It's craziness, but it's our kind of craziness.
I have a secret to tell: [Deep breath]… I'm transgender…
OK, not really… not literally anyway. I am, however, something metaphorically similar: I look like a burned-out working dad, but am actually an enthusiastic stay-at-home mom. And much like other types of closeted individuals, I have found that living a life that's counter to my being causes anxiety and unhappiness. My wife has experienced much the same anxiety and unhappiness being a stay-at-home mom.
So, after much discussion, we've decided I should quit my job… and not look for another for "a while". As of 5:00pm-ish on May 31st, I will no longer be employed… by anyone. I'm going to try out being a full-time stay-at-home dad and domestic goddess while my wife goes to school and does some part-time major-related work (at a pharmacy). We also want to homeschool our daughter (more on that in a future update, I'm sure), and this will serve as a start for that.
So far, this doesn't seem so crazy. So what if the man stays home with the kids? This isn't 1952: it's 2012. OK, but this is where the crazy part comes in: For income, we plan to live off of some savings for a bit (we have "enough", thanks for not asking!). After "a while", I will probably take some part-time and/or short-term contract jobs to supplement (and hopefully replenish) the savings, but there's no planned date for now. I know it's unorthodox to become voluntarily unemployed when your family has no other source of income, and it seems crazy… and it probably is, but we've come to the conclusion it's where we want to be. We were both tired of waiting for the mythical day (retirement? lottery? Mayan apocalypse?) when all this working stuff would enable us to be in a situation we like, so instead of waiting and waiting and letting our daughter be half grown up, we decided to change it now.
This, of course, means things will be tight for a while, but I'm good with living cheaply and simply, and my current fat paycheck was never really my goal. Don't get me wrong: I do like being able to buy quality food without worrying about the cost too much, and I like being able to buy beer that isn't advertized during monster truck rallies, but we'll still get by and eat well, and obviously all that uncheap food and beer has not been able to compensate for everything else up till now… C'est la vie.
And if this experiment fails and I need to go back to work full-time, then that option is always available to me (cause it's never too late to work nine-to-five: thanks KISS!). On the other hand, I will not have the option being a stay-at-home dad to my daughter at this age again. Carpe diem, and all that jazz.
So sure, it's craziness, but it's our kind of craziness.
Now, reread this whole thing with this song playing in the background: