Should At-Home Dads Just Shut Up Already?

Should At-Home Dads Just Shut Up Already?

SEE BELOW FOR AN UPDATE!

Get comfy kids, this will be a long one . . .

A couple of days ago, a video was posted on an at-home dad Facebook group page, of yet another incident where Seattle’s Mars Hill Church pastor Mark Driscoll makes statements that malign stay-at-home dads.

This one wasn’t the ridiculous “stay-at-home dads are worse than unbelievers” thing from a few years ago, but rather a sermon segment from last year about one “cowardly” kind of man he called “Little Boy Larry,” who stood as a representative of men who are really just boys that never grew up. Nice guys, but guys who don’t really want a wife, they want a new mommy to take care of them. The important part comes when he included in his description of this man-boy the line: “He’ll come up with dumb ideas, like ‘I’ll be the stay-at-home dad.'”

Naturally, this led to a handful of comments from at-home dads in the Facebook group, myself included, talking about how silly such a statement is, and lamenting that Driscoll’s wrongheaded, machismo-filled ideal of manhood and fatherhood is influencing so many. One of the comments included the statement that, in their opinion, the work of an at-home parent in “raising the next generation” is the “most difficult and manly job imaginable.”  Somewhat hyperbolic, sure, but I don’t think the importance of involved fatherhood can ever really be overstated.

Anyhow, the video itself aside, fast forward a couple of days, and a new comment appeared that, well, I just couldn’t let go.

Rather than reposting all of it, here are some excerpts to give you an idea of what was said by this one person, over the course of two posts (emphasis mine):

For a bunch of guys that want to break out of preconceived gender roles, calling child raising “manly” isn’t the best way to go about it. So is a mother raising kids a woman doing a man’s job? . . . [I]f one was to make a list of the most “difficult and manly jobs” around, I doubt raising kids would make the list. Maybe being a soldier, or a logger, or something, but changing diapers and singing babies to sleep, probably not. While a few SAHD’s are probably sacrificing lucrative careers in finance, law and or medicine to stay home with their kids out of principle, I think more than a few may be shiftless layabouts who just prefer to let the wife earn the dough, and be what amounts to a kept man. However this “we’re so much more enlightened and in touch than the working fatherly masses” attitude is pretty weak sauce . . . I’m sure there are easier and harder days as a primary caregiver, male or female. But comparing it to “normal workday” . . . I mean, do you get the occasional nap in? Can you hang out in your pajamas all day if you feel like it? How’s the brutal commute? Oh wait, you don’t even have to leave the house sometimes. You can order a pizza if you are so inclined? Do a little blogging, etc? Catch up on Sesame Street? . . . All I’m saying is that this defensive “it’s a legitimate, tough job” apologetic that the SAHD’s seem to toss out there makes people more antagonistic, not less antagonistic. It’s a little like when rich celebrities complain about how tough they have it. The SAHD community would likely have it better if they would just sorta try to fly under the radar . . .

Clearly, a big part of why this bothered me was because it just was so nonsensical and insulting.

But mostly? It bothered me, and bothers me still, because it actually came from a long-time friend of mine.

I’m not going to call him out personally here by naming him or anything, but I figure since he saw fit to post it publicity I’m not going to worry to much about whether he wants me reposting some of his thoughts on SAHDs, here. In fact, I’m fairly sure he stands by every word, anyhow.

Although he’s never confronted me outright about it, it’s actually been no secret to me that he doesn’t like (or maybe understand) what it is I do every day, or why. Which is fine, honestly. I know that some of my friends and some of my family probably feel the same way, to varying degrees, and it’s no impediment to us being friends or me loving them and appreciating them. But when I read the line about “shiftless layabouts” and “kept men,” I truly believe that he was expressing there specifically what he thinks of me. Y’know, since as a professional artist I was obviously not walking away from a respectable job “in finance, law and or medicine” to stay home with my kids “out of principle.”

I know him well enough to know that, while he probably believes every word he said, he mostly loves getting people worked up and acting as the antagonist. Maybe he was just trolling, and me writing so much about it is just feeding the troll. So be it, I suppose.

