Recently I came across some differing opinions/reactions to my status as a stay at home dad. As I have explained before, many men have funny, negative, or weird reactions when they hear that I stay at home with Emma. The older guys think it is pretty strange as they grew up in a different time. That is understandable but still a bit aggravating.
The younger guys are a mixed bag. The majority of the ones that have children tell me that I am extremely lucky to stay home with her–I totally agree– and they wish that they could do the same.
The younger guys without kids, in general, haven’t got a clue. They think that it is shameful, a waste of manhood, wimpy, you name it. They feel that a guy who stays at home with the kids and changes diapers, depending on the woman to make the money, is somehow beneath them and a cowardly thing to do. As all you parents who stay home with the kids can attest, the naysayers wouldn’t know just how easy going to work really is.
I probably used to think kind of the same way when I was younger, I don’t know as I never intended or thought that I would stay home like I am. I doubt that I thought it was shameful because I have always loved kids and knew that raising kids was a noble and honorable thing to do. As I have stated in the past, absent fathers are, in my opinion, the real cowards.
I also think that some men who are unable to have children for whatever reason put down a guy who stays at home to raise the kids as a way of lashing out. They probably feel inadequate and not truly a full and manly man since he is unable to father a child. I really feel sorry for guys like this.
Although I feel confined and stressed sometimes I feel that I have been blessed to be in my situation. I thank all the people, past and present, for preparing/guiding me to this place. I have been able to witness firsthand many, many things that I would not have been able to if things were different. I am able to travel with my family, be at all the parties and events, and see all the cool new things that Emma does…
One of the things that is the absolute best thing in the world is when Emma says, “I love you Daddy.” She says this often and it is usually accompanied by a hug and kiss. I equally love to see her do that to Melissa as she often does. I tell her that she better do this when she is a teenager! 🙂
Switching gears a bit… Whoever named it the “Terrible Twos” knew their stuff. Not that Emma is bad by any means. It is just that when she gets mad and shows her Polish/Italian temper I can truly relate. If she gets frustrated that she can’t do something she will say, “I can’t do it!” and throws whatever she was doing down. She likes to say the usual “No” and “Leave me alone.” The latter phrase comes usually when she is going potty. She also sometimes yells out no particular words but just something like, “aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhgggggg!” Talking about it right now is making me laugh but under certain circumstances it can be very stressful.
When I walk Emma or ride my bike with her on the back she now likes to say “Hi” to everyone we pass. If it is a man she usually waits till we are some distance away. If it is a woman or kids, she just says it right to them. The smiles that she creates are something! Again, something that I am truly blessed to witness.
Now, I know that all parents say this but Emma is very, very smart. I’d like to think that I am primarily responsible but that would be a disservice to Melissa who is extremely smart herself. When we are somewhere with other kids it is something to see how her vocabulary is more advanced than kids her age! I know this is true because we have had many unbiased people–recently California for the commercial– who have told us that she is very smart and advanced for her age. This little stinker is doing so many things–correcting us and speaking in sentences with big words that it sommetimes boggles our minds that she is only 2 1/2 years old!