If you’ve read my post Signs you’ll know why the #6 is important to me in relation to my dad. If you’ve read enough of my posts you’ll know that I’ve been the fortunate child to have not one but two loving earth-bound fathers. There are many children who will never know what it is to have one loving dad. Their father may be abusive or an alcoholic or has abandoned the family all together. There are lots of shows about this.
I dedicate this post today to a very small group of men. A group of men who are largely ignored. These are the men who have elected BY CHOICE to be stay-at-home dads. In the article, Dads Struggle to shake Mr. Mom syndrome, in 2013 there were 214,000 married stay-at-home dads to 5.2 million moms. I don’t think the number matters so much as how these men are often perceived and treated for their loving roles in their families.
I personally have known 3 stay-at-home dads. One took paternity leave for a year and the other 2 stayed out of the traditional work force at least until the kids were late teens. These men did all that would be expected of a stay-at-home mom: cleaned, cooked, shopped, changed diapers, made Halloween customs, went to library storytime, attended to boo-boos, helped with homework…loved, guided and cherished.
What these men often didn’t get to do as stay-at-home dads compared to stay-at-home moms is have a support system with other stay-at-home parents. They often didn’t get to be honored for their role in raising phenomenally successful kids. There would be lawsuits if a woman was denied recognition or ridiculed on the job just for being female in a traditionally male profession.
I would like to see the term Mr. Mom banished.
If a lone dad is at the library for storytime or on a field trip with his kids — step up ladies and make him feel welcome. Mom’s do you say to another mom, “Are you staying home with little Susie because you can’t get a real job?” This would demean not only the mom but imagine putting that thought in her child’s head. I would imagine that this would hurt no less if asked of a dad. And yet it is being asked.
Today’s Intention: Honor all men who are great fathers but especially stay-at-home dads.
Next time you see a dad in what you perceive as traditionally female role — congratulate him for having the balls to follow his heart. Instead of assuming he is unemployed, ask him if he is lucky enough to be a stay-at-home dad. When a woman stays home with the child few people would say she is “watching” her child. And yet when a woman runs to the store, it would not be uncommon to hear “Is your husband watching the kids?” Moms have fought for a long time to have the honor of being considered more important than being a part-time babysitter. Men deserve the same rights.
What do you think?