I find the whole concept of “stay at home dads” extremely interesting. Growing up in the type of family that I did, my dad was the primary breadwinner and my mom was the stay at home mom. Her responsibilities included: cooking, cleaning, helping us with homework, paying the bills, fixing things around the house, driving us to practices, school, and so on, going to teacher conferences, planning events, and so on. A majority of the women in my neighborhood were stay at home mom’s all with similar responsibilities as my mother. It was rare to come across a family with a stay at home dad. Let alone a family where the woman made significantly more than the man.
Nowadays that’s changing.
One reason as to why I’ve always found this concept interesting–other then my own family dynamics–is because I’ve been in classes and participated in discussions about Stay at Home Dads and there’s always this negative stigma attached. People often presume that stay at home dads are feminine or lazy or abnormal for making the decision to partake in a role that is traditionally a woman’s role. In certain cultures being a stay at home dad is a BAD thing, because it implies that one cannot provide for their families. I could go on and on about all of the stigmas that go along with being a stay at home dad, but I’m sure that a majority of us already know what a lot of people think about the concept.
I’m not sure how I would feel if I found myself in a position where my husband was a stay at home dad. As a woman, I think I would probably want to partake in that role myself, but on the other hand the idea of coming home to a clean house, freshly cooked dinner, clean pressed clothing, a warm bath awaiting me, and someone who can listen to me vent about my day–well that sounds refreshing.
I’ve read arguments from women married to stay at home men that express the fact that the male isn’t able to fulfill all the roles necessary to keep a house running,which causes the women to have to also help take care of the home and still work and bring home the bacon. I’ve heard other women express that it is refreshing to come home to cooked meals and a clean home, BUT they (the women) have less respect for their husbands for not working and bringing home the bacon. I’ve heard women feeling resentful because they’d like to take on that role.
And with men–it’s varied. I’ve read that men may feel emasculated, or may feel like “less than”. I’ve read that people judge them negatively for their role which makes them(the men) feel negative about themselves for pursuing the stay at home dad role. I even read an article earlier this morning that suggested that stay at home dads are more likely to cheat.
How accurate is this all? I’m not too sure. But I do know that with the recession the way it is, with the dynamics of the American family changing, and with the the growing tide of stay at home men-we can expect that stay at home men will continue to be a growing trend. And hopefully overtime society will become much more accepting of this trend.