Unlike a lot of other blogs on the topic, this didn’t really happen deliberately. We were living in an extremely rural area where jobs were scarce, and I was already working from home. He had a contract with a company- and that contract ended. He isn’t really full on unemployed, but for he most part, I am the breadwinner while he continues looking for full time work. He does the lion’s share of the housework and kid-minding.
And it sucks.
It doesn’t suck because of the pressure I feel or because I feel some sense of loss not being able to go all Donna Reid. It doesn’t suck because being frugal and stretching my income is hard. I mean, those things are there, but that’s not the biggest reason it really bothers me. It doesn’t suck because he’s that moronic version of Dumbshit Dad that the media seems to think all dads are or because he’s some broken down man wearing an apron trying to *tee hee* adjust to being Mr. Mom and being totally inept. No, actually, he’s better at a lot of this stuff than I am. Neither of us are particularly adept at the “Knowing Mom Smile”, though.
It bothers me, as usual, because other people are stupid. I wish that I could say that in 2014, these weird things shock me- but they don’t. They just make me pinch the bridge of my nose and shake my head. They make me grunt and yes, you bet: they make me judge the hell out of the people that do it. I’ve got a newsflash for you: the only impact a parent’s genitals have on child raising is making them. Dads can in fact, take care of children. They should be able to without the plethora of sick garbage and harassment they often get…for being responsible parents. (No, seriously, harassment. When a father cannot take his daughter to the park without getting accused of being a pedo- something is seriously wrong in our societal heads.)
Sometimes, they mean well. People invite him out, and they don’t realize that he’s watched me nearly kill myself working all week, usually, dealing with some really rotten shit due to my having MS. As a decent human being and oh, I don’t know, someone who loves me, he’s thinking, “Wow, money’s tight already and she’s just worked a week of long hours- and, I’m going to lob a weekend of toddler care at her?” He also respects my privacy quite a bit more than he feels compelled to give someone the full run down as to why we don’t go out very much. And I love him for that. Then, I feel bad, because, really, I feel like he should get out. He feels like I should get out more. They also don’t realize, that, well, working from home doesn’t mean I’ve suddenly developed super human status. Have you ever tried writing a coherent 50 page ebook with a toddler, an 8 year old, and pets running around with no one to run interference? Give it a shot. If you get to page 2, you’d better go check. Someone’s dangling from a ceiling fan or painting a poop mural, somewhere.
People also don’t seem to understand that he works every ounce as hard as I do, sometimes moreso. At the end of the day, we both often just want to curl up and watch bad paranormal tv. Anything to just sort of defrag from long hours of a lot of effort.
Add to that this weird sort of way people relate to me and the way they relate to him.
If I were to write a “Shit People Say to The Work At Home Mom With the Stay At Home Dad” it would have a lot more swearing than I really feel okay with but it wouldn’t be totally gratuitous, so let me just answer them. He isn’t henpecked, I’m no controlling battle axe. YES, asshole, he wants to work. Wipe that moronic smirk off your face- it’s more than “Oh how NICE for you!” he is a life saver and without him, I’d lose my marbles. I’m not entirely sure what his testicles have to do with any of this, thanks- clearly, they’re functional or I wouldn’t need him to mind the kids. No, he’s not “taking some time off from working”- he’s working one of the hardest jobs there is and he’s doing it quite well: why is it only one of the hardest jobs there is when it’s a mother? Actually, no, it’s not sad- it’s just what we had to do, balance and all that, pride’s got nothing to do with it. Um, no. He’s not using our toddler to pick up chicks at the Piggly Wiggly: for one, we have no Piggly Wigglies here and for two- WHAT?
And the list could easily go on to fill a much longer blog than this.
People really over think this crap and they over think this crap because they’ve been fed this huge load of horse-shit about gender roles. I could go into all of that, and believe me, I have- but the simplest fact is, he stays at home right now, because that’s just how it all shook out. We aren’t trying to make a political statement (Um, I do enough of that, already, don’t I?), he is FAR from lazy, and this situation says nothing beyond the fact that well, when there are two people in a relationship- those two people act as a team.
I hope that clears some things up for those who were wondering.