I recently stumbled onto an article titled, "Top Misconceptions About At-Home Dads". As I began reading through it, I could clearly see how the misconceptions could easily upset other dads, just as much as it upset me. Throughout this blog I will countdown the misconceptions that were pointed out and then give you my take.
10. He’s sitting at Home Watching Sports All Day
In all honesty, I will let you in on a little secret of mine, I don’t watch much sports! I’m just now getting to the point where I have started to watch sports and actually enjoy them. On the other hand, I wonder how anyone can watch sports all day when there’s a 5 month old baby requiring all your attention, and don’t forget, most days are spent watching everything Disney or whatever cartoon channels are showing. I told my wife, while watching the NCAA Finals that I needed to learn the ins and outs of televised sports so that I know what's going on when hanging with other stay at home dads. LOL
9. His Spouse Would Rather Be Home
That’s actually quite true. My wife would rather be home and before we had our son she highly considered not returning to work full time, and instead be a stay at home mom, as well as counsel part-time. We knew that the amount of money I would bring home, without a degree, would not generate a good enough income to afford our household expenses. It wasn't an easy decision, but we knew it was the best decision for our home while I worked towards finishing my degree.
8. Men would rather be in the Office
I would like to be in an office but my home office will do just fine. I've never been much of a traditional guy, one who works for a company or organization that tells you when to break, how much money you can make or even when you can go on vacation. I’m more of an entrepreneur. I set my own time and work at my own pace. My office is just as good as any office, and besides, I can stay home and not have to worry about getting dressed.
7. Men don’t stay at Home with Children
That’s where you’re wrong. According to an article that I read a few months ago called, "Growing Number of Dads Home with the Kids," there has been a very large increase in the number of dads who stay at home. This number has risen from 1.1 million in 1989 to 2.0 million in 2012. Interestingly many men aren't stay at home fathers because they are deadbeats and don’t’ want to work, but the article shared that 35% of men who stay at home do so because of an illness or disability. I’ll let you read the article for yourself to get your own perspective on stay at home fathers, but the article speak for itself if you ask me.
6. Men Can’t Watch the Kids as Well as Women
You're right! Neither men or women watch their children, we care for them. I classify someone who watches my son as a babysitter not a caretaker. Also, why should I be compared to my wife regarding the care of our child? We both love him equally and we both have his best interest at heart. I must say, I think he knows that I love him more but don’t tell her I said it! LOL
5. He Must Have Lost His Job
In all actuality I quit! Just a few days before my wife delivered our son I decided to resign form my job. I worked in a very high stress level job in Behavioral Health as a Nurse Assistant. I’d worked there for almost 5 years and I needed a change. My doctor had just prescribed me blood pressure medication at the age of 26 years old because I was having a really hard time with it working long hours and eating crazy food was my life. I remember the day I decided to resign I was mandated because there wasn't enough staff to cover the next shift. It was Halloween and I was supposed to take my God Daughters along with my wife to church and I couldn't attend. I was pretty upset but I knew my son would be here any day and my main focus was to ensure I was preparing for his arrival even if that meant making more money. As the shift passed by we began having an irate patient that was verbally abusive to me cursing me and saying very derogatory things. I didn't care I’d heard it all working in mental health so it didn't bother me, but before I knew it the patient had spit in my face. After I got myself together and cleaned my face off I called my wife to pray with me. I informed her that I was resigning because I could no longer take it. Just to back up a little a few months earlier I was attacked, it was the first time in the 4 years that I’d worked there that I was literally fighting for my life with a patient. I should have quit then but I knew with my son coming I had too many responsibilities. After being spit in the face a few days later my son was born and I never looked back! I worked two seasonal jobs before being a full time stay at home dad all while finishing my Bachelors full-time.
4. He must be looking for a Job
I’m always actively looking to see what may interest me but for now it probably wouldn’t be the best idea. I’m simply doing what’s best for my wife and at this time and that’s being home with our son. Although I enjoy being home with him every day as a man I want to be able to financially provide for my wife and my son. I’m pretty grateful to God for such an amazing wife who allows me to stay home with him while she provides for us. It’s her willingness that keeps me going in school to ensure we are providing a better future and being a great example for our son with getting an education. I’d honestly like to be my own working as little or as many hours as you’d like an, unlimited amount of income and time spent with family. I must say I do have my ways of bringing in an income as a speaker, event planner and I’m working on my Life Insurance License so besides being busy with the little one I’m always doing something.
3. He Must Not Have Any Motivation
I sometimes think I have too much motivation! I really wish there was more hours in the day to accomplish everything that I really wanted to do in one day. I would probably be able to get even more things done if there were more hours. Waking up early in the morning to care for a now 7 month old, doing household chores as well as being a full-time student can be taxing at times. Let’s not forget trying to blog and studying for those classes and being a husband. The list goes on but I’m not complaining I do it with ease and excitement knowing it will pay off in the end. Motivation is something that I've never lacked and probably never will. I’m a hard worker and what I want I go for it because I’m well equipped for whatever path God allows me to walk down.
2. So, You’re babysitting today?
This statement makes me cringe. I've seen many people write about this very thing many times and it’s something that annoys me. I've found this picture to be my inspiration and I’ll let it speak for itself.
1. He Is Not Masculine
This is something that horrible to say to any man. Maybe I’m not as masculine as most men or how some think men should be but it doesn't make me any less of a man or a father. I haven’t heard this one but I’m quite sure if I did it would ignite a match that would be difficult to let out. Its difficult enough being in a world where many don’t accept stay at home dads but were becoming trend setters and breaking barriers throughout the world. I’m happy to call myself a stay at home dad and I’m looking forward to connecting and being around other like minded dads.
So, that's my rant on being a stay at home dad and helping people understand some of the things we have to go through on a daily basis. Hope this helped and have a great week!
Mr. Daddy Duties
Photo credit: http://teespring.com/stores/dadsdontbabysit
Matthew Gamble Sr. is a father, husband, friend, and blogger. He writes about what it's like to raise Matthew Gamble II also known as M2 as a stay at home father. Join him on his journey into fatherhood with Mr. Daddy Duties!!!