When Wayne Floegel and Jay Fisher weren’t recently on the campaign trail running for office in the Naperville area, they were at home caring for their children.
The concept of the stay-at-home dad is still foreign to some, but it’s more popular each year.
According to a recent survey from Time Magazine, one in five men with children stay at home. Floegel and Fisher wouldn’t have it any other way, relishing the chance to experience their children’s formative years.
“One of the benefits of staying home with the kids is that you get a lot of interaction,” said Fisher, who ran for District 203 Board of Education. “[I] probably have a deeper relationship my kids than most fathers do because I’m the one that’s with them a lot.”
“It’s not a chore for me— it’s a blessing,” said Floegel, who ran for Naperville City Council. “We’ve been very blessed and I absolutely love it.”
According to CareerBuilder.com, 30-to-50 percent of men have considered staying home for their children. But Floegel and Fisher say it’s not just a walk in the park.
“It’s not made for everyone. I don’t think everyone can stay home—men or women. It will drive them batty,” said Floegel. “It’s an awesome experience and hopefully my kids are going to take a lot away from it.”
Floegel and Fisher stress that the choice is economical and shouldn’t be made on a whim.
“My wife and I looked at what the expenses were to have two kids in daycare, in addition to the commuting and other job expenses,” said Fisher.
At the time, Fisher’s wife made more money. They decided that the second income wasn’t worth the extra expenses, and one parent should stay at home.
If it’s the dad that stays back, they might have to deal with some of the negative connotations that go along with the full-time job.
“You get kind of that head tilt, like, ‘Oh, you stay home,’” said Floegel. “So you know, you do kind of stand out as a male on the playground with your kids, but everyone is pretty nice from that point.”
“Some of the teachers say to ask your Moms to sign this thing, and I say, ‘My Mom wouldn’t sign this, that would be my dad!’” said one of Fisher’s sons, Jacob.
Neither candidate won their respective election race, and while they want to get back into the professional world down the line, for now they’re back in the house—a place they’re comfortable and excited to be involved with.
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