In 2023 we can hope that the parenting model has evolved from the mommy in the house as a home manager while dad is the head of the house brining in the money and quite distanced from the household chores and management of the kids. Today, though parenting is not yet an equally shared responsibility, in most past of the developed world it is getting more equitable.
The modern society has fared well in the moms-can-get-home-money phase. And while it is becoming more common to see fathers becoming the principal carers of children, it would be fair to say that acceptance of Stay-at-Home dads or Dads as a home manager is still on-going.
Through this article, penned by our volunteer, Fiona Lee, LocalHood would like to salute the Stay-at-Home dads. These men who choose to break gender stereotypes and accept their news role while their better halves work it out in the corporate world. Challenges are of course there so let’s hear two dads who share their perspectives.
Daddy K, stay home dad of a 2 year old:
How hard could it be, I naively thought. I’ve taken care of my nephews and I like playing with kids. Reality is that it’s much harder than I could have ever imagined. And once you’re a parent there’s no going back! If I were to describe how I feel in one word it would be, relentless.
My mind is completely consumed and taken over by this small human that is constantly needing my attention, and that’s hard if you’re an introvert. And as somebody who likes to be in control and OCD, I’ve come to painfully let go of having things and living life the way I want.
I didn’t expect that being a stay-at-home dad would also challenge my mental health and question my worth and value as I compared myself to other people’s lives.
Sometimes it seems much easier going to work and siting at a desk, even with annoying colleagues ha ha. I have had to learn, mostly from my partner, a lot about child developmental stages, which helped in understanding that there is a difference in my expectations and my child’s ability. I have been finding it a bit more easier now that he is speaking, now I’m trying to encourage him to play independently… so I can have some time to myself, which is mostly staring out into the distance.
If you want to learn to be patient and selfless, have a child 😊.
Daddy D, stay home dad of a 3 yr old (and another on the way!)
Personality traits matter more than biological sex of the parent as those determine what aspects of raising a child you'll find easy VS those you'll find difficult.
My perspective on this is that there are things that are easy and others that are hard but they are entirely based upon my personality traits (with regard to openness, conscientious, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism) that effect all aspects of life which would present the same challenge whether I was father or mother. For instance, being highly introverted I need quiet time after a few hours of social time as I begin to feel mental fatigued and stressed. This state would be the same irrespective if I were a father or mother.
Similarly, I don't typical seek out other people company and am generally happy to spend days/weeks alone at a time which limits my seeking of friendship group for Vash and generally don't start conversations with people I don't know (e.g. at the park) but again this would be the same whether I was a father or a mother. Being high in conscientious I feel bad when I leave him with the nanny or when I'm not focused on giving him my full attention, but I know it's important for me to get the odd mental break, this again would be no different as a man or woman. Etc etc
As far as other people’s opinions of me being a stay at home dad I don't particularly care what other people think about my life choices. I don't seek their validation or care for their scorn which I believe typically comes from their own insecurity or jealousy.
That being said I've mostly had positive comments, when I do get them.