In the Valley of Dudes: Stay At Home Dad Tells All

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Being a stay at home dad is weird. People ask me all the time what it’s like to stay home with my kids while my wife contributes to the Gross National Product every day, and the best way I can describe it is, “weird.” Not because I’m a man and she’s a woman—that’s not the weird part. The truth is, I know lots of stay at home dads. (We call ourselves SAHD’s. Pronounced “sad.”) I live in the “Valley of Dudes” where women work and men cook and change diapers. We all have beards, rarely wear closed-toed shoes, and find good excuses to get together and drink beers in the afternoon. Suck it, dudes with jobs!

There’s nothing weird about that. What’s weird, is hanging out with two five year old kids all day, everyday. Let me explain.

Being a stay at home dad is…

…A lot like being a camp counselor. I spend a lot of time teaching my kids how to ride their bikes or swim. For most of our activities, the kids need to wear protective helmets. In the afternoons, I try to keep them from launching frogs off of homemade catapults.

Being a stay at home dad is…

…Being surprised and a little ashamed by how much you like watching My Little Ponies.

Being a stay at home dad is…

…Having your pockets full of rocks, flowers and half eaten cookies. All the fucking time.

Being a stay at home dad is…

…Writing angry letters to McDonalds because they put these huge damned holes in the top of their milkshake lids that are five times bigger than they should be. Why McDonalds? Why such big holes? So my kids can more easily paint the interior of my mini van with their strawberry milkshakes?

Being a stay at home dad is…

…Convincing yourself that your kids are old enough to watch The Goonies so that you can spend a Tuesday afternoon watching The Goonies.

…It’s having a bubble wrap dance party. Step 1) put a bunch of bubble wrap on the floor. Step 2) Play Madonna.

Being a stay at home dad is…

…Catching your kids in the midst of doing something diabolical, like, say, walking out on the back deck with a chair, a bucket full of water and some rope. And they won’t give you a straight answer as to what exactly they’re going to do with the chair, rope and bucket of water. They just keep telling you not to worry. “It’s healthy.” You will thwart similar diabolical plans at least seven times a day.

Being a stay at home dad is…

…Calling out for your daughter 13 times a day, only to find her dancing and singing in front of a mirror. Every. Single. Time.

…It’s spending the morning throwing paper airplanes into a laundry basket. While wearing bunny ears.

Being a stay at home dad is…

…Making three separate meals every night because one kid thinks she’s a vegetarian, the other is on a strict Paleo diet, and your wife will only eat food that’s orange.

…It’s creating elaborate sticker charts that reinforce “good” behavior but really, are just designed to make your life easier. Get daddy a beer from the fridge—get a sticker. Walk on daddy’s back—get a sticker. Mow the lawn but tell mommy that daddy mowed the lawn—get a sticker.

Being a stay at home dad is…

…Riding your daughter’s pink scooter through the neighborhood all by yourself, so she can ride that same scooter home from school. Like a boss. Then googling “adult scooters” while you wait for your kids to get out of school because you had so much fun riding the pink scooter, but you’re a grown ass man, so you think you should have a scooter that’s suitable for a grown ass man. Something with skulls on it or naked lady mud flaps.

Being a stay at home dad is…

…Getting a manicure on rain days while reading comic books and drinking a beer. #glitterfingers.

Being a stay at home dad is…

…Trying to figure out if I should get frustrated or be proud when my daughter signs her name for a school paper but gets distracted mid signature and spends five minutes turning the “i” into a pony.

Being a stay at home dad is…

…finding new places to hide the glitter glue, which is the bane of my existence. How do they keep finding the damn glitter glue?

Being a stay at home dad is NOT…

…a job. Don’t let anyone tell you taking care of the kids all day is a job. That’s bullshit. As far as I can tell, people get paid for jobs. I receive no monetary compensation for my hours of toil. Will I get a gold watch when my kids go to college? What’s the pension like? Do I get two weeks off every year? Hell no. Being a stay at home dad is work, but it’s not a job.

 

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “In the Valley of Dudes: Stay At Home Dad Tells All

  1. Hadn’t read your blog for quite a while as there are never quite enough hours in one day. However, I decided to today and I’m so glad that I clicked on it – your posts are just as great as before and never cease to entertain!

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