Stay at Home Dads

The Good Men Project and SAHDs

If you haven’t seen the good men project you should google it. It often has interesting articles but like any publication, it does attempt to stir the pot of controversy. Nothing wrong with that. It is about creating conversations and raising awareness.

So long as what’s important doesn’t get lost in and amongst the dissenting opinions, I consider that valuable conversation.

They just did a piece on stay at home dads.

My thoughts?

The roles in our family constantly shift to deal with the pressures of modern living. I’m not usually a stay at home dad, but I have played that role often enough to know how to do it in the blink of a lost paycheck.

While I enjoy some of Tom and Laura’s points in the article, the truth is that macho is an over-rated and rapidly antiquating word that has NOTHING to do with whether one is a stay at home dad or not. It simply isn’t as important a word or quality as it once was. You want to know a more important quality in today’s day and age? How about “effective.”

Would you rather have a macho boss or co-worker? Or an effective one?

Bringing the subject up like this simply stirs the pot (and controversy) on rapidly-dying stereotypes of “marital roles.”

Nowadays, every relationship has to accurately assess the needs of the relationship and examine the resources in determining who in that relationship is best suited for supplying these needs and adjust as needed to ensure the family unit survives as best as possible. A family that can do that will usually thrive even under extremely adverse conditions.

If you look at the flip-side of it, belittling the role of a stay at home dad is also a subtly negative comment on stay at home mothers. That somehow it isn’t “real work.”

Women who trivialize stay at home dads either have never raised children or for some bizarre reason would place having a “macho” partner above having one who was:

1. Honorable
2. Courageous
3. Dependable
4. Loving
(And there are plenty of “macho” men who also have these qualities)

I think the greatest worry or controversy can come about when other men, ignorant men, trivialize men who are the primary caregivers as opposed to primary breadwinners. And the solution is simple. Stick them in a house with a newborn child (or two) of their own for two weeks with a mother who is off at a “job” all day and see how that man views it after two weeks. In 99% of all cases, humility will have lead to wisdom in recognizing that it is simply about doing what needs to be done and it is WORK.

Exhausting, often thankless, work that not only do more men do on an increasingly greater basis, but that so many mothers do day in and day out that almost all of society takes for granted.

The bottom line: The days of having the strongest hunter for a family to survive are over. We are in the new age where the most EFFECTIVE families survive.

It is an age that I, for one prefer.


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