Mostly (he says, after over 850 words of introduction), what I want to do is post my follow up responses to him.

Why? In part because it’s clearly just something I want to get off my chest.

But perhaps more so, when I re-read what I had to say to him, even though it was as a somewhat ranty response to his specific criticisms, it’s something I really want anyone who is judging at-home dads (and moms) like my friend is doing to read. As I told him, I am not saying this stuff to be a martyr or complain about how tough it can be. I love what I do. But rather, this is a response to his outrageous ideas and conceptions about what makes a “normal job” so clearly much more difficult; how those of us who make caring for our children a full-time job have it so very easy and should shut our yaps about how tough it is.

Rather than editing it after the fact to re-word anything to make myself look smarter or my arguments sharper, I’m going to just leave pretty much it as it was, and I’ll add some footnotes down below about things I wish I had included.

So, here’s my rant (seriously, it’s good stuff, but it’s definitely a rant):

[Name redacted], no one is saying that a hands-on, active role in raising your kids is “manly” because it is specifically a “man’s job.” Geez. And clearly no one is saying that one has to be a SAHD to be an active, involved “enlightened” father. NO ONE.*

But if one feels the need (like Mark Driscoll does) to preach about what makes a “real man”, and then define fatherhood mainly as bringing in a paycheck and finding a subissive wife to take care of the kids, they are so completely missing the mark they are likely to shoot themselves in the eye.

You also have a completely wrong view of what it is that makes raising kids difficult. Are there more physically demanding or dangerous jobs? Of course! Is “the most difficult” somewhat hyperbolic? Sure. This isn’t a competition. But you try spending a few days taking care of your own infant and/or a toddler by yourself and if you tell me it isn’t one of the hardest, most physically and mentally and emotionally draining things you have ever done (as well as one of the most fulfilling and rewarding), I know you’ll be lying to me, or to yourself.

And while I’m SURE there are guys who sign up to be a SAHD because they are a “shiftless layabout” (however you determine such a thing, and I’m kind of araid to ask if that is why you think I do it…), it’s BECAUSE of attitudes like yours that they do it, because you incorrectly paint the full-time care of children as “changing a few diapers and singing babies to sleep,” presumably leaving plenty of time to watch football or play XBOX or whatever it is you think stay-at-home parents do with all the downtime you think they have. The truth is, such people either don’t last very long, or learn some hard lessons, before figuring out how to make it work.

[Later...]

Your whole argument about how SAHDs should just stay under the radar and whatever is, frankly, ridiculous and insulting at BEST. Yeah, man, the world would be such a better place if unfairly maligned minorities stopped complaining about being judged, mistreated, ignored and minimized, right. Geez, it’s ridiculous even if ONLY because YOU are the one who came to THIS — a page dedicated to discussing being at-home dads — in order to give voice to opinion on what we do. YOU came HERE.

So, as you read this, please keep in mind this isn’t me being some sort of martyr crying “woe is me” but rather ME, your FRIEND, answering YOUR specific questions and statements about what I do.

So.

WHO said there were not easier and harder days? No one here. I LOVE what I do and certainly don’t apologize for recognizing that I am incredibly lucky that I get to do it. You have a very wrongheaded view of what makes it hard though, particularly when comparing it to a “normal job”.

But since you ask, if I DO get a nap (which is very, very rare now), it’s not because I have ample opportunity, it’s because the stars align such that both of my boys are napping (very rare) and I am okay doing it instead of doing one of the million other things I need to do like feed myself, do the dishes, clean the dumpster-bottom-like area on the floor around the baby’s high-chair, do laundry, prep meals, take a shower, or do some of my paying freelance design work . . . or do what I WANT to do, like work on my own projects, for that matter. Anything for myself: blogging, drawing, reading, watching TV, writing out tirades like this on Facebook . . . they all have to happen during the few hours I am “off.” Y’know, just like people who go to the office every day, who also, incidentally, are known to sometimes take quick naps at their desk, in their cars, etc. during breaks. When I DO nap, it’s because I am at such a point of exhaustion after weeks of getting no more than 4-5 hours of sleep every night that my body doesn’t give me a choice and I say “screw it” to everything else.

