligent men are eager to be stay at home dads and this is such a great idea>>

    So, you don't think it's a good idea, in general, for husbands and wives to logically discuss who, if anyone, should stay home full-time?

    >>why are SAHDs so rare?>>

    True SAHMs are also rare in my circle of friends and acquaintances. Why? Finances. It also doesn't make sense, financially, for men who earn more than their wives to be SAHDs. And since U.S. men currently earn more than women, even for equal work, well...

    In your case, however, you earn more than your husband does, and you both earn comfortable salaries. Of course, if you're planning more children, I can understand why you'd consider quitting at some point. But not now.

    Perhaps your social circle is more traditional than mine, because when this topic comes up, both men and women are thoughtful, not dismissive.

    As I said before, it's not earthshattering.

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  19. I recently saw a statistic that out of stay at home parents, less than 5% are fathers. In couples, do 95% of men earn SO more than their wives that it would not be feasible for them to stay home while their wives worked? I find it hard to believe that this 95% has no chance of having the earning capabilities of their husband. That would be pretty insulting to women.


    It's harder to be a SAHD, for many reasons. Mommy groups are not that accepting of men joining, so I think a lot of them feel isolated. And because they're so rare, there's a stigma attached to it. The men I know who do the majority of childcare are the ones who work from home or are students. Also, as I mentioned before, there are several responsibilities that men can't take on, like pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding.

    Also, in general, I think women tend to feel a need to take on more childcare responsibilities and feel worse when they're left out. I really wanted to be the one to do the daycare drop off and pickup, even though it's hard work. My husband feels a need to get out of the house and contribute to society.

    But on a practical level, it makes no sense for us. My daughter is too old not to be in school, so she's gone all day anyway. So all my husband could contribute would be some light housekeeping. He'd just be sitting around the house all day, surfing the web probably. He'd be spared the commute in exchange for an income that may not be as high as mine, but is still pretty good and helps pay the bills. We'd suffer financially and not gain anything.

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  20. >>I find it hard to believe that this 95% has no chance of having the earning capabilities of their husband. That would be pretty insulting to women.>>

    It's probably accurate, though.

    High-earning women tend to marry high-earning men. Even if they're in the same profession, those men likely make more money than the women do. You may not like it, but it's a fact.

    >>because they're so rare, there's a stigma attached to it.>>

    Not by me, so by whom?

    >>I think women tend to feel a need to take on more childcare responsibilities and feel worse when they're left out.>>

    I know some men who adjusted their work schedules so they wouldn't feel left out.

    >>My husband feels a need to get out of the house and contribute to society.>>

    So, by caring for children in the home, SAHMs and SAHDs aren't contributing to society?

    >>on a practical level, it makes no sense for us>>

    So, why would it make sense for YOU to quit and stay home, if there's nothing to do there?

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  21. Really?? You think the women who stay home with their kids have otherwise NO CHANCE of earning close to as much as their husbands? I know there are discrepancies between female and male salaries, but I think that's incredibly insulting to women. They might not be able to earn it that day, but with some extra schooling, etc, I'm sure they could earn a very good salary. They *choose* to stay home instead. Men make that choice much less frequently.

    And there is definitely a stigma attached to being a SAHD. Maybe you live in some magical universe where everybody accepts everything, but believe me, in most of the country, it's thought of as unusual.

    "So, by caring for children in the home, SAHMs and SAHDs aren't contributing to society?"

    That's why I said get out of the house AND contribute to society.

    "So, why would it make sense for YOU to quit and stay home, if there's nothing to do there?"

    I'm not really going to do this, but it makes slightly more sense for me to do it than him, considering I'll be the one who has to go through a pregnancy, which is not always the most amenable to work, then a birth, then a maternity leave, then nursing. All of this would be loads easier if I wasn't working, not so much if my husband weren't working. If he could somehow take over all those responsbilities, then maybe we could talk.

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  22. >>You think the women who stay home with their kids have otherwise NO CHANCE of earning close to as much as their husbands>>

    Wishing doesn't make it so.

    >>with some extra schooling, etc, I'm sure they could earn a very good salary>>

    Actually, among men and women with the exact same education, working in the exact same jobs, the average man still earns more than the average women. That's a fact. Surely this is not news?

    One reason is that employers fear that women may take maternity leave, or expect concessions once they return from maternity leave. Those are facts, too. And I know this because I am not only female, I am a prospective employer.

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  23. Fizzy, I wouldn't feel guilty about this. You have both obviously made sacrifices and have made things work (so far). I would hate to see you give up a career you enjoy and in which you have a lot invested. If you really wanted to quit, that would be a different story.

