Acceptance — the latest stage of being a dad

I think the biggest hurdle I’ve faced in becoming a stay-at-home dad has nothing to do with the home-based responsibilities themselves — actually, I prefer teaching my kid to read, baking bread, cooking dinner, fixing toys and even repairing the roof to deadlines, meetings and exhortations to be a “team player” (when employed, I’m not a team player, I’m a goddamned mercenary for hire). The biggest hurdle has been publicly admitting what I actually do when the question comes up.

“Oh, I’m a writer,” I’ve been accustomed to saying. Or, “I’m a writer and editor.” And, in fact, that’s what I used to do. But, really, I haven’t made significant income from writing or editing in several years. What I really do is obvious from this blog: I take care of my son and the house.

A huge part of the problem is pride. Answering “what do you do?” with “I’m a stay-at-home dad” is the final step toward openly acknowledging that I’m not going to be the important scribbler I’d once planned to be — at least, not anytime soon.

So, here we go. (Deep breath.) I’m a stay-at-home dad.

Then there’s the issue of people’s reactions. As much as I’d like to pretend otherwise, I do let it get to me. So when, after emphasizing to both my sister and my wife the importance of having a parent at home, my mother continues to call me to ask about my job search and have I tried career option A or education option B?, it does get to me much more than I want to admit. Really? The writer is going to work while the physician stays home? By the way, mom, I’m telling Gloria Steinem (mom still gets all feminist-y when you push her.)

So I’ll breathe deeply again and say it: I’m a stay-at-home dad.

And I’ll just have to get used to the reactions, whatever they are. (Don’t smirk, you bastards.)

It’s a big step for me, though I don’t expect much sympathy from jaded moms out there.

1 Comment »

  • Scott says:

    lol… “Pride”

    You nailed it, man. My default defense is that once you get over the loss of pride it’s a pretty damned cool job. And truth be told, the vast majority of my male buddies have confessed some measure of jealousy over my circumstances. Still, there is that lingering sense that I’ve been socially demoted. Though at this point I’ve got my game locked down well enough that I don’t give it much thought. Wouldn’t trade this opportunity for the world.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a Reply

  • Commercial Zone