I am Not Special

I am not anything special.

IMG_6456

THIS is not a job

If you were to look at the parenting hierarchy, right now stay at home dads (SAHDs) are at the top of the list.  It seems to be all that anyone is talking about anymore.  It’s as if we are the first people on Earth that are doing what we are doing, yet clearly we are not. We are seemingly a special breed. It’s a growing bunch of guys, but still a small minority in the parenting populace.  Article after article talks about the rise of guys like me and how it’s the wave of the future.  Some people even consider it the “New Normal.”

I am not one of them.

I’m just a guy that is taking care of his kids the best that he can.  I get depressed at times, overwhelmed at others, but at the end of the day I know that not everyone is as lucky as I am to be spending time with the greatest kids on Earth.  Which leads me to who I think is the greatest parent in the world.

THAT is a superhero

THAT is a superhero

The working mom.

I was never one to consider what I do a job.  If you are a stay at home parent you are entitled to feel that way, but I don’t consider cleaning up, doing dishes, doing laundry, and the thousand other minute tasks that we perform throughout the course of the day a job. I don’t get in a car, or hop on a bus or train, to commute to a job that I might hate on any given day.  I don’t have to deal with people that I am trying to get money from or employees that might not be doing their job.  I don’t have to fire people and I don’t have to answer emails or phone calls at all hours of the day, including AFTER the kids are asleep.

That’s what my wife does.  THAT is a job.

I am not the one who made a sacrifice to stay home and help raise the kids.  My wife is the one who sacrifices everyday for US.  I know that she would rather spend more time with the kids and I, but she is the one that provides us with everything that we need in life.  Me not working is not a sacrifice.  Her not seeing us when she wants to, THAT is a sacrifice.

Me special?

Compared to my wife and all the other working moms?  I am not even close.

-JW

Comments

The Beginning
About Daddysincharge

After 15 years as a News Photographer in the fast paced world of television news, I am now knee deep in Legos and laundry as the stay at home dad to to little boys. It was my choice to stay at home, so don't look at me like I am some kid of freak show. We're all parents just trying to raise our kids the right way. Some might be better at it than others, but if our kids love us for who we are, who cares.

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Comments

  1. You are pretty fortunate to stay home with your children. My wife and I both work and plan to do so until we die. LOL! I find it amazing when I hear about people who are able to live with just one parent working. Must be nice! Good Job!

  2. Yes, but beyond the semantics of what’s considered a job, don’t you sacrifice anything? My wife travels a lot, which is draining for her. She runs from her job to a board meeting at the museum. The other day, she had to take the train to DC to meet with government officials, then drive to the museum to teach employees to share updates on Facebook, because she’s on their outreach committee. And then she gets home and her husband might as well hold a baby with one hand, and keep his other hand up for a high-five, ready to hand over parenting duties. It’s tough for her, and she has to be a strong person to do what she does. She is special.

    But does that mean I’m not special? She gets to go to the bathroom in peace. She doesn’t have to clean anyone else’s poop (I assume). She can concentrate on her career and on her personal growth, while I’ve made a commitment to concentrate on the growth of my kids and on my wife’s peace of mind, which enables her to do what she needs to do.

    I was on a plane recently, on my way to Dad 2.0. By myself. Sitting next to a giant whose shoulder was halfway inside my neck for 4 hours. And still, it was the most peaceful 4 hours I’ve had in 5 years. I read, and I napped, and I looked at clouds, knowing I didn’t have to think about anyone–I wasn’t responsible for anyone.

    Maybe you think the way you do because your kids are older than mine. For me, though, respect is not a zero-sum game. I respect my wife for everything she does, and she respects me for what I do. Whether anyone wants to call raising kids a job is not my concern. I respect what I do, and because I am where I need to be, doing what I need to do, well, then I AM special.

    • Daddysincharge says:

      I’m not saying that being the stay at home parent is an easy task. Far from it. Anyone that is a parent can tell you that. All I am saying is that compared to the sacrifices I made to be the stay at home parent it is nothing compared to my wife. The stay at home dad gets WAYtoo much credit nowadays in comparison to the working mom. None of us would be I the business that we are in if it wasn’t for her.

      • John, I am totally on board with how much appreciation you have for your wife and what she does for your family. I too am very, very grateful for everything my wife does, and for what she sacrifices for our family. I think they deserve our thanks.

        That said… just reverse the genders in your post for a second and think about how it sounds, to minimize what the at-home parent does. For how many generations was the work that the average wife did, caring for children and the home as her full-time job, totally minimized under the mighty shadow of the REAL worker of the family, the husband who went out and toiled every day to bring home the bacon? Would you say the same about those times? Would you even say the same thing now? That the working dad is really the “special one” in the family, and that his stay-at-home mom spouse gets far too much credit?

        I know it seems we’re in the news a lot lately, but SAHDs only get too much credit today insofar as the bar for what makes a Super Dad is still so very, very, incredibly low. So low, that those of use who are above the bar are deemed slightly newsworthy at the moment. That bar isn’t going to get higher by minimizing what you do though, it’s going to change by showing that that higher bar is a worthy and honorable goal for every dad, whether working or at home. Part of how we do that is to get the image of the hardworking and competent SAHD normalized in our culture and recognized as the difficult but vital work that it is.

        • Daddysincharge says:

          I am not minimizing the role of the stay at home parent. Obviously it is an important role and not one that is going take a back seat to the working parent. Just because my wife goes to a job doesn’t meant that she makes all of the decisions around our house, that is an equal job. As much as we have been highlighting the role of this new dad, we need to realize on the flip side there is an increase of the working mom. I think that is fair to say? I know that people like my wife get looked down upon by others who think she shouldn’t be doing what she is, just like we get looked down upon by others who think what we are doing is wrong. Just trying to highlight the other side of the equation.

  3. James Hudyma says:

    This post stirs up so many feelings and opinions I can’t begin to comment without either going on and on or not saying enough and being misunderstood. In short, I agree with you John.

  4. DisastroDad says:

    My job is very demanding. I am away from home for weeks at a time but it affords a lifestyle where my wife doesn’t have to work and nothing is too expensive. Call me old fashioned but if the tables were turned and it was my wife making the big bucks with me at home, I would feel like a failure as a man.

    • Your wife is lucky to be married to a great guy like you, who doesn’t mind living with a failure like her.

  5. Daddysincharge says:

    I don’t feel like a failure at all. I’m providing in a way that I need to be right now.

This is what I think...

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