Being the stay-at-home Dad is supposedly accepted in our diverse and accepting culture where role reversal has become quite common. But, the reality is different, as this dad has experienced, especially when introducing a new women, my new wife, into the family. Who does what and what we expect from each other is often murkier in reality than in the latest issue of “O.”
In a nutshell, she goes to work; I stay home with the boys. I take them to school and deal with all their extra-curricular activities. I carry the larger load of discipline issues and I do the majority of the shopping. She takes care of the house and does most of the cooking and cleaning. I’m the biological parent; she’s the step. She teaches them manners; I teach them how to burp louder.
Should I be waiting, drink in hand, apron around my waist, to greet her after a long hard day at work? Should she be interested in the minutia of how much I saved at Ralph’s, using coupons, after she has just driven 90 minutes in traffic after a frustrating day in real estate (‘nuff said about her career and its difficulties nowadays)?
We struggle. And, we have a teenager. He has said, “you’re not my mother,” as every kid says to a step at one point or another. That was instantly stopped, but it’s still confusing to him after his biological mother abandoned my boys completely. Our younger one, desperate for a mother in his life, worships at the altar of my new wife.
Role reversal? Yeah, to the max. Working it out is our daily challenge. But, what do I know; I’m just a guy.