    This may sound kind of retro 1950's, but have you thought about little things you could do to make his commute more pleasant? For instance, you could give him some good books on CD or fill an iPod with his favorite music to listen to during the drive. Take his vehicle to be cleaned and washed for him every so often. When he gets home after a bad drive, make him a cup of hot tea or give him a back massage. Attach a cute family picture to the dashboard... etc, etc.

    That's probably what I'd do in this situation - maybe this would make a difference. In fact, I might do some of these things for my own hubby (he has a 50 min commute one way, *and* he does all the child drop-off and pick-up)... hmmmm...there's a thought! :-)

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  24. Outrider, as much as I admire your open-mindedness, I still disagree with your philosophy that SAHDs receive the same amount of respect and support as SAHMs. In fact, I think your indignation at Fizzy's remark that her husband would not consider being a SAHD shows as much. Instead of laughing off the comment, you chose to begin an argument, which I interpret as an attempt to showcase your liberal-mindedness and unique view.

    As you mentioned, many of the MIM bloggers have husbands who are SAHDs. Maybe one of them could guest post about any challenges they have faced?

    -jess

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  25. >>showcase your liberal-mindedness and unique view>>

    That's pretty funny, as I'm not very liberal at all. I'm quite certain you'd realize that if you read what I wrote very carefully. What I am is pragmatic.

    In general, if a dual-income married couple with children considers reducing to one income, it makes no sense for the higher earner to be the one who quits.

    Of course, if the higher earner intends to become pregnant, and doesn't plan to work during the latter weeks of pregnancy or return from maternity leave in a timely fashion, that is different. As an employer, I'd much prefer that someone in that situation quit.

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  26. Outrider: It's true that women earn less than men working the same jobs--about 10% less. So if a man was making 50K and the woman was making 45K, then should the choice automatically be for the woman to stay home? I doubt it. Obviously, there's more at play in the decision-making.

    gcs15: I did make my husband an MP3 CD of music. Apparently he doesn't like my taste in music! But I'm trying to at least have a good meal ready for him when he gets home.

    Jess: I think posting about the challenges of having a husband who's a SAHD is a good idea. I remember a post in the past about the awkwardness of the SAHD getting invited to a girls' night out.

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  27. >>It's true that women earn less than men working the same jobs--about 10% less.>>

    Source?

    Most of the articles I've seen state that women make somewhere between 20-30% less for equivalent work. Not something of which I approve, BTW.

    I have no doubt that other factors come into play. Bias and tradition are powerful influences on society.

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  28. Outrider, I want to speak up as someone who is thinking of going part-time for the sake of the family, despite also being a physician who is married to a (pretty open-minded) man who makes less than me.... Yes, my consideration of this decision is likely due to traditional stereotypes, as well as (as someone alluded to) the structure of "staying at home" (mom's groups, mom's day out, stroller-fit classes for moms, on & on). But it is what it is. I think that in some very liberal enclaves it may be "acceptable" for dads to SAH but it is a tough thing for a guy to swallow, for a number of reasons.

    Although my husband certainly makes major contributions to our marriage -- he does the majority of cooking & financial management -- he does not ENJOY being the primary childcare provider. Asking him to be a SAHM would asking him to be unhappy.

    Ultimately, the fact that I make more income has very little to do with the decisions that we're considering making. But I don't think that saying that my husband would "never" consider being a SAHD is offensive or closeminded. It is simply a statement about our personal reality, and our judgements about what would potentially make everyone in our family happy.

    Just some thoughts.

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  29. I think MLR has articulated my thoughts very well. I've seen the salary differences between men and women being anywhere from 5-20% depending on the job (and that's for the same exact job), but ultimately, it's not about a few percentage points. Nobody is going to make a huge decision like that over 5-10K of salary. How else would you explain so many female doctors with big salaries going parttime or taking off time to be with their kids? It has to be about what would make you happy. My husband couldn't be happy as a SAHD. Many women couldn't be happy as SAHMs, but I think more men feel that way than women.

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  30. >>How else would you explain so many female doctors with big salaries going parttime or taking off time to be with their kids?>>

    ...And that's also probably one major explanation (and justification) for women not being paid equally for equal work.

    Those choices affect other women, even those who don't make the same choices.

    As an aside, I, too, would be interested to hear how the SAHDs married to RH+ and Dr. Whoo? manage to "swallow" their roles. Obviously, it works for their families.

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  31. Though outrider articulated in some kind of argumentative way behind it,as a woman, she's just feeling unjustified for fizzy . correct me if it's not?

