1.) It makes you more attractive to women. This has got to be one of the biggest myths around. Yes, as a stay at home dad you may have more contact with women and may even make some female friends but this doesn’t mean that it makes you more desirable to women. For one thing as a new stay at home dad you are hardly looking your best. What with not having had five minutes to shave or brush your hair and clothes that are usually just thrown on and often have stains and residues of some sticky food substance that you didn’t realise was there. Also stay-at-home-dads with young children are constantly accompanied by the lingering and unpleasant odours of vomit and poo. Added to this are the tired, red baggy eyes, the deepening lines of stress on the face, the fixed grin as you endure yet another tantrum and the slouched posture (caused by pushing a buggy with a buggy board or one that is too low down). Well, it would be a miracle if your own wife looked at you again, yet alone being considered irresistible to loads of women. Apart from all that you are normally focusing all your attention on your children and even in the unlikely event that a women did spare you an admiring glance you would probably be too busy to notice anyway.
2.) Stay at home dads get to drink beer and watch TV all day. Great sign me up! Seriously if this were true don’t you think that nearly every man in the world would be clamouring for the job? The truth is that if you are a responsible parent you will be working harder as a home dad then you ever were in any normal’ job. Think about it, the hours aren’t 9-5 they’re from whenever the kids get up (often pre-dawn) to the moment they go to bed (earliest 7pm, possibly midnight), and that’s presuming that they sleep through the night. That’s one hell of a long working day and guess what, it’s not just 5 days a week with 4 weeks a year paid holiday either, it’s 7 days a week and no paid holidays! Also the only TV you are likely to be able to watch certainly won’t be anything you want to see, unless of course you love Cbeebies or the Disney Channel. And while the idea of having a beer or three whilst on duty’ might be tempting and appealing at times, you would regret it the moment the kids started demanding things, having a tantrum or you had to focus on more than one thing at a time.
3.) Men do not make as good parents as women. The words sweeping generalisation’ and sexist’ spring to mind. There is no biological, psychological or physical reason why men can’t be as good as parents as women. Contrary to popular belief women have no secret formula or magic ingredient that automatically makes them a good, natural parent. Some women would make terrible mothers, just as some men make terrible fathers, but it is unfair to assume that all men are incapable or inadequate before they are even given the chance. If a man said that female doctors were not as good as male doctors for example then there would, rightly, be a public outcry. So why is there no opposition when men’s parenting skills are called into question? Stay at home dads are not trying to take over as mums, they are still Dads and are still behaving as dads even if they do spend more time with the children than the mothers.
4.) You must have rich wife/partner to be able to give up work. Not true. While your wife does have to have a reasonable income to cover the bills it is often possible to survive on one person’s wage. It may require some economising and some sacrifices to be made, (no plasma screen TV or new car for you) but it is, more often than not, achievable. In this age of money matters and material possessions being status symbols it’s easy to forget that when we were growing up one of our parents nearly always stayed at home with us as children and managed to cope. Besides what’s the point of having a new plasma TV that the kids are going to smear with jam and sticky fingers or a new car that will soon be engulfed in sweet wrappers, crumbs, toys and muddy boot prints.
5.) Stay at home dads are not Real Men’ What does it mean to be a real man? Just because you look after your children and show some compassion does not that you are either wimpy or gay. Many stay at home dads like sport, beer, women, cars and all the stereotypical things that men are supposed to like. The trouble is that you often haven’t got the energy to play any sport, have too much responsibility to get drunk, haven’t got the money to spend on cars and have a distinct lack of enthusiasm (as well as all the other reasons) about other women. Besides if being a real man’ involves being loud, obnoxious and getting into fights on regular occasions than wouldn’t you rather be seen as not a real man’?