Quitting Normal as a Dad
In teaching my son about life, I have to consider the possibility that not everyone will always agree with us. I try to make sure that he understands that just because someone might disagree with our beliefs it doesn’t mean that they are wrong. It just means they have different ideas than we do. I always want him to know that one’s person’s belief system
isn’t always everyone’s. I want my son to know that “quitting normal
” can become a good thing!
Conformity is Expected
According to Merriam Webster, normal is where you conform to a type, standard or regular pattern. In my opinion, people try to hard to find normalcy in life. People can go their whole life without ever knowing what it is to stand out in a crowd. If you are a father, you will quickly learn that the world has a preconceived notion of who we are. Society expects us to adhere to certain rules and standards. Fatherhood has become a role that a man plays only when asked or told to. Society has given us a role where men have become indifferent to placing family first. Forbes just published an article, “More Stay-At-Home Dads are Only Half a Victory” stating that being a stay-at-home dad is on the rise. The article goes on to state that the number of stay-at-home dads is still low compared to mother’s. According to Forbes even though the number is on the rise it isn’t that impressive. They point out that some of the main reasons a father chooses to stay home is because of finances and work burnout.
In quitting normal I have taken a few lessons from my parents. I grew up in a typical home of the 70′s and 80′s . My father worked all the time and my mother didn’t start work until I began school. My father was never home as I was growing up. He missed many events in my life. My dad wasn’t always there for the bad things or the good things. We did have father and son talks but they were not the norm, they were rare and far between. Now my father has stated it was a mistake for him not to spend more time with me. He has even told me not to make the same mistakes with my son. Being a social worker has given me the opportunity to talk to other children and men about fatherhood and what it means to them. My interaction with families has shown me that it is still expected for fathers only to become part-time participants in family. Fathers and children have stated they wanted more daily interaction with each other. The reasons for lack of interaction varies, e.g., finances, time, other family members.
Be comfortable with who you are!
As a father, quitting normal is my normal. I don’t want to become a role model for my son that allows others to dictate what I have to do as a man or a father. I am a stay-at-home dad because I have that option. It isn’t out of finances or because I have to. It’s because I love my son and want too.
1. Listen to your heart - If you know it’s wrong don’t do it. If you know it’s right do it. People have told me pink is a girl’s color. In actuality, pink was the accepted norm for a baby boy until the 1940′s and baby blue was for girls. I like pink and I will continue to wear pink shirts.
2. Don’t always worry - People will always find ways to make someone feel inferior. Quitting normal is wearing my cowboy boots, cowboy hat and big belt buckle. I have had people stare at me and make comments because I am wearing them. I never let it bother me and I always remember at least I have their undivided attention.
3. Be happy - Happiness is what you make it. Don’t let others tell you what it takes to feel happy. I am a stay-at-home dad and take care of my son (out of love.) It makes me happy. Society doesn’t dictate what will make me happy. I won’t give it that much power.
I think Forbes might have it wrong in their article. They believe the main reason men are becoming stay-at-home dads is because of burn-out or finances. I think they are over thinking it. It could be as simple as some people like being different. They like quitting normal!
Rules are in place for a reason. We have rules to keep balance. I have no problem with rules and following rules. Society goes further and gives us roles and we follow them. Are you a conformist? How do feel about society telling you what to do?
Be sure to check out Andi-Roo at TheWorld4Realz who is writing about a month of controversy in the A to Z +1 August blogging challenge with me! Today is the letter “Q” for Quitting Normal.
A special thanks to The Daddy Complex for bringing the Forbes article to my attention!
Thursday August 23rd - Dads of Divas has me featured in their series Dads in the Limelight! Check it out!
Tags: belief system
, cowboy hat
, stay at home dads
, stay-at-home dad