Saturday, March 21, 2009


I don't remember where I saw it, and really, it doesn't matter. But I did see a blogging father describe himself as a WAHD, a Work At Home Dad, and it got me thinking.

Most fathers who stay home with children refer to themselves as SAHDs, Stay At Home Dads, and I have to believe most of them see their time with the children as important work.

What I'm trying to say is that it seemed a bit--I don't know--like he was making himself look better than those fathers who don't make money working from home.

But doesn't that defeat the whole notion of the change we're (slowly) embodying?

By choosing to stay home with our son while my wife goes to work, I already silently declare that staying at home with my baby and giving him my constant love (and occasional frustration) is just as important to our family and to our society as if I were out there, in some call-center.

And if the blogger who describes himself as a WAHD agrees with me and sees his time at home as important work, then why does he feel the need to single himself out as a WAHD rather than as a mere SAHD?

Maybe I'm reading too much into it. Not sure.


  1. Hmm...I'm not sure either. Is he one of those bloggers that makes money off his site and his time spent working on it at home is emailing people and working out giveaways and ads and yadda yadda yadda? Because I think I would count that as working from home. But I'm primarily a stay home parent and I refer to my activities at home with the kids as what I do as a SAHM, and my other job, the one I get paid money and pay taxes on as "work." Even though being home with the kids is plenty of workl

  2. Sounds like the WAHD has a case of egoworthybroaditis..
    I know many working moms that scoff at those of us that stay home..I know SAHD's are treated far worse then us SAHM's, but it all boils down to ego..

    I would read into it at the same level as you..and I do know some SAHD's..never heard of a WAHD before until you.

  3. WAHD/SAHD - they are both relatively new concepts, aren't they? Even SAHM/WAHM are new. When was the last time you heard a woman say "I'm a housewife"? I understand that we shouldn't devalue the role of the SAHD - anyone who puts in a 12-14 hour shift 7 days a week raising what we hope will be decent citizens is working more than full time. But there are distinctions. My husband works from home b/c he owns his biz, so he would be a WAHD. I'm at home too. It's nice to have him here, I'm spoiled that I often have an extra set of hands, that I can go out when the baby naps, that he can run to the school to p/u a sick kid or be here when the cable company might show up. But he is still our primary breadwinner and works on his biz just as much as when he worked out of the house. During his business hours, if I need to go out kid-free, I get a babysitter. He's a WAHD, but during his business hours the kids are not his primary job. I don't know about dads who work at home and have full kid duties at the same time. I don't know how anybody can be productive at a business while taking care of people who need something every minute. We are living in a time when technology is allowing us more freedom to work from home and also when "traditional" roles are being dismantled (which may scare a lot of people, but they'll just have to get over it). I think a lot of us wear many different hats, but still often have to give a short-hand description of our "situation" so we might choose the label that works best, even if it doesn't say it all.

  4. Personally, I call myself a "homemaker," like on game shows from the 1970s.

    I know a lot of "stay-at-home dads" who work (for money) from home in one way or another, though. I think it's self-fulfilling: if you think of yourself as a consultant who works from a home office and watches the kids at the same time you are (apart from crazy) a WAHD. If you think of your primary function as keeping the house and the kids and the family together (even if you make a little money on the side from some house-based work) then call yourself a SAHD.

  5. I'm not a SAHD or a WAHD, but I don't understand the need to have both declarations...

    I'm guessing one makes money while staying home and the other does not.

    If I was a SAHD and wanted to become a WAHD it would be very tough. In my short experience as a Dad I know that the only 100% free time that I have during the day is nap time...and that is only a couple hours.

    Not sure how much money you can make in two or three hours a day???

    Good thought provoking post!

  6. I think it depends on whether one considers homemaking to be one's primary occupation (stay at home) or whether one considers home to be the location of one's career (work at home). Both are valuable contributions, but not exactly the same thing. It's not a good thing to get into a competition about, either.

  7. That's the new trend now. For me I am a SAHD where I take care of my daughter and watch her grow everyday. I would love to add your blog on my list. Hope you can visit my site too.

  8. MommyK, staying home with this guy is fun, but it's also really hard work, And I've never had a boss who yelled at me as much as he does. But like most people, I've been programmed to see work as something different, and I'm in the process of re-educating myself. And I think the WAHD just sees things like I used to see them. Or maybe he's ashamed and wants people to know he's not just one of them guys who stay home and not even make any money? Maybe I'm being too hard on him.

    Crustybeef, you know, it's ego, but it's also about becoming a SAH from a different direction, kinda, because men are moving from the public to the private world, and women go the opposite way. Which is not saying women have it any easier than men (even if my progressive lefty Liberal feminist friends think it's funny to call me Mr. Mom). I'm sure some working women look down at women who choose to stay home, while they regard men who stay home as progressive.

    Flavoredmom, honestly I don't remember the particular case where I saw that WAHD. It could have been someone who puts Google Ads on his blog and calls himself a working man, or it could have been someone who just takes care of kids but calls himself a WAHD because he's trying to make a point (although I don't think that was the case), and it could have been something like what you describe (which sounds like heaven to me right now), in which case it would make a lot of sense, but I think it's a rare situation. Unfortunately. I certainly didn't mean my argument to go against those who make money while living at home.

    Doodaddy, in the first two months I actually did some data-entry work from home. It was mindless, and the guy didn't need much, so it was perfect. I had no idea things were going to change so quickly. Now I can't even check my email without him emptying his dresser drawers and throwing everything on the floor. (or handing it to me, because he's helpful).

    Jared, thanks. Even when he sleeps, it usually takes me about an hour to stop hearing my heartbeats through my brain. He can be a little much sometimes.

    Elizabeth, it's just that in my head, at least, I felt the guy who described himself as a WAHD was consciously distancing himself from father who stay at home and don't make money. But it could be just because of my own insecurities.

    Donald, thank you (and thanks for the links. I added you too).

  9. I know in my house I am the SAHM and my husband in the worker. BUT.....the type of job he has allows him to work from home about 75% of the time. Some days he works all day long like if he were at an office and we only see him for lunch and then at the end of his work day. While other days he is pretty dead at work and will be able to come up and spend time with Jacob and I. He isn't a WAHD but he kinda has the best of both worlds. He loves his job and can be at home and what better way to take a work break than to come up and see your wife and child! Hopefully this will be able to stay this way for a long time, especially since we are expecting child #2 in August! I will definitely need those work breaks with two little ones!

  10. Congratulations, first of all. (and good luck).

    I see from your comment and from a few others that there's a chance I overreacted. Like I wrote above, I believe there are two possibilities: either the WAHD was distancing himself from those who stay at home and not make money, or I have projected my own insecurities about my role as a SAHD.

    These are new frontiers, after all. We're allowed to be confused.

  11. Hello!
    "Most fathers who stay home with children refer to themselves as SAHDs, Stay At Home Dads, and I have to believe most of them see their time with the children as important work." This is very wrong. You're the father of the child and that's your problem to be with him ... but not like not working.
    Good luck!
    IT outsourcing

  12. Children needs time to be given by both the parents for his or her betterment....

  13. I personally believe that father need to spend time with the children if not as much as mother than as much as he could for the betterment of the child...

  14. Hey guys! I am a SAHM with an amazing opportunity for anyone interested! If you have your own business, we provide tools necessary to make your business more effective. If you're looking for a job, this company will hire you immediately! It is free to join! Good luck to you all! Please visit: for more information!



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