    Fizzy, I sense something is wrong when you use the word 'sacrifice' in marriage. When love have suddenly become a responsiblity, everything deemed as sacrifices.
    Ensuring everyone is happy is correct but inaccurate when you need other's happiness as a approval for your own happiness.

    It's hard and no means are perfect.But not sacrifices okay? But I would admire gcs15's idea more. Also, talk to your husband on it so he himself could contribute the idea of having a more enjoyable journey(dislike 'commute').

    Fizzy, don't put the whole world on your shoulders, it "spoiled" them to some extend.

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  32. McCoy: I sense that English is not your first language, but "sacrifice" is a word that is commmonly used to describe big compromises that are made within a family for the sake of a spouse or child. And I do believe it's something that's necessary in any couple. Show me a woman (or man) who has made no sacrifices for their marriage or family, and I'd say that a pretty selfish person.

    I think what the reason I took offense at Outrider's comments is that she acted like it was such an obvious solution for my husband to stay home, even though the reality is that the majority of men would never consider something like that and I wouldn't even want him to do that. A more realistic suggestion seems to be looking for a job closer to mine or something along those lines, rather than quitting and lying around the house all day doing nothing like a slug.

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  33. >>she acted like it was such an obvious solution for my husband to stay home>>

    No. I merely presented an option. I didn't think it was a particularly radical option; two of your fellow bloggers tipped their hats to their SAH husbands just this past week while discussing work-life balance.

    Since your daughter is in school full-time, your husband quitting is about as logical as you quitting your job at this time, especially given that not long ago you became extremely defensive when several people suggested you quit or change jobs after you complained about working one weekend (IIRC).

    In the meantime, I would feel no guilt at all about your husband's commute. You may not believe me, but his commute is very average for my region, and though you don't drive much, well, it's not as bad as you think it is. Both my other half and I drive a lot more for work purposes than your husband does (200-mile days aren't unusual). We chose vehicles that get good gas mileage and handle well in poor weather conditions. Nope, they're not sporty and definitely not status symbols, but we're road warriors and value our safety and fuel savings.

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  34. Ok, Fizzy and Outrider, you guys obviously don't see eye to eye on some issues. We can all agree to disagree, perhaps.

    This is a very complex issue, for sure. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of inequality in society today. Women do earn less than men. Women do choose to stay home more than men. Some/many men don't want to be stay-at-home dads. Some/many men would be just fine with it if it made sense for the family at that time. I certainly know men who fit into both categories.

    My own experience is more similar to Fizzy's opinions. My husband stayed home with our son after he was born up until I was done with residency and we moved. He stayed home for less than a year. Throughout that time, he was pretty miserable. He didn't have any other stay at home dads to hang out with, and spent way too much time on the internet. He said after he started working again that he would never stay home full time ever again.

    I earn more than he does (always have) and the income gap seems to increase despite him getting paid more, but to him, his self-worth and freedom is tied in to how much money he makes. He feels like I would restrict his spending too much if he didn't have his own income, and wants to have an illustrous career of his own that he can distinguish himself with. Of course we can discuss how our particular marriage dynamics plays into this, but we're not making a stay-at-home dad out of him again.

    So, we have both kids in daycare/preschool. My husband usually works from home, so he does most of the drop offs and pick ups, but otherwise I feel like the lion's share of traditional housework still falls on me - cooking, dishes, kids, laundry, although he does do a portion of all the above, as well as trash/recycling, bills.

    The fact of the matter is that at this point, traditional gender roles are often still at play here. Women do take time off for maternity leave and many women choose to work part time. This is indeed often one of the reasons used to justify a difference in pay.

    It may infuriate many people to know that in Singapore where I come from, at the time when I made my decision to study in the US, the Deputy Prime Minister had stated that the policy of the medical school in Singapore was to reserve 1/3 of its spots for women and 2/3 for men, because many women chose to work part time or stayed home after having kids, so it was a waste of money and resources to train these women.

    Maternity leave was also the reason I was not allowed to go on an international rotation during residency. I had applied for and got accepted to do this rotation, but lost that spot when I found out I was pregnant, despite the fact that there was at least one other co-resident who had an equal number of "fluff" rotations that I did. And of course he was a man, with no maternity leave.

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  35. Oh, Fizzy.... perhaps you should consider an afternoon talk show since you seem to have a talent for stirring up drama! (comment meant as joke, of course... must clarify in order not to stir up drama myself).

    Mr RH+ says he would be willing to write a post about his experiences as a SAHD to a MIM.

