Working dads face a new kind of pressure. One I never thought I would face. It’s the pressure from the new generation of Stay-at-Home Dads. This new generation is raising awareness for the new norm of manliness, taking care of your children. They are making themselves heard on Twitter, in blogs, in Newspaper articles and media spotlights. Don’t get me wrong, I love tweeting with these guys and reading their blogs. They inspire me by their stories, encourage me by their shared experiences, and teach me by their alternative approaches to parenting. I’m better prepared to face the challenges that lie ahead thanks to these guys.
Thanks @SaskaDad for showing me this post by @DaddysInCharge called “I Am Not The New Normal” a take on being a SAHD
BUT, what they don’t know is that they also make me feel like a failure at times. I see these stay-at-home dads writing about all the stuff they do around the house while simultaneously creating wonderful experiences for their kids that involve elaborate costumes and treasure maps, teaching them valuable life lessons and elective courses of Latin or advanced math in the summer. And I’m reading all of this on the train home after an exhausting day of teaching.
More proof that being considered a ‘good dad’ involves being either a SAHD or flextime.
It makes me wonder what kind of father I am, anyways. I’ll never measure up. I’ll never be able to be like that?! Maybe it’s Daddy Guilt. Maybe I’m just jealous at the relationships they seem to have with their kids. It makes me wish I could quit my job and be home with my kids to work on cool science experiments or artsy video projects or building something out of wood. But no, I’m in my backyard sitting in my lawn chair munching on pretzels while I watch them throw sticks in the air. [true story]
I wonder if there are other guys who feel this way, too. I don’t feel like I’m being any kind of influence on them at all and that makes me scared for how fast they will be all grown up and out on their own. I feel like I’m emotionally drained at times and lament the fact that they get to see me at the end of the day when I’m most tired. Not that seeing them in the morning would make much of a difference. I’m pretty much a zombie until ten o’clock in the morning. But Saturdays and Sundays don’t seem like enough. What is real fatherhood? What is it to be a working dad and an involved dad? I can’t measure myself against these guys (and it really has little to do with them and more to do with how I feel), but I also don’t want to set the bar so low that I feel like I’m doing better than I really am.
Gimme your thoughts, please!
- Stay-at-Home Dads: No More Angst. These Guys Love What They Do (healthland.time.com)
- Increase in Stay-at-Home Dads (lawprofessors.typepad.com)
- Stay-at-home dads are sexy (cnn.com)