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How to Be a Stay-At-Home-DAD

by Mark Phillips    --show me more like this

© iofoto - Fotolia.com All rights reserved.

Being a Stay-At-Home-Dad (SAHD) has many challenges. In addition to those that every Stay-At-Home-Parent faces, we have to remember that we are still men and must not let our nurturing, comforting sides take over and eliminate our grunting, fighting hunting sides.

There are two areas where we can maintain and increase our masculinity while being the Stay-At-Home and drudging through the emasculating chores of laundry, dishes, dinner, cleaning vomit from couch cushions, more laundry, changing diapers, etc. The first is address our job our way. The second is to make sure that we exercise our selves.

This is your job. It is not your wife's that you are taking over for a short time while she goes out to get a pedicure. You are not the Substitute Mommy. You are raising your children and running your home. Do it like a man. Develop your own system. However it works for you, do it that way. If your wife has a better idea, maybe she would like to switch positions and stay home.

Men like to shoot things. We like to hit things. We like to overpower things. Don't agree? Then why are contact sports so popular? Of course, you can't hit, shoot or overpower your children (or their boyfriends) or most of the stuff in your house. You can shoot baskets with a dirty diaper from across the room. You can put the toys that were left in the driveway into the back yard using a tennis racquet. You can pick up and carry your third grader to the car (probably a minivan) when he doesn't want to go to the dentist.

If you want to clean the playroom using a push broom and shove all the toys to one wall, do it that way. When your wife comes home and asks you what you are doing, tell her you are tidying up quickly because the hockey game is going to start soon and you need the rink cleared. Play hockey with your kids in the basement.

Do things that will make you sweat and grunt. Carry larger than necessary loads of laundry or groceries. Try to change two diapers at one time. If you can't find things that challenge you during the day, look outside the realm of parenting.

Not everything during a SAHDs day will lend itself to encouraging masculinity. Because of that, you have to find things that make you feel manly; that stir the fires of barbarism deep within you. Play football even if you think you are too out of shape. Go to a movie that has lots of mindless carnage. Chop wood. Go to a bar and watch NASCAR. Pray. Dance like you did in high school. Embarrass your wife. Play poker.

Even in the most sophisticated, sensitive man, there flows the blood of an ancestor that hunted for his food, killed for his country, and never even considered crying at Old Yeller. Don't unleash that ancestor to run around free and uncontrolled, but don't lock him away forever, either. Let him peek out every once in a while.

Copyright 2005
All rights reserved. FatherMag.com authors retain their right to republish elsewhere.

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