Pajamas all day? I suppose it happens, like, when I’m sick. Y’know, just like how if you’re sick and stay home from work you get to stay in your jammies too. The difference is that while I’m living it up home sick in my pajamas, I STILL have to do my job. No sick days for me. Otherwise, I guess someday maybe you’ll get to experience being holed up with a toddler without leaving the house for a day and see how much “but you got to stay in your jammies” makes up for it.

The ability to order a pizza? Are you kidding me? As opposed to getting a lunch break every day where you can eat wherever you want? This… THIS is what defines whether something is a hard job or not?

Have you ever read about how for soldiers, a lot of the stress and weariness comes not from the actual fighting but from the hours and days of being at peak readiness for a situation that requires engagement? No? Well you should. But anyway, caring for an infant and/or a toddler all day is not unlike that. It is hours and days of being on constant guard. And man, I’m no soldier, but that ALONE is freaking exhausting.

Try having a job where in addition to 12 hours a day in the office, you are on-call the other 12 as well, during which you must do anything you didn’t get done during your 12 hour “shift” as well as anything else you want to do in your life. Typically find yourself working for 4-6 of those hours you are “off.”**

Try having a job where you have two bosses, and your entire day is spent addressing their every want and need, which are usually at odds. No, you don’t have to give them everything they want, but they don’t take “no” very well sometimes. You DO need to give them everything they need, and more often than not they do not want it and will make it a fight.***

Try having a job where your bosses do not even have the basic skills to care for themselves. YOU are responsible for feeding your bosses, cleaning your bosses, cleaning up AFTER your bosses (they love making messes), clothing your bosses, nursing your bosses’ many and frequent injuries, as well as educating them not just in readingwriting and arithmatic but in how to function in society, proper mannerssharinganger management, how to be respectful to authority, to love learning and healthy foods and physical activityserving others, and knowing about Jesus.****

Fail at any of these things and the threat is not that you will be fired (although you might), but that rather you will be condemning your bosses to a life without as good a chance at successhappiness, or stability.*****

Did I mention that this job doesn’t pay any money? No, no, you only do it because you really LOVE your bosses, and being a part of shaping them into good men is worth every lost hour of sleep and hair torn out in frustration.******

Now tell me again how at-home dads shouldn’t get just a little miffed when a guy who isn’t even a dad comes around telling them that they are most likely just lazykept men, like whining rich celebrities (seriously!?), who should just shut up and accept that no one will ever accept what we do as “natural.”

Ahhh, that feels so much better.

My friend says at one point that his main point is that SAHDs should stop being so defensive about what they do, and instead just quietly do it from the shadows, under the radar, where no one will see us. He says that when SAHDs get upset when someone attacks them, they just makes things worse.

What do you think? Whether it’s a public and influential figure like Driscoll using what us at-home dads do as the “dumb idea” of a perpetual man-boy, or someone taking it upon themselves to suggest that us at-home dads are shiftless layabouts and kept men, should we defend ourselves? Or should we just shut up, already?

UPDATE: After posting this, I’ve had some additional conversation with the friend whose comments sparked the fire of this rant, and after come clarifications I am happy to say that I definitely feeling less personally attacked by the whole thing.
He tells me he does not consider me one of the “shiftless layabouts,” but rather “probably a pretty good dad,” even if an “unconventional” one. I can accept that as being as close to an apology as I could ever expect. After all, “antagonism is part of my nature,” he says, and this was not news to me as his friend.
Still, believe that beyond personal insult, his words were poorly chosen and wrongheaded in both their attitude towards and conclusions about all at-home parents, not just dads. His views do represent many people who still need to hear this.

