Kid Stuff

At Home With Dad

chatting with four local stay-at-home fathers

Jenna Kulasiewicz, photos by Andrea Paulseth |

Stay at home dads often go unrecognized without any kind of dad clubs or dad circles, but that doesn’t stop them. Stay at home dads (SAHDs) are having fun and working hard right here in our neighborhoods. Here are just a few local examples:

Reid Sollberger Rocks
    Full-time stay at home daddy Reid Sollberger loves being home with his (almost) 4-year-old daughter and 18-month-old son. After Reid’s wife got a promotion, the couple did the math and they realized Reid’s income and daycare expenses would almost be a wash.

They made the decision that Reid would stay home with their children. His favorite time of the day is “when my son is napping and I can devote all my attention to my daughter, talking to her, asking her questions, and reading to her.”

While Reid admits that sometimes it’s tough, when he feels the need for adult contact he will either log on to Facebook, hit a playgroup, or if he really needs to hear an adult’s voice Reid confesses, “I’ll listen to Sports Talk on headphones. … If we’re sitting down for a snack, sometimes I let them listen. I don’t think they pay attention very well, but if they’re able to make a convincing argument for abolishing the BCS and going to a playoff for college football, maybe I will tone it down.”

Stuart Sandler Sails
    Stuart Sandler and his wife have executed the perfect situation. As self-employed parents they share the gift of taking care of their children. They strive together to take care of their three children, 6, 4, and 10 months, because they “both want to give the kids every opportunity to be the best people they can become, so we both share the responsibility of raising them equally, sometimes it’s more on mom, and sometimes it’s more on dad.”

The thing that Stuart enjoys the most about being home with his children is, “Giving them the kind of childhood I would have wanted for myself. I really like the kind of relationship I’m developing with my children and them wanting to share important things with me like, ‘Dad, I can spell CAT, C - A - T, CAT!’”

Dan Strehlau Dives In
    A full time SAHD, Dan Strehlau decided to stay home with his children when his first son was born premature – at seven months. Dan has fun taking his children (ages 5 and 2) to places like the Family Resource Center, the library, an indoor sports center, and our area’s local parks. His only frustration?

“No dad’s clubs. Mom’s are not really comfortable with me being the only guy in all-female playgroups. The one place this attitude was different was at the (Eau Claire) Family Resource Center. The leaders of the playgroups made sure I was comfortable and those efforts allowed the other moms to be comfortable with me being there.”

Mighty Mike Paul
    Part-time SAHD, Mike Paul, chose to stay home because he did not want to have any regrets later on in life.

“I’m wise enough to realize that I am really lucky to see the kids grow up right before my eyes.”

Mike recently bought a Blackberry to optimize his availability to customers at his discount real estate company. Because of this technology, Mike shared, “I am able to return emails anytime I have a few spare seconds. … Now I can stay connected with grown-ups no matter what is going on or where I am. Before I got the Blackberry, I was always worried about what I was missing in my grownup world. Now, for better or for worse, I am better informed.”

IMAGES: Local stay at home dad Reid Sollberger and his kids Maggie (4 years) and Henry (12 months).