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    Posted February 27, 2014 by
    claypoet
    Location
    New Jersey
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Confessions from imperfect parents

    More from claypoet

    Married to Mr. Mom

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     claypoet told us that her husband, Ronald, was laid off a few months after their twin daughters were born and decided it would be best for him to stay home and take care of their three children. To help pay the bills, he obtained a license to run a daycare from their home while she continued to work as a dispatcher. "Outside people don't relate to us easily. They think it's odd for a mom to work while the dad stays home with the kids," she said. "He gets a lot of credit for doing that, but socially it seperated him."
    - Verybecoming, CNN iReport producer

    I am the wife of Mr. Mom. In our world, I go off to work in the sedan in business attire and leave him home to whisk 4 kids off to school and day care on time in the mini van, complete with stick figure family on the bumper. Every seat has a booster or a car seat. Every window has finger smudges to reflect the existence of child passengers. My husband chases the girls around the house every morning trying to convince them to wear school uniforms instead of their Tinkerbell jammies or boots in 1 foot of snow instead of the glittery mary janes they can't wait to stomp in mudd puddles in. O yeah, and my husband ran a licensed in home day care.

    Being a man in that field of business is difficult. I vividly remember the day when he had to take a total of 6 kids to a dr appointment in a new place and the office personnel were certain he must be a kidnapper. I don't understand why a kidnapper would be taking kidnapped children to a doctor but they were sure thoroughly convinced. They called security on him. They just couldn't imagine a dad with that many kids who would dare to venture out into the world with a baby carrier in one hand and a double stroller in the other. Surely, he was up to no good. Imagine the embarrassment for my husband. Of course, when those security personnel actually demanded to call the day care child's parents to confirm he really was what he claimed to be, they were embarrassed too. My point in telling this particular story - this paints a very sad picture of society's current view of fathers everywhere. It's become so common place, even in this modern society, to see nonparticipating dads. Are they really this missing in action? If a mom had 6 kids out in public, no one would blink an eye. We need to wake up people! The truth is, in the midst of this sad image, more and more dads are in fact taking on a mom's roll in the family. Support them! We we support them, maybe we can raise more boys to be real dads for the next generation.

    Also difficult to navigate is being one of these wives who work full time and don't get a "pass" from teachers and society if they have to miss certain important school activities because of their career schedules. Its socially acceptable for the father to miss these events for his job, but it's not for the mom. As one of these moms, I can tell you, we feel eternally guilty. We want to be there, but sometimes we have to work. We don't need anyone to help us feel any worse.

    Husbands and wives with this reversed role need to be supported. We are a fish out of water. My husband is fantastic at it - maybe the best - but he has to fight the constant stereo types. We both do. He is a hero to our kids for being so active in their lives and he wouldn't have traded it for the world. But he pays a price when men in a working society don't know how to relate to that.


    How did we get here? A lot of families who have these switched roles find themselves there because of the economy. Some days, I'm sure he wishes he could run to an office instead of face the explosive diaper waiting for him in the crib, and we do share those responsibilities, but he would say that the good and bad days of it all are valuable. If you are a stay at home dad, however you got here, I solute you. The more fathers out there pushing 2 grocery carts to get the shopping done before mom gets home so she doesn't have to do it and the more fathers who are seen out there in the world pushing the swings at the park two at a time, the more hope we can have in changing this perceptually tainted world. My husband is proof that being a present father doesn't take away from men being men, it makes them into the kind of man the world needs more of.

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