“I don’t know why there is still so much negative stuff stay-at-home dads have to go through.”

This is a comment by ogwriter and Joan on the post “Why Dads Matter: A Feminist Mom’s Perspective”.

Ogwriter is tired of all of the division in the household as far as the media talking about who supposedly is biologically better at partenting, and Joan reminds us that a family is about people and work, not just individuals earning gold stars.

ogwriter said:

I was a SAHD 30 years ago and am completely frustrated from much of what I hear from many SAHD today. I cannot fathom why there is still so much negative stuff fathers have to go through. Perhaps most frustrating of all is how little regard too many women give this issue.

For me, even after the solid job I did raising my kids, mom is still THE parent. It serves no one to treat men as secondary to mom and yet place the same expectations and more on the father. If women can organize around equal rights why they organize around equal rights for fathers?

To continue to act as if equality is a one-sided coin is insanity. I am tired of the splitting and of the division in the home. In the home environment, between men and women, what one does affects the other. The needs of the team-family should take precedent over that of the individual. If a man stays home with the kids, respect him honor him, treat the same as you would like to be treated.

This endless conversation, the endless sparring, that keeps men from executing their role as parent, that always has men trying to prove themselves, doesn’t work well. The truth is that the average woman isn’t born with anymore knowledge of how to in the nursery than a man. The fact Is that 26% of moms will experience PPD, which can be devastating, disabling mom. Someone skilled must be able to step in. Many women are scared to death and are overwhelmed in the nursery, though not many would admit to that truth.

Joan said:

You said it all “The needs of the team-family should take precedent over that of the individual.” More importantly, the needs of the family should take precedent of an elusive concept of equal parenting. I suspect many people walk into marriage and parenting these days thinking it’s going to be equal … and discuss equal rights and fuss over the role of washing dishes. Parenting and marriage is not about equal rights, it’s about people and work.

Whether it’s cooking meals, picking up after your kids 600 times a day, teaching them how to read, or paying bills, it’s still work and someone put the effort into it. That work needs to be respected and appreciated. If a man works all day, it doesn’t matter what his uniform looks like, but he still needs respect and gratitude for the effort he put into the team.

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Comments

  1. TheBadMan says:

    It’s not limited to a very small percentage of SAHDs. All Dads are faced with a negative societal bias.

  2. TheBadMan…true.

  3. When I was a stay-at-home-dad, also attending college, I found that other women would give my wife shit for supporting me. Nobody cared that her family put her through college and mine didn’t. It didn’t matter that my ability to be the on-call parent allowed her to start her career uninterrupted by children’s illnesses and day care schedules. A woman supporting a man was denigrated and still is where the reverse is seen as a normal family pattern.

  4. The notion of family as a “team” makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, our society isn’t set up to facilitate family teams any more than it is neighborhoods or communities – surely a combination of economic as well as social issues.

    Theoretically, technology advances ought to allow for more fluid working situations that would allow each family to apportion parenting responsibilities as they see fit. Ideally, we wouldn’t think “less” of men who raise the children and manage the household, and ironically, we’re according less respect to women in this role as well.

    We have much room for improvement. Talking and listening to each other in this fashion is a good way to begin.

  5. D,A.Wolf…I actually have tried to do this in the field and I have had mixed results. My 15 years of experience as a coach, coupled with my combined 75 years of experience as a parent and how I was raised leads me to this conclusion. In the now and certainly the immediate foreseeable future, the couple with the most flexibility and skills will have the best o0-portunity to flourish.There is no room for tightly constructed gendered roles ruling behavior. Gotta go to class, I’ll get back to you later, more to say.

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