This is not the 1950s anymore, people. But even so, why do so many of us think that being a stay at home dad is weird? It’s not… and here’s why.
The days of Leave it to Beaver are long gone. While many of us don’t remember the days when women weren’t in the workforce and didn’t have relatively equal rights to men, there are still a lot of antiquated practices that our society still hangs on to.
For example, most women change their last name when they get married. But why? Probably because they don’t give it any thought and just do it because it’s “normal.” Think about it, though. That tradition is rooted in a very sexist ideology – when a woman marries a man she became his “property”- literally. Well, at least at one point in history. But you get my point.
Sure, we are long past that now, however, there are still a lot of things that we all take for granted regarding what is “normal” and what is “not normal.” And let’s face it – being a stay at home dad is not considered by most people as “normal.”
And that’s really sad. I mean, why not? Why can’t the man be a stay at home dad and have the woman work? Where is there a law against it? Obviously, there’s not.
Why it’s awesome to be a stay at home dad
Many men – and women – are reluctant to have the man be a stay at home dad. Why? Well, there are countless reasons. But probably some of them that top the list are reasons like “he’s not providing for the family,” or “he’s a loser,” or “he’s a weak man.” [Read: 14 things women say or do that emasculates a man]
But none of these are true. Anyone who has been a stay at home parent can tell you it’s the hardest job in the universe! So here are some reasons why it’s awesome to be a stay at home dad.
#1 It allows your kids to bond with you. And when I say bond, I mean really bond. I don’t mean that it just allows you to be home for dinner every night, give them a bath, or even read them books. What I mean is that because you are spending so much time with your kids, you get to really talk to them. You get to know them as a unique human being. And you get to teach them life lessons. That’s priceless.
#2 It allows your wife to pursue her career. Listen, the man doesn’t always have to be the breadwinner. I know it’s difficult for some people to deal with that. Believe it or not, it was for me too. I was once engaged to a man who moved in with me from several states away but had no job yet and took care of the domestic and kid duties.
And while I loved having those burdens taken over for me, I did struggle with being the only one who brought in money to the household. I mean, I struggled with it mentally and emotionally. But really, what was wrong with it? Nothing.
#3 You model breaking the gender barriers for your children. Our society gets too stuck in what is “right” and “wrong” and “normal” and “not normal.” Why do we need to draw the lines of how everyone is supposed to act just because society tells us so?
So, if you are a stay at home dad, you are modeling a very important thing for your kids – such as “f*** the rules of society.” Make your own rules.
Just because you’re a man doesn’t mean you can’t do things that are supposedly supposed to be “women’s work.” And vice versa. It shows you can stand up and be your own person. That’s a great thing to model for your kids.
#4 You teach your kids that men can handle domestic duties. If you look at what we see on TV and the media in general, it shows that men are pretty incapable of handling kid and domestic duties. In diaper commercials, men are fumbling around with the baby and can’t get the diaper on straight.
It’s almost like a joke and “accepted” that men just can’t cut it in the child care and domestic categories. But men are just as capable as women! So, if you are a stay at home dad, they will grow up knowing that men and women are equal in all areas of life. [Read: Abandonment issues and how it affects your relationship]
#5 If you have daughters, you will set the bar high for them. Unlike girls with a working dad, you can model a lot of behaviors for your girls, if you have them. Since you’re around all the time, you can talk to them – I mean really talk to them.
You will plug into them and their lives, be sensitive, and treat them like queens. That will set the bar high for them later in life when they are looking for a man to spend the rest of their life with. And trust me, this is a good thing to have high standards for a man. And you wouldn’t want it any other way for your baby girl, right? [Read: Father-daughter relationship – 10 daddy issues it can lead to]
#6 You can volunteer at the kids’ schools. Once your kids get old enough to go to school, being a stay at home dad allows you the opportunity to go and volunteer in the classroom. You could be a “room dad” and help plan parties. You can help the teacher out and grade papers.
Kids love it when their parents are in their classrooms – it makes them feel special and that they are loved. It also allows you the opportunity to drop in school and have lunch with them whenever you feel like it.
#7 You can blog about it. Everyone knows that blogging is huge these days. So, why not turn your daily adventures with your kids into a blog of your own? You can use it as an outlet to vent, to reflect, and to reach out to other stay at home dads *or moms*. And eventually, you could even turn it into a side business if you get popular enough. A total win-win, huh? [Read: Marriage advice – 11 tips for happily ever after]
#8 You can take photos and videos and document your children’s lives. Since a stay at home dad is around all the time, it allows them the opportunity to really be present and document what’s happening in their lives.
No one is ever without their phone, so when you take them to the park or just if they’re splashing around in your pool in the backyard, have your phone handy and take tons of pictures and videos. You will be happy you did 20 years from now.
Being a stay at home dad doesn’t have to be weird. In fact, I give major kudos to the men who do it. It’s time we start embracing and celebrating the men who are brave enough to step outside of society’s norms and be their own person, don’t you think?
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Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...