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  36. This argument is actually less drama filled than I expected when we started talking about men staying home. To me, it seems fairly obvious that most men feel pressured to be the breadwinner and tend not to be happy in a stay at home situation. We could argue about theoretical stuff, but it's just a fact about most men. It's interesting how much men and women do seem to fall into gender roles in a house the way Kelly said, even when the man is working at home. It's certainly true in our house: I do most of the childcare, cooking, dishes, laundry, and my husband does the paying of bills and the taxes. It's just the roles we both feel most comfortable with.

    I think Outrider and I simply have very different political and personal points of view, as well as different ways of expressing ourselves. Honestly, as soon as I saw she wrote a comment, I knew it was going to be something that would annoy me and I wasn't wrong.

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  37. I totally agree with gcs15.

    You are doing both the drop-off and the pick-up. So you are the one who is dashing around everyday attempting to show up on time, and then cutting out so you can make it to daycare before the witching hour.

    You may not think that's as stressful as a commute, all by yourself in a car with a radio that is sometimes more than an hour -- but it is.

    Take your credit where it is due as you make excuses and leave on time when everybody else is working late, and when you are lugging bags and stuff in and out of the sitters.

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  38. Fizzy, what i meant was if you started to feel it was a sacrifice rather than your own willingness, you won't be happy or satisfied. think of a solution which you Won't see it as a sacrifice .

    However, quitting job is not a wise solution for a commute problem,for sure. and it seems this has strayed far from the point.'sometines i feel like the only solution is to quit' ,frm the way you said it, you never really meant it. besides it's on the last sentence. Now it has degressed so much that subject of discussion has become 'to quit or not to'.
    Abstaining is not a long term solution when there are much simpler solutions out there. maybe the next comment should be the more productive one .

    hope that you take all conversation here as opinions and leave them here, rather than carrying them into your real life.

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  39. GingerB: You're totally right. There are few things more stressful than dragging a preschooler out of bed and getting her to school in the morning. It's gotten better, but last year I was driven to tears a few times in the morning. My daughter actually announced to her teacher last year that she made me cry, and the teacher later took me aside to give me pointers. In that sense, my "commute" takes an hour, because that's how long it takes from when I start to get her ready till when I arrive at work. That's why we both felt it was a fair trade.

    Unfortunately, that doesn't do much for the problem of my husband being so cranky when he gets home from a long commute.

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  40. While I think that each family has to find a solution that works for them, I disagree that being a stay at home parent is much less stigmatized for a woman than a man.

    Mr. Whoo says he will volunteer to write a guest post on how he feels about his current role...we are currently moving to a new house and doing the Christmas whirlwind, but I will have a post from him soon!

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  41. My husband commuted 90 miles each way for 2 yaers so I cauld have my dream job. It meant me doing most of the "dirty work" at home. The commute helped him show his committment at work so he has been promoted 4 times since then so now he has his dream job. Our gender roles are pretty fixed though. I work as many hours as he with as much pressure but still have the primary child care role. It works for us though so that is the important point for us.--Onc 15

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  42. As the ob/gyn wife of a SAHD who made the choice to stay home largely because I earn more than him I do acknowledge that there are still some gender issues out there. While we don't feel a "stigma" with him staying home, there aren't many "daddy and me" functions. Also, even with him at home there are still some household chores that fall to me because, well, I guess because they always have and I'm better at them. We share cooking/cleaning (and have a cleaning lady every other week), I do the majority of the meal planning and grocery shopping though and he does all the pet care and yard care/snow removal. Since I'm still nursing and miss our dude when I'm at work I do a large portion of the child care when I am home.

    I think the problem with your post is you saying you think "the only solution is for you to quit and stay home." I think that was likely being a bit over dramatic from the start. Obviously there ARE other solutions and you certainly have made it clear in previous posts that you would not quit your job. I would also argue that there are worse things than a TWO HOUR commute.

    I also feel you are being a bit harsh on people who choose to stay home when you imply that it would equate to "rather than quitting and lying around the house all day doing nothing like a slug". Even with a children in school there can be a lot more to managing a household than lying around all day...

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  43. Ob doc: I didn't say the "only solution" was to stay home. I mean, I'm sure there have been times in your life when you've gotten discouraged with something and said, "Sometimes I think I should just quit." I was being a little melodramatic, yes, but I don't think the implication was that I thought it was the only solution. Just that sometimes it seems like the easiest solution, which can be tempting.

    Also, I don't think everyone who stays home lies around the house doing nothing all day like a slug. But that's exactly what my husband would do. I know this because that's what did most days when he was in grad school, before we had kids, and it was depressing for all of us. But just being practical, there really isn't a hell of a lot to do in our household, especially since I enjoy cooking and he doesn't. We live in a small apartment and have no pets, so without a kid to take care of, there honestly isn't much to do. We don't even have a driveway to shovel or a yard to care for.

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