Now before someone brings up the ‘E’ word. (You know…egalitarian) Go ahead right now and stow it. I’m on my second load of laundry, the kitchen is a wreck from the weekend and as soon as I get this posted up I’m going to take out the trash and run screaming out the door to get kids to school and run a few errands. ‘Stay at home’ is a joke. In other words, I’m not really all that sympathetic to people who stand in judgment of my family because we don’t conform to societal norms. Yes, societal norms—note I didn’t say biblical. Our society has shaped the way we perceive who does what in a family a great deal more than the Word of God has.
So yeah, I stay home with the kids and take care of the house and the family in general. This usually freaks people out. Here is an example: I have spent a great deal of time taking care of babies. A GREAT deal of time. Four kids worth as the primary caregiver—Moms will understand what I’m talking about. Other Dads? Eh. They don’t get it. My general impression—now this is merely my perception of their reaction which is a tricky thing at best…well, most men are pretty transparent about it so its not that tricky. Anyway. My impression of what men think about men who ‘stay at home’ is this: That’s women’s work. That’s not what real men do. You must be a sissy. These are the same people who see all of us out at the same time and act like we brought our Wolf Hounds into the restaurant to feed on human flesh. They are just KIDS! I mean there’s probably more than average…there’s society thing again. “Man” they say “You’ve got yer hands full!”
Whoa! I thought Einstein was dead!
I have to say, after much experience, that the first misimpression others have about our family set-up is probably true. I wouldn’t call what I do ‘women’s work’ because I’m the one doing it—and let me tell you it ain’t easy. I’d rather go work construction or be a plumber or a welder or something like that. (Oh, and guys when she’s got fourteen kinds of lotion all over the house its because of the water and the detergent. It’s because diaper wipes and laundry soap and floor cleaner all eat your skin. So lay off if she’s got lavender lotion in one room and apple in another. If you had to do what she does in a day she would come home and find you lying in the floor with the kids rubbing oatmeal on the walls and a little lotion is a small price to pay.) At least I wouldn’t have dishpan hands all the time. There is nothing worse than changing out the fuel lines on a lawn mower with dishpan hands. Ouch!
It seems that she is wired up in a way that would let her handle some of the things I have to deal with in a better way. It seems like she was ‘made’ to do some of the things I have to do on a daily basis. Most of that has to do with nurture and looking after the kids. I mean, I’ve had to work at it. But it has to be done. That’s what men do. You do what you must and what you should and then, if you have time, you do what you can.
And you don’t worry about the jealous goobs who don’t step out and do what’s right even if it doesn’t look that way from the cheap seats.