Do Stay-At-Home Dads Worry Moms?
Stay-at-home dads face challenges! One of the most serious challenges I have ever faced as a father is a simple statement, “Mom is always right!” Being a stay-at-home dad that doesn’t leave much room for my thoughts or ideas. I have already faced this challenge more than once in the public. My son and I will go to a store and have a strange woman say, “Oh, your son is so cute! Where is his mother today?” The dad in me has become territorial with this question. I find it rather insulting and generally answer it, “I hope she’s at work! Do you know something I don’t?“
Stand Up or Back Off
I have read posts online that can make me laugh, cry, become angry or make me want to respond in a typical stay-at-home dad type of fashion (humorous). Adrian Kulp, from Dad or Alive (don’t you love the name?), has a guest spot where he allows other parents to share their stories. Amy Wruble, from Carriage Before Marriage, wrote a piece entitled Back Off, Stay-At-Home Dads. Amy believes that stay-at-home dads are setting the bar too high for moms that stay home. I am not sure I can set the bar any higher than moms already have.
Society has made many observations that moms know best. Advertising is a prime example of mom always being right. During the Olympics, Procter and Gamble focused on moms with commercials showing how dedicated mothers are to their “Olympic” children. The advertising made me a little uncomfortable and reminded me of all the reasons I will never have the right answers. Mom has already been working on making sure everyone knows she has the right answers. I know that I will never compete with mom. I know she’s right just like everyone else in the world knows.
Some days it doesn’t pay to get out of bed!
(Except in the Morning)
One observation that Amy made was about men evolving from a bumbling cartoon character to a sexy superhero. I have never thought of myself as a sexy superhero but I definitely like the terminology. I might have to try to find a new title for myself, “Stay-at-home dad sexy superhero!“
I mentioned the idea of a new name to my wife and she was very supportive of the title. She couldn’t stop laughing as she told me, “You go ahead and try to use that name…you should try to get a cape that match’s the way your hair looks when you get up in the morning!” She kept laughing and mumbling the words, “sexy and he knows it…” as she left the room. It makes feel good to know that my wife, the working mom, supports me in all my endeavors!
Stay-At-Home Dads Issues
I like to discuss the benefits stay-at-home dads have. I think if I like talking about all the good things it is only fair if I discuss the problems I have too. In the past, about a month ago, I read that working fathers believed they couldn’t compete with stay-at-home dads because we made it look too good. I responded to working fathers and gave a few issues that I face as the primary caregiver (see Yielding Fatherhood to Working Dads). Now that I have read that stay-at-home moms have a similar issue I felt it was time to share a few more problems I face.
1. Potty training issues – Moms have battled successfully with children over potty training issues. As a man, I have begun to believe that potty training is a battle I might never win. My three-year-old son has made sure that I know he is the dominant opponent in this war. My son has peed on the couch, in the floor and on me just to prove he is going to win in potty training. I told Xander, “You are getting too big for the largest size diapers they make.” Xander smiled and laughed, “You go make larger size diaper for me!” I am now considering a mediator for peace negotiations with my son.
2. Food insecurities – The great thing about being a stay-at-home dad is I can’t ever go wrong with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Truthfully, I can’t go wrong with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as long as I make it to proper specifications, e.g., crust on or off, type of jelly and exact dimensions of the sandwich. Failure to consult with my son about a sandwich has led in the sandwich being sent back to the kitchen. He can act just like a dissatisfied customer at a 5 star restaurant (temper tantrum included).
3. Housework blues – A stay-at-home mom seems to have the perfect balance of taking care of a child and getting the housework done. I work very hard to try to duplicate their success. I never seem to find the time to get everything done and my son is the first to let me know. He has been known to bring me a broom, a mop or a dust rag and tell me, “dada… clean please.” I am not sure exactly what it means when your child tells you that you need to clean the house but I am thankful he is considerate enough to say please.
4. Play-time wrongs – One of the great things about being a stay-at-home dad is finding time to play with my child. I will admit that playing with my son was a lot easier before he could talk. Now he can tell me exactly what I have done wrong in detail. Just this week, I was building a structure out of blocks and Xander told me, “Dada, you wrong.” It puzzled me about what I had done wrong and asked him, “What do you mean Xan? I am just building a tower.” Xander smiled with a devilish grin and said, “You building wrong colors!” He knocked over my structure and added, “I show how to do it! I use right colors!“
The truth about being a stay-at-home dad is I don’t have all the answers. I have insecurities just like everyone else. I try not to worry about the things that bother me because my son matters to me. I am human and I make mistakes. The important thing about a mistake is to understand when I am wrong and to learn from it. I don’t have the time or the luxury to dwell on a mistake because my son is growing up fast. I want to make every minute count with him and making it count means being there for my son.
I truly appreciated Amy’s post and humor about stay-at-home dads. It allowed me to respond with humor about some of the challenges I face as a dad. What do you find is the most challenging aspect about being a parent? Have you ever felt threatened by other parents? If you have what did you do about it? Please tell me in the comments!
You can read my last post here: Blogging Basics – Is Copyright Important? If you like this post you can follow me on my facebook fan page, Dadblunders.
Tags: best advertising
, procter and gamble
, stay-at-home dad