Even men don’t feel valued as stay-at-home-dads
So I married this guy who was a well-established physician. He was part of a thriving practice and although when I met him- he never seemed too effusive about the work he did, he seemed content enough. I mean after all those years of residency, internship, fellowship (the man is double board certified) one would think this person would be grandfathered into this job as doctor till the end of his days. Well one would be wrong.
But my husband’s disenchantment with a career he spent so much of his life working towards and cultivating- is not what this post is about. Rather it’s about the fact that my husband, who has subsequently taken on the bulk of the duties I was doing before he left medicine i.e.- all that busy work that so many moms who are stay at home GODDESSES tend to- says he feels like he doesn’t really contribute anything to society by *just doing “that stuff*”.
And therein lies the problem that all of us as a collective society face- the fact that the jobs that any mother or father- who is the one keeping the home fires burning- feeding, clothing, bathing, picking up the cleaning, laundering and yes doing that GD awful math homework- are not seen with as much if not more reverence as those done outside the home. It’s not that my husband doesn’t take pride in all the things he does – or that he doesn’t realize the gravity and importance his role has on our nuclear family. I think it’s when he meets people and they ask him what he does- and he has to answer with- I am home with my kids- that he feels completely soul crushed and yes embarrassed.
EMBARRASSED for doing the most IMPORTANT JOB IN THE ENTIRE WORLD– raising these two people to be productive and well adjusted citizens of the world- filling their bellies with wholesome home cooked goodness and keeping the laundry from swallowing us whole. And he is ASHAMED to tell the world that THIS is his job.
Of course I tell him- We could not exist without him- our world would cease to function in the fairly seamless way it does– as SO MANY other households who have one parent doing all the house and kid stuff do– but I don’t think it matters to him. He needs validation that I can’t offer- as do all the stay-at-home parents- and well IT JUST isn’t fair….