Stay-At-Home Dad has answers for all those stupid questions
By Howard A. Ludwig April 11, 2013 1:46PM
Updated: May 15, 2013 6:16AM
Stay-at-home dads remain a curiosity for some.
For those still shocked by my chosen career, I tend to offer polite answers about why I decided to leave a full-time job to raise my two sons.
That doesn’t mean I don’t want to give a wise-guy retort to questions I’ve heard countless times. That’s exactly what I plan to do with this column. It’s oozing sarcasm. So with apologies to “MAD” magazine, I offer my own version of “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions.”
Do you enjoy being a stay-at-home dad?
No. Spending time with these children is dreadful. Yesterday, my 6-year-old son insisted we play baseball in the back yard after school. Sheesh.
Then my 5-year-old son drew me a picture of a robot. Somebody shoot me.
What do you do all day?
I largely ignore my children. This leaves plenty of time for my true passion — creating angry cat memes on the Internet.
Do you ever plan to go back to work?
I never left. I just took on a different job without pay or benefits. My cheap boss never even followed through with the business cards I was promised five years ago.
Is it hard raising two children?
It’s much harder for me because I’m a man. My manhood keeps getting in the way of my childrearing. No wonder moms are better at this job.
Your wife must be so jealous ...
I’m actually jealous of her. The Wife is a professional candy taster for Mars, Inc. She makes six figures eating handfuls of M&Ms and deciding just how much fun to put in fun-size Snickers.
Was it difficult to leave your job?
Yes. I lived for corporate America. Without a cubicle or an office dress code, I’ve struggled to find meaning in my life. I thought I’d find fulfillment in raising my children. No luck.
You’re just like “Mr. Mom,” right?
Yes. In fact, I’m thinking of having my name legally changed. I’ll be Mr. Mom, The Wife will be Mrs. Mom and our children will be known as little Mommies.
Do you know any other stay-at-home dads?
Nope. Never met one. We are pretty much the albino alligators of the parenting world. Be sure to snap a picture if you do happen to find one of these rare creatures. Just don’t be surprised if the image doesn’t appear in the viewfinder. Many stay-at-home dads are also vampires — or so I’ve heard.
Do you do all the cooking, cleaning and laundry?
Nope. That’s women’s work. I stick to bottle-feeding, changing diapers and lullabies.
Do stay-at-home moms ever make rude comments or intentionally avoid you?
Yes, but only when I’m wearing one of my many offensive T-shirts. My favorite reads, “WANTED: Good Woman to Push Racecar.”
Of course, I’d never truly respond to the above questions this way. I actually think of myself as an ambassador for stay-at-home dads. Perhaps answering these basic questions will open up someone’s mind to the idea that dads can provide child care every bit as good as moms.
It’s just what I’d like to say and what I actually say is often quite different.
Howard A. Ludwig is a former SouthtownStar business reporter who traded his reporter’s notepad for a diaper bag, becoming a stay-at-home dad. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org