After much discussion with my fellow Stay at Home Dads we decided upon a few definitions as to what actually is a stay at home dad.
Simple you might say but apparently not. There are a lot of Dads out there who consider themselves to be the primary carer of their children simply because they pick up the kids from school everyday.
Then there are those whose wives (or partners) earn more money than they do and as they are not the primary breadwinner and they do a little work around the house, they then consider themselves to be the main carer by financial default.
There are also those who work from home or have unusual or erratic work hours that enable them to spend more time with their kids than your average nine to fiver father.
We thought that the best description was probably a reversal of the 1950’s housewife routine. That is all of the domestic duties (meal planning and shopping, washing, cooking, cleaning etc.) and the raising of and caring for children without performing any paid work.
Of course (unlike the 50’s) many of the domestic duties can be shared but the average day to day duties of a stay home dad would be very similar to what our Mums did when it was socially acceptable to be a stay home parent as a full time occupation.
The biggest factor we all decided upon (all three of us !) was financial. To truly know how it feels to be the stay at home dad one must not earn an income of their own.
Earning your own money gives you a sense of freedom and independence that you just don’t have when you have to ask for a few bucks to go somewhere. That power really is in the breadwinner’s hands.
We all agreed that while our collective wives were all very generous there was something slightly emasculating about having to put your hand out every time you want to purchase anything or go anywhere, especially when it is a ‘man luxury’ like a beer with your mates at the local pub.
It can also be quite difficult when you want to surprise your partner with a gift or a weekend away but have to ask for the money before hand and they will know how much you actually spend on any given item like birthday or anniversary presents.
In addition it can be pretty un-romantic and slightly embarrassing to ask your partner out on a ‘date’ when you know that you will have to pass the bill over to them at the end of the night.
While the social stigmas and financial freedoms may take a little getting used to, we all agree that there is no substitute for watching your kids grow up a little every day. Every man should have the opportunity to be a stay at home dad, even if only for a little while.
Can anyone lend me $50…..?