Funny how many men react to me when I tell them I stay at home with Emma….. The older men are especially puzzled. I guess I would have felt the same way some years ago.
It seems like the old way of thinking, that the man was the provider and the woman reared the children, is alive and well today. Over the last couple of years, when I have been introduced to someone new I have been greeted with mixed reactions. It seems that virtually every woman who I have met that was told that I stay at home with my daughter has reacted overwhelmingly in a positive manner. They all say that it is a great thing for my daughter to have me there, etc…..
On the other hand, most of the men seem to react with a puzzled bewilderment like I am an alien or that there is something wrong here. I laugh to myself and in the back of my competitive mind I think that I am more man than these guys could ever be and that I’d like to get them in an athletic competition or boxing ring, etc…… In all seriousness, after their initial reaction they tell me that it is great, etc… In the back of their minds, I suspect, they think I am crazy. All I can say is that if they tried staying at home like this they would not be able to handle it and would definitely think I was crazy!
I have heard of comments from ignorant and clueless people that it is easy to stay at home all day and watch soaps. I have heard similar comments saying that I am wasting my life by changing diapers all day. I don’t know about you but the goofs that actually believe this must not have had a great childhood or great father figures. Now, to be fair to the men I have dealt with, the clueless and ignorant fellas that say these stupid things are mostly the cocky, young tough guys out there that believe that spending so much time with their child is somehow a detriment to their manhood. They haven’t yet learned what is truly important in life.
As for what I believe, I believe that a father should spend as much time with his child as possible whether he works full time or not. I don’t mean just spending time with them as being in the same room with them but spending quality, loving time with them by interacting with, talking to, teaching, and playing with them.
An excuse that I have heard from fathers is that they are too tired when they come home from work. Well, in my opinion that is hogwash(I have to keep it clean). As all mothers and fathers that stay home with their little ones can attest, going to work would sometimes be like a vacation! It is not so much the physical part of it but the mental part as well. It is much easier to be dealing with an unruly drunk person or chasing armed suspects as a police officer than to deal with a tired and very cranky 2 year old!
To elaborate a little more, when I am introduced to new people who ask what I do I tell them in order of importance. I first tell them that I stay at home with Emma, I then tell them that I have several businesses. I don’t tell them the other things that I work on such as several blogs, a book, several inventions, and online investing among other things. I am very tempted to do so as the old school way of thinking is partly in me too. Saying that I am a stay at home dad doesn’t seem to be enough initially. I know that even now when I hear that a guy stays at home with the kids my first reaction is to think that this guy is a dork or a wimp.
In this day and age, roles have been somewhat reversed. Women make more than the man in many cases. Would it make more sense for the man who makes half what the woman makes stay working and the woman quit? Maybe in some cases, especially if the man is a complete non-fathering, bad role model type. It is a difficult choice, one that all potential stay at home dads should consider with extreme diligence.