Today, it's possible to create your own lifestyle based on your financial resources. You don't have to follow the “traditional” path.
This blog post was written as part of a sponsored program for State Farm®. All views expressed are entirely my own and were not influenced or directed by State Farm.
After my son was born, my then-husband was the primary caregiver for 18 months. Even when he was no longer the primary caregiver, he still spent a large portion of his time filling roles that we traditionally consider “women's work.” He's not the only one who has considered an alternative path.
With higher numbers of women in the workforce and earning more, and with access to more earning opportunities due to the rise of the Internet, it's possible for families to make lifestyle choices that fit them best, using their financial resources in new ways.
From 1989 to 2012, the number of stay-at-home dads almost doubled, according to the Pew Research Center. One of the more interesting points related to this data is the fact that 21% of those stay-at-home dads gave their primary reason for staying home as caring for home and family in 2010, as opposed to 5% stating that as a reason in 1989.
Financial Resources and Creating Your Preferred Lifestyle
The shift toward more stay-at-home dads is one that reflects changes in our options and preferences as a society. We have more options to plan our lives along the lines we want, rather than following a prescribed formula.
I had a higher earning potential when my husband and I married (and subsequently had a child), and he liked the idea of building my career and taking advantage of that earning power while he took care of things at home. Eventually, I was able to build a work-at-home business and stay home, but I remained the primary breadwinner. On top of that, my earnings meant that, instead of following his original plan of getting his MBA and working in a traditional business environment, my husband had the freedom to choose the university teaching path.
Thanks to our financial resources, technology, and the right money tools, we could create our own lifestyle, based on our own values and priorities. Many people in our very traditional community looked at us askance, but I liked that my husband had school breaks when my son did and that he was able to help with household chores and we could a lot of things we wouldn't have been able to do otherwise.
The stay-at-home dads I've talked to love that they can create the lifestyle they want because of their financial resources and how those resources are deployed. Whether both partners work from home, or whether one works outside the home while the other works from home, or whether it?s a strictly one-income home, the common driver seems to be freedom and flexibility.
I know many men who wish they could stay home with their kids, and participate more in activities. Some of them feel trapped by cultural expectations or financial realities. The good news is that it is possible. We have access to new ways of making money, and new values that allow us to live on our own terms.
We live in a great time where we can use our financial resources creatively to design lifestyles that we enjoy, and men benefit from that as well as women. As Father's Day approaches, it's a good time to recognize the great men in our lives. Whether they stay at home, or whether they work 60 hours a week outside the home (or do anything in between), they are making choices so their families can live better lives.
How are you creating your own desired lifestyle?