I Told Her I Was a Stay at Home Dad. And That’s When She Started Laughing.

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About Chris Bernholdt

Chris is a full time stay at home dad of three kids. He writes about his own adventures as the primary caregiver on his own blog, dadncharge.com. He is also the co-founder of the The Philly Dads Group, offering support and socialization for dads in the Philadelphia area and an active member of the National At Home Dad Network where he is the blog editor.


  1. Tom Brechlin says:

    Chris, good for you! I don’t know how I would have handled her reaction. But it goes to show that although GMP and other venues bring balance, it’s clear that the society in general isn’t anywhere near being accepting of stay at home dads. Amazingly though, society is totally accepting, if not encouraging working / career mom’s.

    • I don’t know how I would have handled her reaction
      i would have half laughed, smiled back in her face, at her narrow minded idiocy

    • Tom,
      Thank you for the comment. It takes time to change people’s minds about what should be the norm sometimes. While I was furious inside I felt that I could turn it into one of those “teachable moments” they stressed when I was an educator.

  2. Nicely done, Chris. The shift about stay at home dads is happening. The change is gaining momentum. Keep the faith.

  3. Good post, Chris. Men have a ways to go before they’ll be able to enjoy as much freedom from traditional roles as we (rightly) permit women. The efforts you’re making for SAHDs will help expand that freedom for guys everywhere.

    • Thank you ballgame. Hopefully I set something in motion with this woman if only for her to realize the next time she comes across a stay at home dad she will treat his response with more tact.

  4. Wow. I have never gotten that reaction. I’ve been called a “babysitter” and have plenty of people assume that I’m living a life of relaxation and constant bliss – ha! – but I’ve never been laughed out loud at. That’s just nuts! I think you did a fantastic job representing yourself and stay at home dads in general. I’ve always felt “this is what works for us, I’m not part of any movement,” but I’m glad there are dudes like you out there getting the word out & education people. (Occasionally, I can’t bite my tongue and do a little “educating” of my own.)

    • Thanks Dave. Yes, the misperception that all we do is play video games all day is long while the kids do whatever is laughable. While you don’t want to be associated with any movement, I will gladly be the poster boy for trying to change people’s minds about how SAHDs are perceived.

  5. I’ve been a Stay at home dad for a good bit of my children’s lives (one is 18 and about to be “grown and flown”). the reactions i’ve gotten has ranged from “REALLY?!” to my ex-wife at the time being told “Good for you” as if my staying home was some kind of victory for her. to most commonly a look that i have come to learn means “so your a deadbeat who lives off your wife. I can’t work a regular job because of a brain issue but i am phenomenal at dealing with kids emotional needs and making sure my wife knows our family is cared for, she comes home to good healthy food 1 cigarette away from being on the table, my kids and their friends know they have a safe place in our home and the people i minister too have access to me when they need me. I’ve never been laughed at, yet. Those of us who, for one reason or another, have decided the Gender role of “Breadwinner” isn’t for our relationship throw a monkey wrench in the brains of society, and while that’s good, it does leave us to occasionally face some “mental cockroaches” (those dark thoughts about our own self worth that creep out and we have to fix.

    • M.J.O. providing for our family in a non-traditional way is always going to be perceived as such until we convince others that while we aren’t providing monetarily, we are providing support to our children in the most basic of needs but also the most important. Keeping them well fed, protected, and teaching them to be active members of society is no easy task for man or woman. The stay at home dads I know are some of the greatest fathers I have ever had the pleasure of getting to know. Thank you for the comment and support!

  6. She behaved poorly. Yet she leaves the confrontation a little wiser, a little more open to new parenting possibilities. That’s a win, particularly since you kept your cool.

    • Christian, I am just following your zen-like example. Nothing good would have come from me being confrontational. Sometimes we have to just shrug off the ignorance of others and give them something to think about for the next time.

  7. Sergio Lopez says:

    What an amazing read, thank you for writing this! I often struggle mentally with being a stay at home dad. I feel like I’m constantly being judged and laughed at. I always end up reassuring myself that raising my son has been the greatest gift in life besides him being born. Your writing has further uplifted my thoughts and spirits. While I live I will shine and so will my son!

  8. Nice to hear your experience. I feel as if some of the parents at daycare feel my daughter and I are a one parent family because if my role as a stay at home dad. I will check dadncharge

    My personal issue is remembering I am stay at home dad, not working from home dad, and finding satisfaction in the washing cleaning as well as the caring.

    I write about my experiences here, http://www.borntomum.com


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