(Sort of) Defending Stay-at-Home Dads

Christian TotoI didn’t become a stay-at-home Dad on purpose. My occupation made me do it.

Just try finding full-time work as a journalist these days. The industry is changing, collapsing and evolving all at once, and none of those steps makes it easy to find work. I toiled five years as a freelance journalist before joining Breitbart News as its entertainment guru.

To be accurate, I’m currently a quasi stay-at-home dad. I work from home, but my schedule allows for significant time with our boys. I’m still plugged in to the stay-at-home experience, which made this news nugget all the more interesting:

The majority of Americans — 79 percent — reject the idea that women should return to their traditional roles, but 51 percent say that children are better off if mom doesn’t work. Just 8 percent say the same about dad, which suggests that Americans still aren’t too comfortable with the idea of stay-at-home fathers.

It’s a sign of the times and a statement about our attachment to the past. And I sorta get it. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not about to make a blanket statement saying moms are universally superior to fathers. I don’t think we’ll ever conclusively decide or debunk that. I just see the bond between my wife and our sons and, frankly, I can’t compete. They cry when she leaves the house, they run to her when she returns … and she seems to know instinctively what to do in situations that leave me flustered.

At the same time I’m not sure it matters to a significant degree. I do my darndest when I’m with my kids, using all of my energies to make them happy, delivering  discipline and kissing the “owees” as needed. That, combined with the times when the two of us are caring for the boys together and the solo time she spends with them – I feel confident they’ll have an emotionally healthy life.

My hunch is that’s the same for my fellow stay-at-home dads. Even those who may not be as uber-nurturing as their wives are still in the game, still doing all they can to care for their kids. Some, frankly, are better dads than me. And if they didn’t have it in them to be a rock solid stay at home dad, they’d do whatever it takes to escape the situation with a financially smart maneuver.

So stay-at-home dads are here, and our culture better get used to it. Let the nature vs. nurture crowd slug it out over which gender is the superior parent. I’m just happy to hear about families with two parents in the trenches doing all they can to raise good kids.

 

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