He Wants to Stay Home

Q:My wife is the breadwinner in our family. She just got a significant promotion, while I'm stuck in a job with little chance for advancement in a field I don't even like. Her new raise would allow me to stay home and help raise our kids, which I would prefer to my current job, but I know I'll take a lot of teasing from my (very traditional) family. How do I navigate this? --Ted, 32

Dr. Anna: It probably goes without saying, but talk to you wife first. If both of you agree that this is what will be best for your family, then go for it. How you talk about this with friends and family can help frame the discussion. Anchor your decision in your values—if you feel that having a parent at home with your children will help your family, then frame it up that way. Be excited and grateful for this opportunity. Anyone who teases a dad for jumping on the chance to spend more time with his children and family probably has their own issues to work out. You do what feels right for you and let everyone else sort out their own problems on their own.

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