PracticalDad: What Am I Again?
Although I love my family dearly and do appreciate the opportunity to be at home, it has created awkward and confusing situations. After 14 years of being the Stay-at-home Dad/primary caregiver/Mister Mom/whatever, I can now officially declare myself a writer. If nothing else, it's certainly easier than any of the other titles in the past.
Women can identify themselves in any number of ways: mother/wife/careerist/hobbyist/whatever. Unfortunately, men identify themselves by what they do. A guy could introduce himself as a circus carnie and other men would nod approvingly, thinking man, all the fries he wants and he doesn't have to shave. Suh-weet. There have been points in the past 14 years when I've truly wondered what an appropriate title would someone in my position would be, acceptable to both society and me. Unfortunately, the two haven't routinely intersected.
Shortly after starting this experience, I went to the hospital for a routine pre-operative visit. The clerk taking the necessary background information was a blue-haired older woman who resembled Mary Worth and the interview proceeded apace until she asked my occupation. When I replied "homemaker", she refused to enter the answer and stated "oh, we can't do that." She refused to acknowledge that answer and we ended up compromising on student since I'd also gone back to school for a teaching certificate. After that, I ran into any number of other situations in which the title of my occupation was debatable. So what other titles have gone past?
- A pastor once introduced as my wife's wife, for which he immediately apologized.
- A housefather, to which I immediately thought: great, and my children are members of a group home.
- A Superdad, which just made me uncomfortable.
- Mister Mom, which I resent since I look lousy in make-up and sweats.
What about just plain Dad? I'm uncomfortable with that sole word as occupation since every guy with a child is a Dad. The fact that I'm home with the kids a lot more doesn't give me the right to use that word, as though I'm somehow more qualified than all of the other guys. So I adopted the socially acceptable Stay-at-home Dad and stayed with it.
And now, I'm like the other guys who have a title to go with the occupation. And I've also formalized the title PracticalDad. It by no means makes me a better father, but one who's a lot more experienced with the daily stuff than most.
ARTICLES BY CATEGORY
Basics for Dads
- Back to the Beginning…What is the point of raising a child?
- Volunteering: When Did I Become That Cub Scout Guy?
- Redefining Fatherhood - A Response
- A PracticalDad Look at Concussions
- The Virus Cocktail
- Kids and Pot: Discussing the Long-Term Effects
- Driving Up the Cost of Higher Ed: Bette and the New Educational Baseline
- Driving Up the Cost of Higher Ed: Globalization and the Knowledge-Based Economy
- The Cost of Higher Ed: “How in the Hell Did This Happen?”
- The Kids Are Paying Attention
- If it’s not about me, then who is it about?
- Keeping in Touch as Kids Age
Dad and Mom
- Cancelling Christmas? Yeah, I’m Down With That…
- Is Embarrassment a Disciplinary Tool?
- Controlling Your Kids
- PracticalDad Price Index - September 2016: The Potemkin Village Shelves
- PracticalDad Price Index - August 2016
- PracticalDad Price Index - July 2016: Confirming Deflation
Family / Personal Economics
- PracticalDad Slang: Of Opies, Forcepushing and Duckpecking
- If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, v. 2
- PracticalDad Physics
- Playing With The Kids: How Badly Do I Want To Win?
- PracticalDad Solutions: Uniform Hooks
- “Do I Have To Go?” Taking the Kids Along
- Dystopia Comes Home
- When School Technology Programs Affect Family Policy
- When Does the Academic Push Become Too Much?