Misconceptions and Frequently Asked Questions
Here we are inching towards the year 2020, and I still do not have a flying car.
But that is okay; I can live with that.
I thought I would live on Mars by now or at least vacation on another planet.
Nope, but that too is okay. I do not mind vacationing on Earth.
I still get looks and mixed reactions when I tell people that I am a stay at home dad.
Now, this is something I do not want to live with anymore.
It makes me wonder:
When will people realize that fathers are as capable of taking care of their children as mothers?
Let me do my part in clearing this up by listing some of the misconceptions and provide some real-life truths. This goes out to all the people who have a surprised reaction when I tell them I am a stay at home dad.
It also goes out to all the people who smile and say, “oh wow, that is great,” but their faces say something else.
Do you want to know the ultimate truth about stay at home dads?
We are just guys who take care of our kids.
Nothing magical happens or changes when a dad stays home. He is the same person he was before but now does something different.
We may struggle, but we figure it out.
Before we begin, I want to answer some frequently asked questions about stay at home dads:
FAQ 1: How much does a stay at home dad make a year?
If you are a stay at home dad and spend eight hours a day with your child – then have a side hustle to make extra cash, I think you can make anywhere from $6,000 to $12,000 consistently working during your downtime.
It also depends on your rates, what you do, and how often. I work while watching my daughter and in the evenings when my wife gets home. I wake up early and go to sleep late making that extra cash.
FAQ 2: How can a stay at home dad be successful?
A stay at home dad can be successful by defining his role and defining his success.
I am successful:
- When my daughter and I survive another day – we do this by keeping our routine, you can read about it here Stay at Home Dad’s Daily Toddler Routine from Foo Fighters to Bath Time, we have fun. On those rough days, I try to do things to distract her from feeling crabby
- When my daughter hits another milestone (especially early) – this is important because you stay at home to give your child the best care possible, so teaching them is vital; what you teach and the activities you do with your child progress as they grow
- When my wife appreciates what I do – doing things around the house and taking care of your wife is part of being a stay at home dad, when my wife notices, I know I am doing something right to make her happy, so I keep doing things like that – she works hard it is the least I could do
- When I pay my portion of the bills – this is important to my success because I know I am contributing to my household, I do what I can to bring in money, from small jobs to big jobs as long as it does not interfere with taking care of my daughter
I accomplish all these things by working hard, keeping my energy level up and keeping somewhat of a daily routine with my daughter. I keep doing it because it works and it is worth it.
FAQ 3: What are the benefits of being a stay at home dad?
Honestly, the most significant benefit of being a stay at home dad is that you get to raise your child how you want and watch them grow. Yes, it is a tough job, but it is extremely rewarding here are 9 Amazing Reasons Being a Stay at Home Dad is the Best Job Ever.
Now let’s get into the misconceptions…
#1 Stay at home dads do not do anything all day
This one is big for stay at home dads everywhere, people think we do nothing. We just stay at home waiting for our wives to come home.
That is flat out wrong – for one, nobody with a child can do nothing all day. At least without being neglectful.
Even if you want to take a break and do nothing, children do not let you. They will scream to get your attention and poke you until you get up. When they do allow you to sit and take a break, it’s only because they are tired and want to nap on top of you. So it’s not a break.
Bottom line, stay at home dads do the same things any parents (no matter what gender) do when they are home, which is mostly watching the kids, especially babies and toddlers, and tending to the house.
#2 Dads play video games all day
I own an Xbox that I enjoyed playing. I can honestly say it has not been touched since my wife got pregnant.
When we found out we were pregnant our life switched into baby mode. Everything we used to do for fun was replaced by learning about babies and preparing for our little one.
Hence, playing video games was cut. My wife stopped doing activities too so I am not alone.
I thought I would play with it again eventually, but I am so busy with the baby it has not happened.
#3 Our wives do more than we do
My wife is the first to dispute this one.
