I had a neat experience shopping recently that reminded me how awesome it is to live here. It was a simple thing, really. A super nice lady approached me and said - "Your kids are SO happy. You are doing an AWESOME job of being a dad." Very effective in making me all teary and choked up. The bitch. I'm a man. I'm not supposed to - oh, right. I'm me. It's okay then. It was super sweet of her, is what I was getting at. Not quite the experience I had where I used to live.
Before I get going on that, I think something needs to be understood. I wasn't forced into being an at-home dad. I chose it. I quit a lucrative stable job to be who and where I am. And I love it. That isn't to say I don't have trouble, problems, bad days, or a significant amount of emotional conflict within. That's all just standard parental fare. It comes with the territory. You have 2 five-year olds, a diaperless 2-year old, and a box of art supplies, something is bound to end up on the wall.
Now. What gets me are the people who have something to say about what I do. They cover the ENTIRE spectrum of “shit that’s none of your business but you feel obligated to give your opinion on anyway.” Granted, most of it is good stuff. If you see “God, that’s just so much responsibility. I don’t see how you do it. It’s hard enough when you’re a MOM…” as good. Seriously. It’s not like I fucking fly and shoot lasers out my ass. “Duhn duhn duh DUHHHHH!!! MEGADAD taxi's his kids to school on his back. Comes complete with 5-point safety harnesses. In an emergency, his ass can be used as a flotation device.
Wait! Is that a fire? Megadad will put it out with his mutant fire-hose appendage! (Okay. That sounded dirtier than it was supposed to.) All this and more, whilst reducing his carbon footprint and completing his taxes! ”
Bullshit. I don’t do anything different than what any other at-home parents do, moms or dads. Well, I mean, I might do it differently, but the principle's the same. Get up, suckle at the life-saving teat full of the sweet nectar of life that is my giant blue enamel coffee mug. Hope to hell the kids don’t wake up while preparing breakfast and lunch for my honey. They do anyway, so feed kids. See wifey-wife off to work. Feed kids again. Entertain kids by telling them nightmarish stories of my twisted childhood so they appreciate how good they really have it. Feed kids. Clothe kids. Chase kids out of bathroom for the 14th gazillion time. Feed kids. Shop for kids. Separate kids from fighting over the ONE toy they all HAVE to have, despite the fucking truckload of toys in the immediate vicinity. Feed kids. Teach kids the lesson of “Why to say no to crack and other nefarious drugs” by taking them down to Hobo Row and letting them watch homeless guys street fight for a dime bag. Feed kids. Put kids down for nap. You know - the usual. But still, people feel a need to voice themselves, loudly, in my general direction, as to my "predicament". The opinions I LOVE to hear are the contradicting ones. And realize - they are generally not directed to me. They are usually either said as an aside or in an indirect manner, as if it's not going to offend me. Here are some actual quotes I have heard from the free thinking openly expressive people of the city in which I used to live :
“Only a lazy man let’s his wife go to work while he stays home and plays with the kids. Taking care of the kids is the woman’s job.”
Sooo - when I do it, it’s just playing, but the moment a woman steps in, it’s a job. Okay. Ignoramacunt.
“It’s the man's duty to be the breadwinner. Any father whose wife HASN'T died and he is staying home with the kids needs to man up and get a job.”
Riiight. Who the fuck are you again? Why are you talking? Imma junk-punch someone in a minute.
“Men don’t have the nurturing instinct a mother does. It’s not natural. That’s why women have breasts. So they can hold their child close. Men can’t comfort like a mother. It’s not in their programming.”
GaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHAIAIAIAIAIAIAIAIAI! Judooo CHOP! Bitch, I’ve GOT tits. And I’m about to slap the shit out of you with them. I’ve got tits from the 70 lbs I put on after the twins birth because they slept in shifts and so I didn't sleep but maybe 2 or 3 hours every few days and because of the sleep dep and delirium I went NOWHERE because I didn’t trust myself driving and so I lay in the recliner at home with at least one child on my chest at any given time because that was the only place they would sleep. On me. How’s that for nurturing, ya loony?!
My all time favorite, though? “God gave you a charge to be the head of your household, and if you stay home with the children and they see your wife being the provider, your headship will be "upshured"(I'm pretty sure she meant usurped, but I let it slide. After all, she is my mother). Your kids will all be confused about who is in charge, and they won’t be able to school right, and they will grow up to be losers and drug addicts.” GAHHHHHHHHH! Fucking FUCK! This, from the woman with 2 kids in rehab, 1 in and out of prison, and only 2 of the 8 total have made anything of themselves. And 1 of those is an at-home dad. You know who I’m a big fan of right about now? Your Old Testament God. That motherfucker did some RIGHTEOUS smiting. Which, if he wants to uphold his record, will do me this one favor, right, here, right now… No? Nothing? Oh well.
Really, though, I don’t want to be recognized as a “mold-breaker” or a “rebel” or “that dad everyone talks about because he hangs out with all those women so there has to be something going on there” - wait. Yes I do. So keep it up, all you old biddies, with your ultra-old timey mentalities. You provide me with the fodder to pad my blog.