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Just a Guy Handling Role Reversal

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Who does what and what we expect from each other is often murkier than depicted in the July issue of "O."

man in apron holding wine

Being the stay-at-home dad is supposedly accepted in our diverse and accepting culture. But the reality is different, as this dad has experienced, especially when introducing a new woman, my new wife, into the family. Who does what and what we expect from each other is often murkier than depicted in the July issue of "O."

In a nutshell, she goes to work; I stay home with the boys. I take them to school and deal with all their extra-curricular activities. I carry the larger load of discipline issues, and I do the majority of the shopping. She takes care of the house and does most of the cooking and cleaning. I'm the biological parent; she's the step. She teaches them manners; I teach them how to burp louder.

Should I be waiting, drink in hand, apron around my waist, to greet her after a long, hard day at work? Should she be interested in the minutia of how much I saved at Ralph's, using coupons, after she has just driven 90 minutes in traffic after a frustrating day in real estate ('nuff said about her career and its difficulties nowadays)?

We struggle. And, we have a teenager. He has said "You're not my mother," as every kid says to a stepparent at one point or another. That was instantly stopped, but it's still confusing to him after his biological mother abandoned my boys completely. Our younger one, desperate for a mother in his life, worships at the altar of my new wife.

Role reversal? Yeah, to the max. Working it out is our daily challenge. But, what do I know; I'm just a guy.


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