* This is something I’d like to expand on in a future post, the idea that stay-at-home dads think they are in any way “better” or more “enlightened” than dads who go to work every day — particularly SAHDs like me who blog about our experiences. We don’t. Far more important to us than there being more SAHDs is that dads everywhere embrace the fullness of fatherhood. That they see that they all have an important, active role to play in the lives of their children that starts from even before they are born and is way more then bringing home a paycheck. We want dads to not to believe the lie they’ve been told, that because you are a dude that your role in parenting is minimal, competence in childcare lacking, and ability to nurture nonexistent. More on this another time.

** I’d like to add here: “The only way you get through the day is that you have a co-worker who shows up for the last couple of hours of your shift, and shares the workload on weekends.”  Have I mentioned recently how amazing my wife is?

*** “Keep in mind that any time you need to do something that doesn’t directly involve your bosses (answering the phone, cooking a meal, showering, going to the bathroom) there is a 75% chance that you will have to do it while one (or both) of your bosses is screaming, crying, trying to climb your leg, trying to climb a bookcase, or figuring out how to overcome a child-lock. Good luck.”

**** “And proper appreciation for Batman.”

***** “Or even worse, they’ll literally become crippled or killed because you dropped the ball at just the wrong time.”

****** “By the way, none of this is because you have particularly ‘tough’ bosses. In fact, in temperament and behavior, and by lack any sort of unusual health or wellness issues that might make your job even more difficult than it already is, in this industry your two little bosses would be considered to be ‘easy’.”

Join the Discussion!
Nick says:

Thanks for the post. I used to have the same ideas as your friend, I had a manly job as a correctional officer. When my wife had our son it made financial sense for me to become a stay at home dad. After three years all I can say is that it is a lot easier to work with the underbelly of society. My views have changed and these last years reallt put walking in someone elses shoes into perspective. I think it would be beneficial for any parent regardless of gender to give full time parenting a go before they judge. Like I said before I’ll take a “real” job any day because it is easier then being a stay at home parent.

Kit says:

I’m not a SAHD. Actually, I’m a SAHM. But, I fully commend you for this. The job is essentially the same no matter what genetalia you have. I doubt it’s any easier or harder for me just because I’m a woman. But I felt I should mention- you don’t necessarily have to teach your boss about Jesus. Faith or beliefs in general, sure, but not every family worships Jesus.

davemchine says:

I’ve had similar experiences with people. The best thing to do is just “lose” a friend who doesn’t respect you. He’s not much of a friend if he’s posting that kind of thing about you.

OFelixCulpa says:

Chris,

Very well stated. I’m glad that you are open-minded enough to like this guy despite it all, but I really think you spend the time and energy you devote to friendship on better candidates.

Dinorah says:

Hello There! . . Here from Italy! . . .

I believe that your choice is a responsable choice, and only you both, and not outsiders that have just a few elements and knowledges about your life and family situation, he seems a fellow for sure with prejudices, that are by now old thoughts, you have the right to do what you do onbehalf of the good of your family.
The Courage of behaving againts the classical social norms is a must, and you are Brave. The family must grow together and your decision is just a total benefit to your children, kids should grow with parents not babysitters if it is possible to avoid… You’ve done the wright choice and I share it completely with you!. Congratulations!
Dinorah Galeano

CedricS says:

What, so its okay for women to crow about the sacrifices that they make from potential careers to be mom’s, about how noble it is, yet a dad (traditionally the primary wage earner in Western society, and the ‘alpha’) that eschews the normal roles assigned to him is not allowed to do the same? BS. Being recently unemployed due to the sale of my former employer’s company, I am now at home as much as my wife. She gets to be ‘home’ and it’s ‘normal’. I get to be home, and I feel like im a slacker because its been 10 days and I don’t have a job yet. I feel pressured every moment to be ‘looking’, ‘filing’, ‘doing’ something, and it’s making it difficult to just relax and enjoy being around for the kids while Kolette ramps her work schedule back up to help cover. Reading further (other posted articles), at different times in our lives my wife and I have made conscious choices about who would be home and who would not. This isn’t the first time that we’ve flip flopped-it just happens that my skillset and degree lend themselves to making more income than my wife’s music degree. I don’t know that we could pull off a complete coup of me staying home all the time and switching income models, but, for the time being anyway, I am home and she has gone back to work more full time. I don’t think that the full switch could work for us income wise since we run pretty close already, but ive always respected those guys that could pull it off and enjoy the opportunity to be there with their kids instead of watching them grow from the sidelines of the weekend and after 6pm nightly during the week. Bravo to you all.