She asked that I provide her take on this misconception:
“My husband who stays at home does more than I do. If I did stay at home, I would not do as much. I plan to do all sorts of things when I am home, but I only get about 10% done these days. If my husband plans to do something he gets it done,” said Vanessa, Working Mom.
That is just one wife’s opinion, and it happens to be my wife.
Other guys I know that take care of their kids do plenty when they are home. They take care of kids, cook, clean, and do the maintenance around the house or on their cars too. You get a caretaker and handyman in one package.
Is your wife pregnant? Then read: Caring for Your Wife: 60 Ways to be Her Hero (and who said our job was easy?)
#4 We can’t get a job
At this point in my life, I would say I am an expert job interviewer. Getting a job is easy; I have been getting hired since I was 14, maybe even younger.
Let’s just get this straight; I can get a job. In fact, when us dads get a job offer, we do not know what to do. Do we take it or keep caring for our kids?
We are doing this out of necessity for our families. My wife and I chose for me to stay at home with my daughter due to our circumstances and the strong stance that we wanted family to take care of our daughter.
When we realized nobody in our extended family would be able to take care of our daughter, my wife was the first one to say, “not it.” So here I am.
If you are thinking about being a stay at home dad here are 7 Questions to Think About Before Making the Decision to be a Stay at Home Dad.
#5 Our wives make all the money
When our daughter was a newborn, yes, my wife earned all the income. I found it hard to do anything else besides take care of our daughter.
However, we rented out a room in our house to make extra money each month. It helped pay my part of the bills that I always covered when I worked.
Then when my daughter got old enough to go out, I started making money doing odd jobs for people. A job or two every few weeks was enough to help us out.
I currently bring in much more income taking care of dogs every day. My daughter loves animals, so I do it with her around.
#6 Men can’t cook or clean
Let’s clear the air on this one. Men can cook.
If your man or husband can grill, then he can cook.
Pretty much every man I know can grill. All my buddies cook exceptionally well.
Honestly, I think the notion that men can’t cook was started by lazy men who did not want to cook. Then it was just applied to stay at home dads.
The same concept relates to cleaning. All men can clean. If a man can clean his car, he can clean his house. If he does not clean the house, he is just lazy.
Albeit, taking care of my daughter is a priority over cleaning, but I do keep the house clean when I can.
#7 Stay at home dads are not masculine
I think this misconception is silly. It is mostly portrayed in movies and on television.
You do not have to be feminine to be a good father. I do have this tender side to me and I have softened, especially when it comes to my daughter, but I am not suddenly extremely feminine.
I have matured immensely since my daughter was born.
In reality, it takes a man to accept the criticisms and judgments that society put upon stay at home dads and to do it anyway.
If anything has turned me into a real man, it is taking care of my daughter. Not a hunting trip or growing a beard – or anything else that is perceived as masculine. It is simply being a dad.
#8 Taking the easy way out
My wife admits that she has the easy job. She tells me all the time that she could not do what I do.
How can people think staying at home with a toddler is lazy or easy? Or taking care of multiple kids is easy, because there are plenty of dads out there taking care of more than one.
It’s the toughest job, and as I mentioned above, I have had my share of jobs.
There is no other job out there that compare:
- You are not allowed breaks
- Your hours are 24/7
- You do not get paid
- Your boss is demanding and throws the occasional tantrum
- There is no degree or training to prep you
- There are no coworkers to help you during the day
- You can never quit
- While it is the toughest job out there, it will not advance your career
#9 Stay at home moms do more
Whoa! Do I dare say this is a misconception? No, I am not touching this one!
Being honest, this one is probably true. I have nothing but respect for stay at home moms, they are amazing. I just put it in so maybe a stay at home mom would read my blog.
It’s time that stay at home dads start speaking truths and rallying against stereotypes. We may be a rare breed, but our numbers are expanding at a rapid rate.
People need to understand, we are just your average guys, raising some awesome kids.
We face struggles and have fun.
We worry about bills and taking care of our family.
Not much different than any other guy out there.
Being a stay at home dad does not change who we are; it just changes what we do and how we spend our time.