What if you were the schoolteacher, and your wife was some executive, earning twice as much as you? Would you be equally adament that you be the one to take a year off to spend time with the child?
In that case I think it would be pretty nice to stay at home while my wife brought home the money. Being a teacher would make it easy to go back to work when I was ready as well, due to the structure of the school year.
Is this really just about the money, or are there gender stereotypes and biases at play here?
In this case, it is about the money. I wont deny my own personal bias against stay-at-home dads or women who put a career ahead of their family. In the face of bias, its best to try to eliminate all personal feelings and look at the situation logically. Logic says it would be absurd for me to stay at home while my wife worked.
As for it "not working" for your situation, we're only talking about 1 year here, right? Are you really saying that your household could not survive on your wife's income for even a single year? Do you not have an emergency fund? Could your household finances not recover if you were to go back to work after taking the year of paternity leave? If your finances are really so tight, should you really even be considering having children at all?
We have plenty of emergency savings, but going without my income for an entire year would be tough at the least. We might be able to scrape by, but plans for eliminating student loan debt and auto loan debt, as well continuing to fund retirement plans the same amount that is being funded now would have to go away. Our finances would recov er once I was back at work, yes, but we would still lose out on potentially tens of thousands of dollarsof both income and interest.