One great thing about being a Stay-At-Home Dad is that people expect so little from me that I get credit for even the simplest of tasks.
If I change a diaper in a public location, you should see the smiles and admiration. Double points if my wife is present. It doesn’t even matter if the other two children with my wife are throwing tantrums and the kid I’m changing is the mellowest one of the bunch – “Dad is helping”.
Grocery shopping, which millions of families do every day of the week, is a special occasion when I bring my kids. I get smiles that say, “How wonderful it is of you to help out your wife.” You might be thinking that perhaps I’m reading too much into people’s looks but, no, I’ve actually had people come up to me in the store to tell me this. Specifically, it’s the little old ladies – they have no problem speaking their mind.
It’s not all sunshine and roses, however. All this goodwill comes from the assumption that Mom is doing the vast majority of the child-rearing. So when my wife was on vacation visiting a friend out of town and I had the kids all to myself for a week, I really wasn’t in the right state of mind when someone came up to me and said, “Mom’s day off, is it?” This was the one time that I strayed from my usual smile and told them, “Actually, I’m the one who stays home with my kids, and I don’t get a day off.”
Still, no complaints really, it’s a great situation right now. The saddest thing is that as more Dads are staying home with their kids, I’m just becoming another parent doing my job. Until such time, however, I’ll just keep milking it for what it’s worth.