Friday, February 11, 2011

The Good Men Project - Are Stay-at-Home Dads Macho?

Silly that anyone even has to ask that question - macho is a cliche of hypermasculinity that has nothing to do with reality. That's the important point from my perspective.

THEN, any man who does is job as a father is as manly as it gets. Just be a dad - go to music recitals, ball games, school plays, or volunteer as a coach, Den mother, or whatever. All you need to do is be a loving, compassionate person in their lives who helps them navigate the struggles of growing up.

Here are a couple of excerpts from the article (edited - I don't think the machismo talk is useful - so I cut it), but you should go read the whole piece. I wish it had been longer and included some perspectives from other fathers who stay home with their kids - there is a whole mess of daddy blogs out there by stay-at-home dads.

Are Stay-at-Home Dads Macho?

In the fourth of a five-part series on love and relationships, Tom Matlack and author Laura Munson debate the question: Are stay-at-home dads macho?

MATLACK: I spent 18 months at home with my young children just after getting divorced. I only had the kids part-time and I found it amazingly hard when they weren’t around—and amazingly rewarding when they were.

The feeling of holding a child, especially my own, in the crook of my neck is as close to God as I have ever been. When my life was completely falling apart around me—at least in part because I’d been working so hard that I had completely forgotten that I was a father—spending time with my kids reminded me what was important and gave me a purpose.

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Mothers have something essential to give their children, but what dads have to offer is no less important.

For those of us who have finally, fully internalized that fact, there is nothing in our lives more important than our children—and no one is going to tell us otherwise. We will dive through brick walls—and endure being called “sissies”—to care for our kids in a way that makes up for time lost in prior generations.

* * * * *

For men in 2011, the primary challenge is to figure out how to be at home with our kids while still holding down a job. To those guys who stay home to raise their kids: You are lucky, macho men. The dad at the playground or the “Mommy and Me” playgroup doesn’t have to cower over in the corner. He can stand tall and do his thing, playing with his kid in a manly way, because it is cool to be a dad.

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