Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Is That What I am...Just a Dad?

Every now and then I hear or read something that stops me in my tracks and makes me think.  Most of the time the cause of this thoughtfulness is an uttered phrase that it is so incredibly asinine that I have to wonder if it was a joke or not.  

Then, there are the times where I hear things like, "I'm just a mom" or "I'm just a dad" that make me stop in mid thought and ask myself, "Is that what I am...just a dad?"

Well, I would like to imagine that there really is no such thing as "just" a mom or a dad, but I don't know.  There are a lot of people in this world that say otherwise when it comes to stay home parents.  

You know what I mean.

I can't tell you how many times I have heard some jagoff utter, "Oh he's a stay at home dad" or "She's just a stay at home mom." 

You know what they are really doing when they say things like this don't you?  These lovelies are implying that what we stay at homers think or do doesn't matter in the "Real" world because we simply don't matter either.  

Most of the time this doesn't bother me, but it is a little different when you hear someone describing themselves like that.  It's a little heartbreaking.  It's like hearing a parent say that they're ashamed of being stuck with their kid all day everyday.

That's not right.  No one should feel like that when it comes to being with their kids.  So, when I heard a mother describe herself ashamedly as "just a mom" I felt bad, and wondered if I was "just" a dad.

Yeah...I guess I am, but I am not ashamed of being a stay at home dad.

Sure, I wish that I could add to our household income because I like money just as much as anyone else, but I also realize that there is some real value to staying home with your kid and raising them yourself rather than letting some other person do it for you at a daycare.  Besides, at this point, I am not altogether certain that I could find a job that would pay more than a decent day care costs.

I just wish that the people of the "real" world would recognize that there is some real merit to being a stay at home parent.  It's true that we don't save lives everyday like a firefighter or police officer and we certainly don't get paid in money for what we do, and it may seem to the layperson that we stay at homers lead dull uneventful lives, but that's simply incorrect.  

Our lives have the capacity to be very exciting.

For example, just this morning I was the ring leader of our very own circus (The boy had the very important role as the crazy monkey), I was a race car driver, a train conductor, a pony, a doggy, a professional wrestler, a professional dancer (not the good Las Vegas kind but the Irish step dancing type), a rockstar, I moonlighted as a paramedic by kissing the boy's booboos away earlier, and I fully anticipate being recruited as a draft horse later on today when we go for a walk.  

This is very exciting stuff, but, man, am I exhausted!

So, you see, the life of a stay at home dad isn't necessarily all that boring.  Like everything else, it is what you make of it, and I intend to make the most out of it because I realize how cool it is to be able to spend this time with my baby boy when so many people don't have the opportunity to do the same with their children.  

So, if that is what being "Just a Dad" is I am glad I'm one.

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