Stay-at-Home Father: Fulfilling Time-Bound Positive Commandments


I know women are exempt from time-bound commandments in part because of the need to provide childcare. But what about a man who is the primary caregiver for his children?
My situation is that I am a stay-at-home dad and I probably will be for many years to come. My wife has a very demanding job where she is away from home for as many as 14 hours a day. After having our first baby recently, she had some maternity leave and this freed me up some time to do things including davening. Now she is back at work and except on weekends, I find davening at the proper time practically impossible. Childcare is much more of a responsibility than I ever imagined. It’s much harder work than the full time job I had before our daughter was born.
Even before we conceived, my wife wanted me to quit my job to be a stay-at-home dad as soon as we had children. She made it clear to me that she prefers work to childcare, and I love children, so it is a good arrangement. I gave my notice two months before the baby was born and stopped working six weeks before her birth. I’m glad I did because I was so busy preparing for fatherhood even before she was born. Now that I am my daughter’s primary caregiver, I literally have no free time except maybe a little on weekends.
This is just the beginning. We want to have more children in the future. This puts me in the position of being primary caregiver of the children for decades to come. I will always be the one who feeds them, changes their diapers, does the laundry and housework, and takes them where they need to go. Which means I can’t see myself being able to daven at the proper time as hard as I might try. I do very much love what I am doing, but I am feeling guilty about not davening.



  1. First, please accept my “Mazal Tov” on the birth of your little princess! May she grow to be a source of immeasurable nachas to you and your wife.

    I am not familiar with a Halachic leniency that exempts a man from performing the time-bound Positive Mitzvahs – even if he is the primary caregiver for the children. However, it might be possible that an acknowledged expert in these Halachos might be able to express a leniency for some things. Personally, I think that the best person to ask is Rav Osher Weiss. Rav Osher Weiss is one of the most influential Poskim in our generation. He speaks English, Hebrew and Yiddish fluently, is warm and compassionate, and is a world recognized authority on all facets of Jewish Law. Rav Osher Weiss can be reached through

    Best wishes from the Team