The imagination that I will HAVE to provide financial security including basic survival needs to the family, I will HAVE to take responsibility of the comfort and luxury of my children at any cost and that I will HAVE to work until I become sixty, shudders me. Well, just the imagination! How will it be then for a man who is living this in reality everyday?! As a mother, while I portray my everyday difficulties in looking after home and children as struggles, I am glad I am not a father for I will HAVE to shoulder a lot more than what I do as a mother. Yes, women work too at most homes, but it is still okay if they don’t.
A stay-at-home parent is privileged in several ways. The comfort of the home, the midday naps, being with children – well, it could be a roller coaster ride sometimes to juggle between multiple chores; however, it definitely isn’t as burdensome as the family financial pressure imposed on dads. Irrespective of whether a man likes his job or not, he is under a social pressure to be committed towards a job, performance, hike and promotions in order to climb the ladder of the so-called success. For a dad, the pressure is twice as much!
How do we react when we hear:
A stay-at-home mom?
Good, she cares for her children more than her career.
A stay-at-home dad?
What….? Isn’t it a shame on him to sit at home without a job?
Where does this shift in perspective arise from? Do you agree that apart from the fact that only mothers can breast feed, fathers too are capable of looking after home and children? As a matter of fact, I shouldn’t be discussing here about their capability. The heart of the discussion must be their right to choose a SAHD role. In fact, most fathers cannot see themselves as a stay-at-home dad, not because of the SAHD role exactly but because of the fear of being looked down by society, family and why, by their own selves. However, as a father, ask your inner self if it has a secret desire to be at home full time with your kids, you will hear it murmur a ‘yes’. Yes, there are dads who, if given a chance without prejudices, will be happy for a role reversal.
While I write large-heartedly and open-mindedly the right of a father to be a SAHD, if you ask me if I am willing to go out to work while my husband can be at home, my answer would be something like this: “Well,….actually….uh…if….but….what if….” The truth is, I am afraid; afraid to shoulder a life-time financial commitment!
How just is it then to confine the father and deprive him from taking up a SAHD role?! And let’s ask ourselves more questions:
- How many dads get to spend along with their children’s summer vacation?
- How many dads get to listen to their kids’ everyday school stories?
- How many dads get to observe their little ones’ everyday schedules?
- How many dads truly get enough time to delve fully into the niceties of fatherhood?
We all know the answer! And sadly, most of us wouldn’t know what to do about it because we aren’t willing to acknowledge this emotion of a father.
This is the seventh post of the series, The Secret Emotions of Fatherhood. I definitely couldn’t do justice to the series. In fact, 7 posts in the committed 30 days isn’t anywhere close to a series. However, with the little time I had spent in writing about fathers, I discovered a little more about the other side of fatherhood along with some memories of my daughterhood. Thanks to fellow readers; I officially end this so-called fatherhood series here. Nevertheless, I shall continue to write about daddy life on my blog in the coming days.