Friday, June 28, 2013

Attack of The Stay At Home Dad! - Christopher Powers Rocks!

Christopher Powers is a Stay At Home Dad living in Georgia with this beautiful wife, Alana, three kids and one on the way.

He blogs at A Man in a Woman's World. Being a SAHD comes with it's set of issues. One of the things Christopher struggles with is making play dates with other parents. One of my favorite lines I've read from his blog is "I have more in common with your wife than you.  Don't be intimidated." And it's true. Here's what Christopher has to say about being a SAHD:

Since a young age I had always been interested in being a parent that stays at home.  There was just something rewarding about taking care of the needs of a family to me. As I got older and the dream jobs of a young child seemed to become either not as interesting or impossible the idea of a being a stay at home parent stuck. I graduated high school, got a full time job and bought a condo but the thought of being a stay at home parent still lingered about in my mind. It was just an idea I couldn't shake. It wasn't always in my mind but at this point in my life I had to admit it was trending.

The first opportunity to follow this idea came when Alana, my wife, got pregnant with our first child Leilani and she worked with me to quit my job to stay at home with her.  Since then we now have three children going on four and I’m still at home and loving every second of it.  My wife has allowed me to follow my idea that has blossomed to be my dream come true and I can't help to say that Alana, my children, and myself are all benefiting from it.  My future has forever changed and I look forward to it and sharing all my experiences that have helped shape it along the way.

I have more in common with your wife than you.  Don't be intimidated.

As a stay at home parent and homemaker an interesting thing I encounter is that I always have more in common with the mother/wife of couples that have kids.  This subject really links back to an idea I have about men staking their claim in their children's upbringing.  Typically I have found couples to be very divided on their duties as parents within the house.  I would venture a guess the wife took over with the children early on and the father probably threw in the towel.  I'm not saying these dads are bad.  Most of these couples work things out just fine with child responsibilities and so on.  My point is that if you take into consideration that I staked my claim to parenting and the fact that I am the main caregiver of my children, I end up having more in common with most wives/mothers than I do husbands/fathers.

When I interact with couples in social events I always find myself conversing with the women of the group.  Some of them work full time, part time, or stay at home.  We talk about the kids and typically the conversation leads to the husbands not getting half of what we as either primary child stakeholders or stay at home parents are trying to do .  Now once the topics go to crafts and fashion that is when I bow out but for the most part I do all the cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, toilet training, and any other unsavory duties non child stakeholders or non stay at home parents/homemakers don't have to do.  I'm not complaining at all.  I actually love it.  But in a lot of households it is not the husband doing most of this.

When 90% of my life revolves around taking care of my children and my wife's needs I just don't have much to add to sports and business talk most husbands I have met use as conversation.  When Alana and I meet new people with kids I typically hit it off with the wife more than the husband because in most households, even with two working spouses, I have more in common with the wife than the husband.  With most new parent hangouts we wind up really get along with the other couple and everything seems awesome.  We usually conclude our meeting by saying we should get the kids together. Unfortunately when the time comes to follow through, couples with stay at home moms or moms as the primary child stakeholders always ask for family play dates.  This means they want my wife and I there with out kids and not just me.  Most of my individual attempts to set up a time to hang out with the kids gets ignored or excuses are made as to why it won't happen when only the other couples wife would be available.

I personally find it odd really.  I'm not sure if it is intimidation from the husband or worry from the wife as to how it may look. I typically get the cold shoulder or excuses when trying to get play dates involving just me coming over.  If the other couples husband is there or Alana comes with me then it seems to be fine.  At first I didn't think anything of it but eventually I got the picture after running into this situation over and over again.  Perhaps I find it odd because Alana and I are so confident of our relationship that she is perfectly fine with me engaging with the opposite sex for the sake of providing interaction for our children and adult interaction for myself.

Don't get me wrong.  There are a couples out there that are awesome and don't seem to care but I have seen more that do.  If Alana isn't there or the other woman's husband isn't there when I come alone I get cancelled on regularly.  And then it gets rescheduled by the wife and eventually canceled again.  It is a royal pain for me because I click so well with the mothers because I am usually in the same shoes as them with the kids and other responsibilities.  Along with this I can usually sense their frustration with the situation but the real fact as to why they cancel is rarely mentioned.  A few moms have voiced the real issue and for that I am thankful for the truth.  Some of them even stand up to their husbands and let them know it's not about their insecurities and I thank them for that as well.

In the long run this is something I have noticed over time.  At this point it is pretty obvious that some couples are just not comfortable with me being around their spouses by myself because I am of the opposite sex.  Perhaps stay at home dads are just one of those societal changes that haven't become fully acceptable yet.  If so I hope that through a multitude of good experiences and open minds that eventually it does.

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