It’s common for stay at home dads to face either raised eyebrows or outright societal disapproval. For example: every time I interact with my father-in-law, there is a palpable undercurrent of “too lazy to get a job, huh?” He mutters under his breath, “well, at least the kids have a Nancy in the house.”
For those of you not tracking, I’m the Nancy.
My buddy often introduces me as the guy without a job. He asks me, “is your family doing okay without you having a job?”
To which I reply, “Fuck you, buddy. I have a job. It’s taking care of kids.”
I find these 5 steps to SAHD Self-Respect absolutely necessary when navigating the world around us and its unfair gender notions about “providing.”
5 STEPS to SAHD SELF RESPECT
1. Treat your SAHD Status as a Job.
If you don’t treat it as a job, nobody else will see it as a job. Show up on time. Put in the hours. Let ‘em know you’re here to play ball. And that ball is imaginative roll-playing on a non-descript playground where you’re the alien and your 2yo is some Disney character eliminating the alien. You make noises that represent a dying alien species. That goes on the CV. Then complain to management you want a raise. And tell other people what a shitty boss you have.
2. Dress for Success.
This isn’t amateur hour. This isn’t “every day is casual Friday” day. This is a SAHD work day. Wear clothes that show you respect yourself and your job. And if that doesn’t work, put on your “ready to play like a weirdo” outfit channeling your inner Richard Simmons. The kids love Richard Simmons.
3. Say it Loud and Proud.
I’m an at home parent. I’m a stay at home dad. Say it so loud and so proud that everyone hears you. At a party and they ask what you do? Start crying. Grab their shirt sleeve. Beg for respect as you blubber “I’m a stay at home dad, goddamnit!”
4. Learn to Speak Football.
You have to have some discernible man-currency and if you don’t already speak Football, you need to get on it and fast. We’re already in week 8. Halfway there. Then when your father-in-law calls you a Nancy you bust out the “Can’t believe Julio Jones is out for the season. And AP’s son died? That’s rough, man. Rough…. Oh? You don’t follow the NFL? Too busy watching General Hospital are ya?” Booyah, take that you SAHD-shaming Republican from the 50s. We’re in the 21st century. I watch football and change diapers.
5. Write A Blog.
Nothing buys you respect in this world more than blogging. People ask me what do I do? I say I’m a SAHD. They raise their eyebrows. I follow that with “I blog” and people are all like, “no shit? That’s awesome!” Blogging is awesome. Especially if you do it right.