Biggest Misconceptions about Stay-At-Home Dads


I recently read an article on Huffington Post about the things NOT to say to stay-at-home-dads. It got me thinking about a few of my own encounters with people who still get confused by the concept of a father who stays home with the kids and takes care of domestic responsibilities.

Gasp! A man caring for his own children and not working? Blasphemous!

The truth is that it’s not a foreign concept. In 1936, the majority of Americans believed that women should not be in the work force if their husbands had jobs. Now, the majority of Americans believe that women should be working, and paid just the same as men.

And women have had so much success in the workforce that if they need additional help with daycare and household responsibilities, they can rely on their husbands. We are constantly changing perceptions, and challenging stereotypes.

I’ve put together a few of the biggest misconceptions about stay-at-home-dads, and I encourage you to share your own. Remember, together we can change America’s perception of stay-at-home-dads.

1. We can’t hold steady jobs.

When people meet a stay-at-home-dad, they usually assume that he’s either A) temporarily out of work or B) unable or unwilling to find work. It shouldn’t matter why we’re at home with the kids. Perhaps daycare had gotten too expensive or it made more sense for one parent to stay home.

Whatever the case, being a SAHD is a full-time job, with hours that are even more demanding than a desk job. Instead of looking at us as jobless losers, look at us as responsible fathers.

2. We’re not masculine enough.

We didn’t lose our masculinity when we made the decision to become stay-at-home-dads. In fact, I’d say that our masculinity probably increased, because we must go against what society believes is “normal” for men to do.

By staying at home with our children and taking care of the home front, we are changing our children’s perceptions of gender roles in the home. We are redefining gender roles for ourselves and our children. It teaches them to be comfortable with whatever they decide to do in their lives.

3. We don’t know what we’re doing.

How can we possibly know what we’re doing, right? Men aren’t supposed to know how to clean a house and take care of children! Those responsibilities are solely designated for our wives!
What I find so entertaining is that after all of the social changes and advances in America, there is a substantial amount of people who still believe in gender roles. To those people, I’d like to say that men are just as capable of staying at home with the kids as women; and we’re entitled to the same amount of respect as women!

4. Our wives would rather be the ones staying at home.

Not all women want to be stay-at-home-moms, many women find power and even serenity through working. I can’t speak for other SAHD’s, but in my case, my wife was the one who encouraged me to stay at home. When our daycare bill skyrocketed after our second child came along, it made more sense for me to quit my job because my wife was making more money than I was.

5. We sit at home watching sports all day long.

I don’t even like sports! If I had the time to watch television through the day, I’d be watching Maury. If you have children, you know that you can only watch television for about 30 minutes a day, assuming that you’re not cleaning during nap time.


1 comment

  1. Pretired Nick

    Thanks for saying it! I was delighted to be able to “pretire” and stay home with my little guy. There is so much less crying and whining than at my last job! It takes major balls to stay home with a baby and even more to stand up to society’s conventions.


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