For many years, I was the income-earner in our household. At the time, it made more sense for my husband to be a stay-at-home dad with our daughter, then to try to scrimp and save just to pay for daycare. It wasn’t an easy decision for any of us, but I’m forever grateful to my husband for sacrificing his career for the sake of our child. We’re in a different place now, having grown our family and bought a home, but my heart still swells at the thought of all he did for us as we struggled to make ends meet.
I also have a soft spot for dads who stay home because my brother has been a stay-at-home dad for years too. He’s raising three beautiful daughters – along with his wife who works out of the home and commutes several hours every day – to be strong, capable, and hilarious little humans.
We’re at a crossroads now where my husband is reentering the workforce and I’ll be taking a turn at home with the kids during the transition. I’m nervous and afraid for my sanity, but I can’t help but think about the stellar example I have to go off of, after watching he and my brother do it for so long. What I’ve seen from society as a whole, however, is that stay-at-home dads do NOT get the same type of respect that moms do. It’s incredibly unfair and sexist and only serves to perpetuate gender stereotypes of yore.
So, I’m here to give them the shout-out that they deserve. In honor of Father’s Day and stay-at-home dads everywhere, I give you:
An Ode to Stay-At-Home Dads
You feed, you clothe, you bathe the kids,
Even when you’re totally not feeling like it.
When I get home from work, the dinner is made,
With love, with heart, and a delicious marinade.
You are the one who makes good from bad,
Because you are a rockin’ Stay-At-Home Dad.
You are still a man, and my knight-in-shining-armor,
Because even with baby puke on your shirt, you’re still a charmer.
When I see you with our kids, my heart grows two sizes,
And I hope that someday, our society realizes,
That having strong, paternal dads at home with the kids,
(Who do more than just put together the new baby’s crib)
Will teach our children that it’s so important to be glad,
For having rockin’ Stay-At-Home Dads.
I have no worries being away at work,
Knowing our kids are probably going berserk.
They lose their minds all day long,
Then crash down hard in your arms so strong.
Because even when they’re jerks and making you mad,
You are still a rockin’ Stay-At-Home Dad.
When one parent works, it’s hard to stay home,
And feel like you never get any time alone.
But when it’s a dad who chooses to be,
The domestic one who handles poops and pees,
The world treats him like a second-class mother,
But in reality, he’s second to no other.
Because he’s no babysitter or passing fad,
He’s just a rockin’ Stay-At-Home Dad.
I could never thank you enough for your endless sacrifices,
And I know this Ode barely suffices,
But I’m here to tell you that you are appreciated.
And the kids and I think you are worthy of being venerated.
Because only the best men can handle being a grad,
Of the exclusive fraternity of rockin’ Stay-At-Home Dads.
Happy Father’s Day!