Chris says:

Yeah, the pressure on guys to be “doing something” never really ends. I definitely have family and friends who (probably unconsciously) tend to make comments that suggest they think I’m always looking for job leads.

And honestly there is some of that that is self-imposed to a certain degree. Most full-time SAHDs I know, myself included, DO seek some sort of part-time or freelance work, or pour themselves into “projects” that make them feel like they are “doing something” beyond the child care, if/when time allows.

It’s easy to point at that as some sort of evidence that men “want to be working”, but the truth is, stay-at-home moms do that too, they’re just (in general) under less pressure for that “something” to come with a paycheck. Sure, many women will do Avon or Tupperware or something like that to bring in a little bit of extra cash, but more will pour themselves (when they have time) into scrapbooking or crafting or gardening or baking or what-have-you.

Michael Rafer says:

Chris, I have enjoyed your anectodes in this post immensely. They are well said and spot on.

I am so appreciative of what my wife has decided to do by staying at home with our daughter. Her job is by no means anywhere in the realm of “easy”. The few times that I had the privilege of watching our daughter so that Christi can get some time-off to herself has been more exhausting than any patient I’ve taken cared of in the ICU; Honestly!

The reality that males get criticized as SAHD and that the job of “stay at home parents” in general is minimized overall is disappointing. SAHD and SAHM deserve a lot of respect. They have risen to one of the greatest callings/responsibilities of instilling value back into the family unit – which has been lost in our current generation.

We love tracking with your family via FB and DD. We all miss you here.

Chris says:

Thanks Michael. We miss you guys too! Gotta get our adorable kids together soon.

Ryan S~ says:

Thank you for this, Chris. Your response was a lot nicer than mine would’ve been.

I find people who antagonize for the sake antagonizing to be the worst kinds of bully because at their heart, they are cowards. They wish to say what they want, when they want but don’t want the repercussions from saying it, ‘Whoa there, Slim, I wasn’t attacking anyone, I was just playing devil’s advocate’ or ‘Chill out, bro, you know I just like to get people’s feathers ruffled’.

Chris says:

Thanks Ryan. That I knew I wasn’t speaking for only myself is a big part of why I wanted to share this and am glad to see so many people resonating with it.

Dave Routly says:

Ok, in answer to the question that you pose: No, and yes.

Look, the question of whether or not a stay-at-home parent has a difficult job is resolved. Everything that had to be said about it was said during the episode of the Flintstones where Fred and Wilma switched jobs. As of 2012, the case that it is easy has the same intellectual weight as the case that the earth is flat. Arguing with that case elevates it’s validity simply through the act of engagement. It doesn’t matter, and people who make the case that being at home with kids are easy should be ignored, because they have nothing of value to say.

Having said this, the question of the stay-at-home dad is certainly a legit one, and you should continue to engage the conversation. I think that where Driscoll makes a mistake is in failing to understand that the way to chose what behaviors or roles to pursue in a marriage are based upon understanding the heart and desire of your spouse. If your spouses heart’s desire is to work, and not stay at home, you support that. And if her desire is to stay at home, you do your best to support that as well. Driscoll is fortunate in that his wife very much desires to remain home with their kids, and has always wanted to do so. But then he normalizes his own experience to people who are not his wife. To be fair, though, in his comments Driscoll NEVER makes the case that staying at home with kids is easy. Not at all. He is very, very respectful of the effort that goes into parenting kids at home. He just doesn’t think that it is the role of a husband/father to do it. Take that as you will.

