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8 Hard Truths About Stay At Home Dads You’ll Only Know If You Are One

The idea of stay at home dads has always intrigued me. It would be something to play soccer with your baby-boy or sing with your little princess on weekends and another thing altogether to be able to hear their chirpy school-day talk everyday. I once thought that becoming a stay at home dad would allow me to focus on my writing, music, art but now, I just laugh at myself. It’s been 7 years of marriage and six of being a proud stay at home dad- and if only I could say that bringing up my lovely daughter gave me time for those things! Even though there aren’t that many men in my circle who are stay at home dads, I do get to meet some of them on my daughter’s PTA meetings.

Suggested read: A letter to my father from his daughter who wasn’t a son

The job of a stay at home dad is exhausting and round the clock and while you might find some free time and creative space, it’s a lot harder than one thinks- especially if you’re with a toddler who loves colors and wouldn’t mind giving a colorful touch to anything that she can hold onto. All the more so- if you are married to a total neat freak. I took my mom as an inspiration, she used to be a secondary school teacher and was a single parent. If she could manage to bring me up single-handedly, this is the least I can do.

father and daughter_New_Love_Times

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Confession time: Let’s face it. Most working dads feel immense satisfaction in bringing their kids that coveted PSP or the new toy on the block and feel proud in their competency as the breadwinner. But believe me or not, my satisfaction lies in changing those diapers and experimenting with cooking something new every day, so that my kids can ask me all about the ingredients and bombard me with their wouf-you declarations of love. I love to go out and play with them and have ice cream whilst laughing at our own idiocy. I like to help my wife with all that I  have, and she understands me.

So, here I am preparing breakfast on a Sunday morning, giving you 11 hard truths (not that hard) about stay at home dads, you will only know if you’re one:

1. It is complex

Because changing those diapers, dealing with endless questions, managing projectile vomit sessions and keeping your home spic n span in the presence of a kid who leaves no stone unturned to make it a playground can get tiring. Add to it the pressures of living in a society whose dominant narrative for parenthood goes against every tenet you’ve laid down on your own- and aha, we’ve got a PARTAY! If you know what I mean!

2. “Mr. Mom”

father and daughter_New_Love_Times

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Well, believe it or not, there’s still a stigma attached to the idea of a stay at home dad. And while most of us who are confident in our own decisions might not get all riled up about the judgment pouring in from most quarters, some jokes certainly sting. And quite honestly, if I became a ‘dad’ like the society identifies one, I’d invite all those judging ‘weenies’ to a housekeeping duel and be immensely proud to see them groveling in the dust, when I win.

3. No retirement

It’s as excruciating as it sounds, all the stay at home mothers had this common complaint for decades, now, we, the stay at home daddies are in the same boat. We can get freaked out about retirement all we want but the hard truth is there isn’t any. You have to keep your home neat, take care of the expenses, save up electricity, maintain the house decorum and most importantly raise a good, well-mannered child without getting to complain about your life. So, stop denying the inevitable and love your family till your last breath. This is something that might come helpful when you feel like running away from everything.

Suggested read: I have a father, but I won’t ever be spending Father’s Day with him

4. In the midst of all the MOMS

Though, you might feel like a dapper handsome man in the midst of all those beautiful ladies, bringing their kids to school and giving you unsolicited advice on how to get hold of it, sometimes it can get straight to your head. After all, there’s only so much you can offer on breast pumps, manicures and well, erm the next-door neighbor!

5. We also like wine and vodka

father and baby_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Except in our world it’s called blended scotch whiskey. Sad truth is I don’t get to hang out with a bottle of JD, cause most of the times I have to drink the entire bottle by myself, cause very few (read zero) super moms like the irresistible blend of rough and smooth Tennessee whiskey, and gulping down a whole bottle or even giving me some competition with my favorite tipple  is nearly impossible when you have to wake up before sunrise, and I hate solo-drinking. The predicament is all the more sadder for there are next to zero male friends who can chip in some hours from their wonky work schedules to drink with you and hear you yap about your own ‘hard day’ at home.

6. It can be tough for your partner too

Because in a world that reeks of patriarchy, where do you ever find any woman breathing easy? Add a stay at home husband to the mixture and suddenly, all the commentary is on her. I can’t think of anything else to say about how unfair all of it is- save that this may create friction, if not handled well. One’s best bet is to stick by each other and keep each other strong.

7. Feeling lonely

I read somewhere, that “there was a time, not long ago, when a guy with a toddler in tow would get the hairy eyeball or a pitying glance — “What’s wrong with that guy? Hasn’t he got a job?” — as if somehow, potency, pride, and manliness all came down to putting in long hours at the office. Not anymore. I know five dads who are the primary caregivers in their families: a professor, a cop, a writer, a day-trader, and one guy who just plain likes spending days with his infant son. In short, the stay at-home dad is everywhere.”

Suggested read: Lessons a father would teach his daughter

8. Enjoying life

father and baby1

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

The best part about all these hard truths is that I still get to BE with my children, 24*7 and can teach them all about life. And no matter how tough the whole ordeal gets, the love I bear to them and the love they hold in their hearts for me, makes it all worthwhile. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Featured image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Article Name
8 Hard Truths About Stay At Home Dads You'll Only Know If You Are One
Stay at home dads so not have it easy - but we love every bit of it!
Shreyan Basu Majumder

Shreyan Basu Majumder

Photographer. Cinematographer. Editor. I love my camera more than my girlfriend. Anything artsy grabs my attention. Also, I judge people on their music taste cause 'You are what you listen to'.