Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Even at home?

Seriously, even in the world of Stay at Home Parents, men have a higher value.

No, no, I realize we live at the dawn of a new age where discrimination is on its way out (yeah right), and the Obama administration's first legislation promoted equal pay.

At this week's Early Childhood & Family Education class, there was one dad.

The whole crowd of moms, when asked to introduce themselves all had the same instinct: justification. Each mom in turn, introduced herself, her child, and then, her lifestyle.

If she had employment, usually part-time or her own small business, it was trumped up with enthusiasm. If she wasn't employed, the most recent job was tossed out along with hopes for future employment. By the end, I think we could have written each other's resumes.... and we were definitely keeping a few others in mind as networking opportunities. At least I was.

The lone dad introduced himself as a stay at home dad. He offered no background regarding education, former or future employment, or other popular markers of self-worth.

He said the words "Stay at Home" with pride and confidence. Dare I say, a little self-satisfaction? And his announcement was met with intonations of approval, even delight from some of the others at the table. OOOooh. What a dedicated father, seemed to be the agreed upon sentiment.

I realize this seems like a small sample size, but it is only one anecdote from my 1.5 years of Stay at Home Motherhood. It's the same everywhere. At the grocery store, I get annoyed looks from others if my child is screaming or trying to open a package prematurely, while the dad next to me, having the same issues, gets complements from the same customer.

It happens on the playground, at preschool drop off and pick up time. Stay at home mothers are supposedly dummies that couldn't hack it in the real world, or are lacking in appropriate ambition, while stay at home dad's are heroes, dedicated parents sacrificing some of their time to fully parent their children.

Sound like a double standard to you?

Some of this judgment, I realize, is my own. Just read Mommy Wars and you'll know what I mean.

But much of it is real, and it's just not fair...

1 comment:

Bonnie said...

Hmmm...is winter closing in!!! I suggest a weekend get-away to somewhere nice, warm and spalike! You do a great job and don't forget it! LOVE MOM p.s. if one more person asks me "what do you do all day!" I'll start my own rant!

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