I don’t think that you are a shiftless layabout (thought you did have the “year without pants.” 1996, if I recall correctly). You are obviously very engaged with your kids, you work hard, blah blah blah. More importantly (perhaps), you do it as a part of a collaborative effort toward parenting along with Anna. And if it works, and it nurtures both your kids and your wife, onward and upward.

Chris says:

Of course you are completely right. Flintstones did cover that territory long ago. DANG if it isn’t easy to get dragged into the argument again though.

It’s not unlike when someone tries to tell me that there is someone Batman doesn’t ALREADY have a rock-solid plan to defeat, if necessary. YES HE DOES! HE’S BATMAN! >:-|

Dave Routly says:

Or, “Greedo shot first”.

As someone who recently ripped apart the old Mark Driscoll video, I want to thank you for speaking out on this topic. The more vocal we are about what it is that we do (and what thousands of moms do every day) the easier it will be to move on to more important topics like getting ALL dads involved with their kids or getting corporations to hold families in high regard and reward their employees accordingly with a good work/home balance. I’ll stand next to any dad that stands up for his decision to do what is best for his family. Keep up the good work!

Chris says:

I read (for anyone interested: http://www.therealmattdaddy.com/2012/01/can-christian-be-at-home-dad.html) and really appreciated your breakdown of that video and why he is so, so wrong. Particularly because you didn’t just call him out on saying something stupid, but on how he (and his wife) are very clearly and specifically misinterpreting scripture.

I think one of the things a lot of Driscoll’s critics in the SAHD community don’t realize is that Driscoll himself does not care what they think (in fact he loves the attention) and that goes double if they’re not a Christian anyhow. Not that anyone is going to change HIS mind, anyhow, but the people listening to him hear a guy who is their spiritual guide throw out Bible verses that support his position. If the response isn’t to show how poor his understanding (or obtuse his misrepresentation) of the meaning really is, they have little reason to listen to his critics beyond perhaps admitting “Maybe he goes to far sometimes, but…” and then continue to think that your average SAHD is some sort of sissy coward man-boy.

I’m far less concerned about convincing Mark Driscoll that he’s wrong on this than I am about all of the young men and women who are buying what he’s selling.

i always wonder about the backlash if someone were to call Stay-at-Home-Moms lazy. If they were to say that a mom’s job was easy. it’s the SAME JOB. we do the SAME THINGS. who cares that we’re men? in my mind this whole thing should be a non-issue. we’re parents caring for our kids.

great rant, btw. well said.

Chris says:

I think that’s actually part of WHY it’s usually the people who think being an at-home parent (mom OR dad) is “easy” that also think it should properly be the domain of women only. Because women are weaker an incapable of the REAL work, right?

Men: doctors; women: nurses. Men: chefs; women: home cooks. It helps maintain this chest-thumping caveman idea of man-on-top gender roles: OOK OOK ME MAN! GO HUNT BIG TOOTH! YOU WOMAN! STAY CAVE! PICK GNATS FROM BABY HAIR! MAYBE EAT BON BONS OR WATCH SHOWS!

Al Watts says:

I find it hypocritical for people to say a group of people (in this case, stay-at-home dads) are lazy, man-boys who don’t want a job but then say, “but you are a great stay-at-home dad” as if you are the only at-home dad in the world who is not a bum.

I know hundreds of at-home dads. Nearly all of them quit their jobs to become at-home dads. None of them were lazy moochers that couldn’t wait to get the “cushy” at-home dad gig. And, frankly, what woman who is smart enough to be capable of earning a good income that will support the family is dumb enough to marry a loser.

Also, I find it offensive to say that at-home dads should just do their jobs quietly and not respond to such criticism. We have been far too quiet for too long. Society has beliefs about men that are no where near accurate. It is our duty to expose the truth so that more men can become the fathers they want and need to be (and that doesn’t mean at-home dads; all dads).

At-home dads are no longer going to be quiet when people like Pastor Driscoll and your friend make absurd assumptions about us. Men can and are being great dads; it’s time the public hear the truth.

