"When is he going to get a real job?" I've heard it from co-workers, friends and family members since my husband was laid off from his job as a Network Engineer and decided to stay home for the past two years with our 2-year old daughter, Chloe. He is a great husband and father. He does errands during the day, housework, reads books to Chloe, takes her to a tiny tot playgroup, cooks dinner and takes wonderful care of us. He even had Chloe potty-trained before she turned two—a feat many stay-at-home moms we know were unable to accomplish with their kids. He does most of the typical household tasks that most stay-at-home moms perform (except he's a dad), plus traditional "dad chores" like taking out the trash, mowing the lawn, and changing the oil in our cars. He is truly a Super Dad.
So What's the Problem?
When a woman decides to quit her job to stay home to raise her children, most people think it's just great. "Oh, you'll save so much money on childcare," or "Your kids will be so close to you," are just a couple of complimentary comments praising the stay-at-home-mom for making such an excellent decision on her family's behalf. This decision is the same duty that many women fulfilled for most of this century: to be the loving housewife and mother while the husband was the breadwinner.
When a man decides to stay home to raise his children, however, people may think something is definitely wrong. "What does he do all day, watch Oprah and soap operas?" or "He probably lies around drinking beer all day," are just a couple of the negative comments I heard when I told co-workers that my husband was staying home to raise our daughter. Even in today's society, the thought of a female breadwinner scares many people. I get a lot of sympathy looks when others discover I am the sole source of family income. To this day, my mother is sure we must barely be scraping by on my inadequate income. She insists that I should be the one staying home with the baby, and my husband should be working to support our family.