Celebrating Westchester's Stay-at-Home Dads

WM takes a moment to celebrate America’s domestic trendsetters.


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With Father’s Day upon us, we thought we’d pay tribute to those forward-thinking yet unsung heroes of the household: stay-at-home dads. We asked two such Mr. Moms — who had the guts to flip the traditional domestic script — to share their experiences with us.

Brian Jaccoma, Rye Brook
Family: spouse Sharon; daughter Olivia, 15; and son Griffin, 8

How do you compare this domestic experience with what you were raised to believe?

Brian: It’s very different from what I grew up with. But times are changing: Women are earning as much as men — more, in many cases. That’s a great thing.

How did you and your significant other make the decision to have this particular arrangement? 

Brian: About 15 years ago, when Olivia was about to be born, we were both working full-time. I was a TV producer and owned two retail stores for high-end collectables. I’d just finished consulting for a tiny startup, even though I was planning to do the same thing. That unknown company was eBay!, so when an offer to sell my businesses came along, I jumped at the chance!

What is the biggest joy about your current domestic role? 

Brian: When my wife gets home from a hard day’s work and the kids are happy, fed, and in PJs. Homework is done and checked. The house is spotless (okay, fairly clean), and dinner is on the table. The smile on her face makes it all worth it.

Do you ever feel self-conscious, and if so, when does that arise? 

Brian: Even as a successful, self-assured man, sitting in a room with 20 or 30 Westchester moms was a bit weird. But after a few classes at the Rye Reading Room, I cleared my throat and boldly said: “Umm… I think it’s politically correct to say the mommies and daddies on the bus go up and down!” which helped break the ice and got most of the room smiling.

What do you miss the most about the former, more traditional gender role you had before accepting this relatively unorthodox role?

Brian: Well, I certainly don’t miss commuting to Manhattan. Come to think of it, I don’t really miss my former role much at all.

Christopher Caulfield, Croton-on-Hudson
Family: spouse Hope; daughter Piper, 11; son Declan, 11; and son Patrick, 8

Are you worried that this will negatively impact any outside-the-home career aspiration you may have? 

Chris: I love being my own boss. Once you have this type of freedom, it’s hard to go back to the structure of corporate America.

What did this arrangement make you discover about yourself that surprised you?

Chris: How organized I can be when I need to.

What is the biggest joy about your current domestic role? 

Chris: Being there as my kids grew up and learned things like walking and talking, along with the flexibility to create a work schedule so that I can be at their school events, et cetera.

What do you miss the most about the former, more traditional gender role you had before accepting this relatively unorthodox role?

Chris:  I come from a family where everyone chipped in and both of my parents worked, so there were no traditional roles. Taking care of family is what’s essential.

(Some answers were edited for brevity.)

 

 

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