Chris says:

It does kind of remind me of people who are selectively racist, holding broadly brushed views about a group of people of one race/ethnicity, but then claim those disparaging remarks OBVIOUSLY don’t include people of that race who they KNOW, who are DIFFERENT, y’see.

Desiree says:

Driscoll sounds like my mom’s family, at first. My father was a SAHD, and I tell you what, there’s nothing effeminate or wishy-washy or lazy about that man. The house was spotless the entire time growing up (which is impressive with 2 active, and somewhat messy children). He also could have kicked anyone’s ass. Seriously – he was in the army many years ago, and never stopped working out like he was still in. Even now, at 67, my dad could beat up anyone’s dad, and looks like Clint Eastwood. And he’s an active peace protester, to boot. I’d like to see Driscoll try to call him anything but “manly”.

At first my mother’s family thought less of him for his choice to be at at-home dad, which was in the Mr. Mom Movie days, and surprisingly they both handled it well, and gradually even the manliest of my uncles came over to agree it was a good idea, and now respect him, and probably even envy him.

That said, Driscoll may have a small point – there ARE men out there like the ones he is describing, but his approach at dismissing and carpet-bombing ALL SAHD’s for the sake of pointing out to a few bad apples is the absolute wrong way to go about it. Instead he should be encouraging guys like you, and holding you up as an example of how to BE a SAHD, (gender-roles being left out of it, because really, they shouldn’t matter anymore) and emphasizing that any man willing to be the caretaker and do the job right deserves just as much credit and respect as a woman doing the same thing.

I’ve been reading the Daddy Doctrines and I, quite frankly, am thrilled to hear you’re so active in your sons lives, and that they are getting as much love and commitment as they are. I applaud you, and think that Driscoll should get stuffed. (Get Stuffed meaning something far less pleasant, and probably anatomically impossible.)

Chris says:

Desiree, had no idea your dad was a SAHD. Though I suppose we met in high school, when his role was probably less overt, huh?

Thanks for sharing your perspective and your support.

baltwade says:

I quit my job as a engineer almost 9 years ago to be a SAHD. I didn’t do it to just sit around in my PJs all day, which I do sometimes, or for the ability to take naps, which I also sometimes do. I did it because I thought it was the best thing I could do for my family. I can’t think of a more “manly”, “husbandly”, and/or “fatherly” thing to do than to put what’s best for your family ahead of your own personal wants or needs. At least that’s what I learned from my dad. I love being a SAHD and I put 100% of myself into it and I’m going to be sad when it’s over, but honestly I can’t wait to get back to my old job. It was so much easier.

Chris says:

You know what I miss about my old job? The long bus commute. Man, I would get so much reading and napping done with a 45min ride each way. It was great.

Also, I miss that I was sometimes paid to play with Spider-Man and Star Wars toys. I still get to do that, but so far most of them are plush, and I do it for free instead.

Never stop ranting, friend. May your words be a wake-up call to many.

Chris says:

Next I think I will rant about how my socks all keep getting holes in them in the same spots. I sense a conspiracy by my pinky toenails.

Pam Widmer says:

Chris,
Mark and I are so thankful that you choose to stay home and raise our grandsons. You do a terrific job, and the boys are blessed to get to have you home, teaching them to be amazing people. Your friend is simply living in this world with blinders on, finding people to be successful only if they fit into his limited understanding of what success is. Again, thank you for being who you are! We could not have asked for a more successful son-in-law, and we love you!

Chris says:

I already knew that, but thank you for saying it so unequivocally. Your support of what I do is incredibly important to our family.

Mark Driscoll and his “manly Jesus” approach while wearing a Mickey Mouse t-shirt and citing Chris Rock as his sermon inspiration really just says it all to me. Clowns are for the circus and should be viewed accordingly.

Chris says:

Hey hey hey let’s not go dissing Mickey here. He’s innocent in all of this, pal.

That was a lot and I have a million and one thoughts running through my head… so for now I’ll go with a, “Nicely said.”

Chris says:

Well then for now I’ll say “Thanks!”