Common Misconceptions About Stay at Home Dads
In today’s day and age, child care if off the wall expensive. I don’t fault them for charging that much at all. I mean, I have seen my kids in action. They are well worth the cost of childcare. The simple problem is I have 4 at home, and they each have multiple medical needs that require doctors visits. Some of them have more than one doctor they have to see regularly.
Ashlee holds a full time job that requires her to work insane hours. She’s a paramedic. It’s her passion; her dream come true. She went through half a decade to achieve this goal, and she’s very good at it.
I; however, am a stay at home dad. It’s hard for me to say sometimes. But there it is. I don’t say it out loud because other men in around automatically look down on you from the get go without looking into your life. There are several misconceptions about stay at home fathers at least in my case. Yes, I do know there are some dead beat dads out there who slump on the couch while getting spoon fed. Let’s assume they aren’t included in any of this article. I don’t consider them real dads until they contribute to the family.
Stay at Home Dads Are Lazy
Mothers, you know what it takes to raise a family. The kids run rampant all over the house. Toys get strung right and left. The fridge is raided with wrappers never quite making it to the trash can. Laundry is a never ending Hell. Pets beg for attention, and stomachs growl unceasingly. A true stay at home dad has to tend to all these areas of life.
I have four children. They try to help, but two are too young, and two are closing in on those teenage years where lifting your legs up for someone to run a vacuum under you is almost too hard of work.
Imagine what my laundry room looks like. Well, don’t look right now, because I have worked double time, and you’d think I was a super dad. Usually there is a mountain of clothes down there even though I wash two loads every day. Six people go through a lot of clothes. I know most people have a laundry day, but if I waited for it, I’d die of exhaustion.
While my wife is at work, I have to be sure to hit up each appointment, ballgame, practice, and parent meeting at school. She is home for some of these things, but not everything can work around her schedule.
Stay at Home Dad’s Don’t Contribute Financially
I don’t have a full-time job. I’ve said that. But I do work. Other stay at home dads do as well when circumstances allow. I personally work for… my mother…(Go ahead and laugh) as an in-home care nurse 2 hours a day every day. I can bring my kids along with me. They play in their designated toy area while I attend to the days errands/chores. I also run my own photography business in outside settings. They come along on those adventures as well. Sometimes they are even an asset when I’m having extra difficulty connecting to a client’s child.
I don’t do either on a full-time basis due to the extra amount of needs my own children have, but I do what I can to make sure ends meet at home.
Stay at Home Dads Do So because They Can’t Hold a Job
In cases of disability, this may be true. But in my case, I held back so that my wife could chase her dream. Working in the emergency medical field is quite the calling. It’s stressful, and it takes a true hero to be able to survive in it. You have to truly care. I wanted her to succeed.
I’ll get real with you. I do know what I bring to the table at home, but I let society get to me. I start feeling like a loser. I try to make sure most of the extra money goes to her pocket because she’s the one working for it. I try to put my money toward household needs so that her money can go to luxuries that she deserves. I simply don’t want to feel like a free-loader.
This is where the feeling ashamed comes in when I’m around other men. I like to talk up my small jobs like they are something important. As important as it is to me that my children get the care and love they deserve, it’s still hard to admit that to society.
It was hard admitting it to my children as well. As much as I want to be there for them, I want them proud of me as well. I finally got that this last month. My children finally attribute a job title to me. “My dad is a blogger.” They say with pride.
This is just my own situation. Every situation is different. Don’t simply assume the workforce doesn’t want them.
Stay at Home Fathers are Takers
I’m home so that my wife can succeed. Her being happy makes me happy. I’m home so that my kids can succeed. They need help with their homework. They need social interaction. When my wife gets home from standing on her feet for 24 hours, I make sure those feet are rubbed. When she has eaten microwaved food all week, I make sure she gets a sit down meal with the whole family.
If a stay at home dad is actually being a stay at home dad, he is anything but a taker. Just because he’s home doesn’t mean he’s not a hard worker. It doesn’t mean that things aren’t being taken care of. That’s why he’s home. Because he wants to give to the family any way he can.
Society, the next time you see a stay at home dad walking down the street, don’t make assumptions. Take the time to get to know them. Notice they sacrifices they are making for their family. Maybe give them a little break, or a pat on the back to let them know they are appreciated. For some stay at home dads, it’s one of the hardest jobs they’ve ever had. But don’t feel sorry for them either. Though it may be hard, it is also one of the most rewarding jobs they could ever imagine having.
My hat is off to you stay at home fathers all over the world. You are appreciated. You are doing a good job. Drink a cup of coffee, and carry on being awesome.