The Stay at Home Dad – Manny or Daddy

stay at home dad, man, husband, chad herringOur current economic atmosphere has evolved a new breed of a stay at home parent. Formerly mothers were the primary care givers in the home and the most likely proponent to attend PTO meetings, running the kids to sports activities, and doing the household upkeep. Homes used to be comprised of a working father and stay at home mother, very a-typical, very “Cleaver-esque,” very reminiscent of our grandparents, possibly our parents of the baby-boomer era. The idolization of the American dream of a stay at home parent to raise our children and the other parent in the workforce, “bringing home the bacon.” However, as aforementioned, the weather has shifted and as a society, more and more dads are in the home world heading up the household at her core. Now mom is the one who is bringing home, and sometimes, frying up the bacon too.

Yet how much credit is afforded to these men who collide head on with the “stay at home” job? Men are men, and they do not have the same nurturing and caring as women do who often take to the stay at home career much more gracefully. Not to say fathers and men cannot be as effective, I am only indicating that the vagina is an upper-hand in the soft touch of caring for a home and family. But again, who is to say that a man cannot keep his hardened parenting style as the brute force in parenting, and carry on a softness and tenderness that emanates greatness in our children.

My husband is one of these men. He is my hero. He was formerly a manny. A slapstick reference to his job by calling himself a male nanny (manny) where he was and is much more than that. Gifted with a layoff leaving him unemployed, we thought to only be temporary, has become a full-time opportunity that has afforded him time with our children that fathers are not often privileged to experience. He wakes with them in the morning, they ask for him at bed for good-night story time, and they are all different people, The Chad included, because of the power of daddy. Many men “claim” to be a stay at home dad, where mom works in the home and dad happens to stay at home and claim to be a care taker, but really he is a glorified babysitter, not a true parent, not a true parental caregiver, nurturer. I say that very cavalier because these men are aware they lack the nurturing gift of fatherhood, a gift and art learned only through precious time spent with their children. Face it, most dads fumble with the kids only because mom comes in and takes over, rules the roost, puts out any fires and calms all the storms. Moms have only learned this by experience, gifted again with precious time with the children, the nurturing that begins from womb to breast as we hold our babes tightly. Men have a different experience and much different than the woman’s, so some detachment can be expected, they do not have 40 weeks of bonding prior to delivery.

stay at home dad, twins, raising kids, parenthoodI say that men fumble because they do, at no fault of their own. I commend any dad who will spend alone time with his children sans mom. Sans a woman of any sorts to jump in with maternal instinct to care and nurture and fix the errors dads should be afforded to make when adventuring through parenthood, fatherhood. Ladies how many times have you bitched, moaned, groaned or carried on because dad served up peanut butter and jelly for dinner and didn’t prepare the three course meal topped with sparkling water in a clear glass tumbler? I have a few small words for you if they have done this – FUCK YOU and of course GET OVER IT. Admittedly you know you have had moments of weakness where a full meal was not served, you have half assed the house keeping, or best yet, you ponied up to hire a housekeeper because “you don’t have the time” or “the energy” or flat out you cannot handle the way your husband handles the housekeeping for you because its not “your way.” I pity you for your coarse and selfish behavior. I pity you for not appreciating a man who is willing to be that bigger man and take on a traditional feminine role for the greater good of the family unit. Given any amount of time men glide through the home calming any household storm, simmering a sibling bickering bout, and giving to his wife with the truest love and affection money cannot buy.

I could not be more blessed and more honored for my husband and all his struggles to take on his role as a true daddy in our house. We will be able to look back on these years and be thankful that each of us was afforded time to be home with our kids and watch them grow in different phases of their lives; no one ever knows how rewarding being a stay at home dad or a stay at home mom job really is until they have done it. We will never regret any sacrifices and or struggles during this time because we gave of ourselves to our children, selflessly and with the utmost love.

4 Replies to “The Stay at Home Dad – Manny or Daddy”

  1. My husband would give anything to be able to stay home with the kids. He really loves spending time with them. 🙂 I told him about this post and he said, “Must be nice!”

    1. Jenine, you know it is nice and it has it’s cons too. Somedays I know the poor guy would love to have a break and a conversation other than just two four year olds and a nine year old. I tell you though, takes a strong man to be able to stay home with the kids

  2. My hat’s off to your husband. I applaud any father who makes personal sacrifices to be involved with his family and children in the home (either full time or when not working). If more fathers spent time with their kids, were involved in their daily lives, and taught them sound principles, we’d have a much better world.

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