Six months ago, I lost my job and our family was forced to survive on my wife's salary alone. Fortunately, we could. However, OUT was the nanny and IN was the manny!
Guest blogger Dan Fitzgerald: That's right, DAN. I'm writing
in to share some of my "dadlogic" with momlogic (and yes, dads can be
logical on occasion). I am a father of two boys, a 15-month-old and a 6-week-old.
Six months ago, I lost my job and our family was forced to survive on my wife's salary alone. Fortunately, we could. However, OUT was the nanny and IN was the manny! Now, don't get me wrong: I love my boys more than anything in the world, but being home with them all day, every day was something I certainly wasn't prepared for. While I'm still mentally working out my never-ending days at home with the kids (broken up into three hour increments, of course), there's one thing about being a Manny that's surprised me more than anything else: the public perception.
I'm certainly not suggesting prejudice; in fact, it's the contrary. People look at you as "special" when you're a dad out with the babies. Everywhere I go I get looks, approving smiles, hear comments like "Oh, isn't that great! Daddy's out with his boys." I don't totally understand this reaction. I'm just taking care of my kids. I'm just doing what's best and necessary for my family. I'm just doing what tons of moms everywhere are doing. Sure, it looks a little funny when the big football player-sized Daddy is singing to his kid about bubbles at Gymboree, but it's what makes him happy.
Isn't that what you're supposed to do? Moms AND dads? It makes me uncomfortable to be viewed as "exceptional" for taking care of my kids while my wife works hard to pay our bills, when the lady behind me in the check out line, doing the same exact thing, is simply viewed as doing what's expected of her. Are we really still that far behind? I guess.
|Dan Fitzgerald is an unemployed television producer currently functioning as a stay at home dad for his two boys, Jake (16 months) and Ben (7 weeks). He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Miranda. He's hoping to find a job soon, because this 'Full-Time Daddy' thing is waaaay too much work!|