I will apologize up front for the randomness of this share, but after seeing some things online recently, this is how my thoughts are, random. After being a stay at home father (SAHD) for the last 2-½ years I have had some time to think about the role of the man in the family dynamics.
FATHER………What is a true definition? What role does he or SHOULD he have? “You must not have been able to get a job since you are home with the kids.” “Stay at home dad, must be nice to do nothing all day.” Are you okay with your wife making the money for the family?” “How do you do it all day?”
“Are you currently employed?” Yes I am. “Where do you work?” At home. “What do you do from home?” Whatever my wife and kids need me to do. “So you don’t work then sir?” I am a Stay At Home Dad, employed by the four most important people in my life (outside of the two who brought me into it) and I have a lot of jobs, and I don’t want to bore you with all of the details. Now….. Before you think I went on a rage on some poor lady, these are my thoughts every time I get asked about work. Don’t treat it like it is a disease or you poor man. I CHOSE this life and if I did not love it, I would not be doing it. It is okay to be jealous of my career choice, but before you decide to consider the easiness of my day, walk in my flip flops while attempting my to do lists
Although there are more SAHDs out there, that doesn't mean there won't be some people who don't understand the concept of us staying home while our wife goes to the office each day. There are people out there that when they see a man staying home with his kids, they automatically think, “he's an unemployed loser.” You have to be comfortable with your decision and not let it get to you." So whether it was a financial move or a lifestyle change, hold your head up high and let everyone know you're happy being Mr. Mom A STAY AT HOME DAD. Taking care of you child does not make you a babysitter or Mr. Mom…..it makes you a FATHER.
I chose to leave one of the most honorable and underappreciated careers as a teacher, to become a SAHD. I LOVE IT!!!!! Sure I miss the adult conversations throughout the day, but not many people can say that they see their children more than the kid’s daycare providers and teachers do…When your child is sick and you need to find a way to get them to the doctor and home, all while trying to figure out how you are going to get away from work….. I don’t have that problem…..
The decision to stay home with the kids isn't seen as a failure of our responsibilities but as a lifestyle choice that makes sense in an era when 40 percent of wives out-earn their husbands and men are beginning to embrace a new meaning of success that places a premium on fulfillment, not money and status. According to an article in the Washington Post from June 2014: “The new Pew Research Center report found that in 1989, only 5 percent of the 1.1 million at-home fathers said they were home to be primary caregivers. That share has increased four-fold now to 21 percent, a sign not only of the power of economics in reshaping traditional family structures, but of shifting gender norms.”
I am amazed at our society on multiple levels. We are making a huge push for equal rights regarding gay marriage, yet we are turning down legislation that would allow men the same rights as women when it comes to public changing tables. What happens to the male couple that adopts a baby and are out in a public establishment with a dirty diaper? How does our society support one and not the other?
While reading the latest TIME Magazine, I came across the article Financial Habits of Happy Stay-At-Home Parents. The article opens with this: “Next time you complain about your 40-hour workweek, consider this: The average stay-at-home mom works more than double that rate —94 hours per week, to be exact. Her duties include (but are not limited to) cleaning house, cooking, teaching, behavior management, and laundry. For this, in theory, she should earn close to $113,000 per year, according to researchers at Salary.com. The same can be said for the growing number of stay-at-home dads.”
Upon observing others in public and paying attention to social media, I feel that the current father wishes they could spend more time with their kids, but cannot due to work, travel sports, and other commitments. The reality is very simple… You make your own decisions no matter what the situation. If your employer will not let you have some time away to be with your kids, is your employer worth working for?
If you are too busy to spend quality time with your kids because of travel sport’s schedules, quit writing the checks for them to play. How much damage would you do to your kid if you told them they could not play travel sports for 1 year, and instead you were going to take a couple of family trips? How much money are you investing for your child to play with the latest and greatest sports club, all the while running down their bodies at an early age, with the denial realization that they will not be playing college sports, let alone professionally.
Do your other commitments really get in the way of quality time with your kids? What is more important than your own kids? I am a firm believer that in our society (as in shambles as it seems as times), you should have to pass a competency test to procreate. If you cannot take care of yourself, they why should we allow you to ruin somebody else’s life? Why bail out the people who keep having kids even though they cannot provide for them? The more kids you have in welfare, the more support our government will give you… a little ass backwards if you ask me.
Whether you chose to bring the child into the world or not, your life has now changed because there is someone else in your life that needs you more than you. Don’t be the man who looks back and realizes you missed too much because you had “other” things to do. Want to lose your “man card”, then keep missing the important time with your kids. Want to always play the winning hand with your kids, be a FATHER.