From being called glorified babysitters and labeled as not earning an income, there are some myths. How wrong are these misconceptions about Stay-At-Home Dads, AKA SAHDs?
Surprisingly I am not the first stay-at-home dad, and I won’t be the last. However, this time has been nothing short of a fantastic experience. But, to tell you the fact, it has had some, let’s call them, unpleasant conversations and unwanted advice from friends and family.
I do not mean my immediate family or in-laws when I say, family. I mean the nosy know-it-all aunties and uncles who like to carry out investigations that will make special units blush. Then comes their opinions and advice that no one asked for in the first place. But before we digress, let us knock out the myths, state some truths, and tell some simple facts about the stay-at-home dad club. Yes, I said club! That is because we are simply the cool gang! LOL.
1. All stay-at-home dads are unemployed
Fact: Most stay-at-home dads are employed and choose to do so to support their partners.
In many cases, this eliminates the need for a nanny or caretaker for your little one. It also allows the child to grow with one parent at all times. Surprisingly, this also allows each parent time with their tiny tot! Bonding is at its highest, and both parents and child/ children have a super time.
2. Stay-at-home dads are lazy
Fact: Many stay-at-home dads, myself included, have tons to do for the little ones around the day.
For example, if the baby is younger, the whole routine is based on when the baby is up, fed, burped, tummy time, playtime, and bath time. Do you see where this is going? Any parent, whether mom or dad, is not having a siesta. It is fun, but it is not walk-in-the-park stuff. The time and personal investment in raising a little one at home is full-time work.
3. Stay-at-home dads are not man enough
Fact: They are men enough to allow their wives to have a professional life. Surprisingly this is from my viewpoint. We are!
I mean to have the courage to take care of your child, go to the gym, hold a job, cook, and clean for your little angel. It is not a woman’s role. It is a shared responsibility; if your work environment allows it, I say do it. Times have changed; wives, AKA mommies, also have jobs and careers. So be supportive, and enable and empower them to shine at their workplace.
4. Stay-at-home dads won’t have time to work and have their own life
Fact – I have been a stay-at-home dad for over two years, and I have enough and more time to do what I need to, when I need to, thanks to having a unique and supportive partner. Life has been more fun this way.
Stay-at-home dads, and let me add, moms are superheroes, especially if they hold jobs. Working from home is not easy, it is not convenient, and it is emotionally more challenging than working from the office. But it is possible. It is fascinating that all this became even more acceptable to corporates after the terrible pandemic. The good from it rewrote our understanding of how the world functions.
As a stay-at-home and work-from-home dad, I never thought I had it in me to hold a full-time career as a consultant, caregiver/ dad, and partner to my wife. It is very tiring and testing at times. There are terrific days, and there are meh days. The good and the not-so-good. But it has been worth every minute of it. Paradigms have shifted. We quickly know how to hand over our kid without blaming or passing the parcel. It has become our little one’s routine to look for Baba in the mornings and Mama in the evenings for his support, comfort, and plain old security feeling. Watching this fascinating little human grow, we are encountering milestones. We are not missing out on life. The ultimate truth is we are taking advantage of a lot. Best of all, we are first-hand witnesses to the process and progress called life!
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