A dad addresses the five myths about stay-at-home fathers the public believes.
I’m a stay-at-home dad, and I’ve been one for two years now. I know there are a lot of SAHDs (as what we’re collectively called and stand for Stay-At-Home Dads) out there that have been one longer than me. I’m not speaking out of expertise but out of the experiences I’ve encountered within the short two years I’ve been a full-time primary child caregiver for my two school-aged kids and one toddler.
While the number of SAHDs in this country (and in others, as well) is growing, there’s still the stigma, the shading and the stereotyping thrown our way. I’m speaking out not just to dispel these wrong notions but to help the world understand us, SAHDs, better.
We Can Be Trusted With And Around Kids.
In one situation, I believed one woman thought I was a pedophile by the way she looked suspiciously at me and questioned me with probing queries.
These extreme circumstances aside, most of the people I encounter think I’m not capable of taking care of my three kids. I either get suspicious looks from others when I tell them I’m a stay-at-home dad or my children receive apologetic ones because of their imperfect grooming. I try, as much as I can, to take things in stride, but they can get too much. Dads also have feelings, you know.
So, to say this sentiment once and for all – we (DADS) can and deserve to be trusted with our kids and be around others’ children.
The Father-Child Bond Does Exist, And It’s As Special As What Mothers Have With The Kids.
I do not deny the difficulties women go through in their journey to motherhood. I have a low pain tolerance level and to witness my wife give birth not just once but thrice is nothing short of a miracle for me. I can see it was excruciating for her but to see her smile joyously they placed the baby in her arms is something I couldn’t describe in words.
But to condemn us of not bonding with our children, that’s just not right. There were many instances in my kids’ lives as they were growing up when I took charge because my wife couldn’t. I was, and still am, responsible for talking our middle child out of her tantrums because when my wife does, they’d just end in screams and tears. It was me who carried my sick son in my arms as I dozed off in a hammock so that we could all have a peaceful night.
We Are Capable Of Nurturing.
I’m my kids’ tickle monster, their constant playmate, the master mischief-maker, often to my wife’s exasperation. I couldn’t pick up my bubbly toddler without a kiss and a tight hug. I believe that’s how we, fathers, show our nurturing side while mothers are more making sure everything’s in order – from the food down to the clothes.
I admit, during the first few times as a SAHD, I often forget things like lunches and PE shoes and homework but these things, like doing the laundry, washing the dishes, cooking, can be learned.
No, We’re Not Trying To Be Better Than Our Wives. Parenting Isn’t A Competition.
Some people would pit me against my wife who took better care of the kids. But parenting isn’t like that. It’s supposed to be a partnership with spouses supporting each other. We have different parenting styles, but we try to find common ground when it comes to things that need it like discipline. As for the others, well, the children get the best of both our worlds and they’re okay with that.
No, We’re Not The Only Dads Who Deserve The Spotlight.
Yes, SAHDs are a hot commodity right now, and as much as I’m happy we’re in the spotlight, it’s not just us who deserve to be in it. There are single dads who do their best to be good parents while trying to make both ends meet. There are the working dads who, like working moms, are trying to find the balance between their careers and their home lives. Then, there are the stepfathers who are trying their very best to be the best father figures to their partners’ children.
To the world, please see us as we deserve to be recognized.