I am a stay at home dad. With that role comes some pretty common (and annoying) misconceptions that I am ready to end once and for all. Even though stay-at-home fathers have become more accepted than before, they are still the objects of criticism, judgment or ridicule.
Every family is different, but these are the common myths that I encounter day to day.
I watch sport all day
Yes, I have been known to watch sport. And yes, I have been known to watch it all day. But not anymore.
Like any stay at home mom, I have responsibilities as a parent now and if anyone thinks a parent’s work ever ends then they must not have children themselves. These days I would be very lucky if I even had time to turn the TV on let alone watch it all day. With a day this hectic, watching sports is the last thing on my mind nowadays.
I must have lost my job
Many people, unfortunately, still have a hard time comprehending and accepting the fact that a father decides to stay at home… and he wants to do it. So, if I tell people that I decided to become a stay-at-home dad, they think I must have been fired or laid off. True, sometimes these economic situations may have forced a lot of dads to lose their own jobs, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t want to stay at home with the kids!
It is a fact that many fathers have now been used to this changing economic climate. Somehow, they are grateful because it gives them the perfect excuse to bond with their kids!
I must be looking for job
In fact, I am not, and I get quite embarrassed having to explain this one to people because it seems as though they feel bad for me.
I am lazy and am lacking motivation
If a dad decides to stay at home, people must think that he doesn’t have the motivation to find anything more useful with his time. Instead of working his butt off at the office, dad would rather sleep until noon and then eat chips while watching TV or play video games in his pajamas all day.
I bust another myth here with the fact that kids at this age do not sleep until noon (or even late at night) and are always on the move! Arguably, being a stay-at-home dad requires more patience and motivation than doing the same computer routine in the office every day. Who said that looking after kids was a piece of cake? Any parent who has his or her hands full in raising children knows that it is more than a full-time job.
Isaac’s Mom would rather be at home
I guess the problem here is the preconception that all moms are the same. My wife absolutely loves her job and that is why she has kept it. I was partial to my own job and wanted my wife to be happy doing whatever she was doing.
This has made me being a stay at home dad a perfect decision for us. Although during my wife’s first pregnancy, she may want to stay home next time.
Mothers bond better with their child
This is one that I take to heart and I do not think is fair. Although mothers have a different bond to their children, I do not think it is fair to say that they bond better.
Besides, I am not working against my wife in raising our kid; I am working with her. Parenting is not a contest!
We are not strangers to our children and a child is better with a loving parent. As we have our own parenting styles, I think it is beneficial to our child as he will get the best of both worlds.
Although I am able to brush many of these comments off and see the humor in them, I think it is important to remember that some of these views can be quite damaging to our children.
I think there is more acceptance now than when I first became a stay at home dad, and people are realizing that as long as a child has a loving and happy home, that should be all that matters. If the way to provide that is for the Dad to stay home, then this should be accepted.