Myth of the Stay at Home Dad
September 24th 2011 00:29
Let me first apologize for not posting on here in a while. I have not been in the best emotional place for the past month and was taking a break from many things to get my head in a better place. Thank you for sticking with me.
Onto the Myth of the Stay at Home Dad.
If you are a stay at home dad, odds are that you have occasionally looked at a stay at home dad blog or website. God knows I have. I am even registered on sites like athomedad.org. What do you constantly see on these sites? All of these Dad’s are happy. So so so incredibly happy and fulfilled in their lives as stay at home dads. I am not doubting that many of these men are happy with their lives. I just haven’t met any of them personally.
Here is what I believe to be the Myth of the Stay at Home Dad: They are all happy and fulfilled in their new lives. That’s it. I find it harder and harder to believe that many stay at home dad’s are fulfilled in their lives. Where do we go for for help and advice though? We don’t. Turn to many of these sites and blogs and they are all happy and lovey and out going. Not helpful for a stay at home dad that is dealing with depression.
I am clearly one of the less happy and fulfilled dad’s out there. First off, I love my daughter, I have always wanted to be a dad and always new I’d have a daughter. She is my dream come true. I cherish my time with her everyday. I know I will never have this type of time with her ever again and am doing my very best to take advantage of it. That doesn’t mean that I am happy with the situation though.
I have enough therapists and counselors in my family to know that I am clinically depressed. Why is this? First off, I have been unemployed since June. More over, I planned on starting my career as an attorney 2 years ago, and have yet had the opportunity to get that going. That’s two years that my friends I went to school with have put in to their careers while my career has been on hold.
So I am unemployed, even when I was unemployed though I was not the bread winner in our family. I was doing Marketing work and only contacted for 30 hours a week. My wife, clearly is the money maker in our family. I don’t have a problem with my wife earning more than me. That honestly doesn’t bother me. It bother’s the living hell out of my wife though. She doesn’t want to work. She essentially wants us to swap roles. She wants to be the stay at home parent and she wants me out working. She works an hour away to get to her job. She gets 2 maybe 3 hours with her daughter a night. By the weekend she is so burned out by work she has to fake being in a good mood just to be able to not be upest while she spends the whole weekend with our daughter. She is clearly not happy. I don’t blame her. She doesn’t feel like a mother any more.
I don’t blame her. I spend a majority of the time with our daughter, taking her swimming, to the zoo, to the museum. All things my wife has had to miss out on the opportunity to do. I cook breakfast and dinner for everybody, take care of lunch of my daughter. Clean the house every day, do our laundry, our grocery shopping, yard work. I have always done most of this. But this leads to my wife feeling like our house isn’t her home but that it is just a place to sleep until she has to go to work. I would be fine with letting her do any of this, I feel so aweful any time she has to do any chores, or clean and take time away from being with our daughter.
I don’t get any satisfaction from doing any of the chores or house cleaning or yard work. I love cooking and did all of it before I became the stay at home dad. But it’s not satisfying and no matter what I do, I can’t make it satisfying. It’s not, it’s something that needs to get done, so I do it. No questions asked.
I should be the bread winner in the family. While I was employed for a year, I still consider myself unemployed for 2 years. I rightly or wrongly derive a lot of my worth by being able to provide for my family. Right now, I don’t feel like I provide anything to our family. Push comes to shove, my wife would work, take care of our daughter, cook, and clean. We both know this, while she might not acknowledge it. More over I know it.
I’m also unhappy because I have less and less time with my wife and with my friends. I would love to hang out with my friends on a weekend. I would love to be able to go on a date with my wife. We can’t. We don’t have the money. Even when we do have extra money. I do everything I can to not spend a dime of it. My wife earns it and I want her to be able to spend it. To go see her friends, to be able to buy something for herself. So my friends are pushed away because I don’t want to “waste” the money to hang out with them.
So here’s where we come back to the myth. I know other Stay at Home Dads. None of them are happy or fulfilled. Don’t get me wrong, they love staying time with their kids. They know they won’t get that time back. But they crave more, they want more. They are often depressed and yet we have to see all of these other happy dads. Who is there for us, who’s advice are we to look towards who aren’t happy, who we can relate too?
Fuck if I know. All I can tell you though is that I’m not going to pretend to be happy for this blog. The issues I have are going to come out. Take from this though, that odds are if you are depressed and a stay at home dad, you aren’t the only one. My best advice, Hug your wife and kids more, embrace your wife more, kiss her more.