Interview With A Stay-At-Home Dad

by MyDadBlog on March 15, 2011

in Advice

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Traditionally, the man of the household is seen as the wage-earner, or ‘breadwinner’. The woman chooses to stay at home raising the kids and generally keeping the home running.

In modern times, a reversal of these roles is common, but how do men really feel when they find themselves doing the ‘woman’s work’? Let’s find out…

Gavin is a 24-year-old part-time wrestler with a 19-month-old daughter and a wife who works full time.

How do you feel society views stay at home dads?

“The older members of society still seem to think it should be as it was back in their day, when women stayed at home and men went out to work.

“On the whole though, people don’t seem to think about it much and just take it as read that this is what works for some people.”

How do you feel about the role reversal in your home?

“It’s the norm for us. I personally don’t feel there should be a set role for either gender.

“This arrangement is just more practical for us as the jobs my wife’s trained in pay better than the jobs I’m trained in, so it makes more sense for her to work.”

What do you bring into the household, financial or otherwise?

“I don’t contribute financially as I don’t claim benefits or anything, and the wrestling I do is largely unpaid.

“My main job is to keep the home running and provide a safe and nurturing environment for our daughter.

“My wife takes care of all the financial stuff like setting up our cash ISA for next year or deciding what credit cards we should use for the shopping; I prefer to take a back seat with all that.”

Describe a typical day for you.

“Lots of playing and cleaning! I wake up when the baby wakes up, bring her down and change her. Then I give her some breakfast and clean up while she’s eating.

“We then have playtime for a couple of hours until she goes for a nap, which gives me time to clean up the aftermath of morning playtime.

“When she wakes up I change her and make us both dinner, then it’s time for afternoon play or maybe a trip to the park if the weather’s good.

“This takes us to about 5pm when the wife comes home.”

Do you get time to yourself?

“Yes, when the baby decides she wants to do things for herself! My mum has her on Mondays and she’s at nursery school Wednesday mornings so this gives me chance to get out on my bike, go shopping and anything else I need to do.”

Does being a full-time dad affect your wrestling career?

“Not at all; I base my training around my wife’s working hours and any shows I’m in are all on weekends when she doesn’t work.

“If I need to do any daytime shows through the week my wife books time off or finishes early – we help each other out.”

What do you get out of being a stay at home dad?

“Grief when I don’t do the dishes! But seriously, I get the experience of spending time with my daughter that working fathers wouldn’t normally get.

“I don’t feel like I miss out on anything like I would if I were out at work all day.”

Do you have any plans to go back to work in the future?

“I’m always keeping my eye open for work but I have a problem finding a job which would make it worthwhile financially. If I worked part time or had a low paying full-time job all the money I earned would have to go on paying childcare and we wouldn’t be any better off.

“I’ll probably wait until our daughter starts part time school and get something then. For now, this arrangement suits us.”

Is there anything you dislike about being a full-time dad?

“The main thing that bites is that I get comments from other men about who wears the trousers or questioning our relationship – I’ve been called hen-pecked a few times!

“I also get quite hurtful comments from women. I remember one incident at the park when two elderly women told me it wasn’t right that I changed a little girl’s nappies.”

And what did you say to that?

“I just said I don’t see a problem with it as she’s my daughter, and I’m not going to let her sit there in her own waste waiting for a woman to change her!”

Finally, is there anything you’d like to say to any men reading this who are perhaps thinking about becoming stay at home dads?

“Why should women have all the fun? Dads are just as good at playtime! Women fight for equal rights in the workplace, so we men should have an equal right to stay at home, raise our kids, and wear tights if we want to!

“Seriously though, if you think it will work for you don’t pass up the opportunity – it’s just as rewarding as having a job, and I wouldn’t give up the time I spend with my daughter for anything.”

Interview carried out by Les Roberts, a financial journalist with Moneysupermarket.com and a father of two.

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