I’d finished shopping for the week’s groceries and as placed my grocery bags in the car, a middle aged man stops and asks me, “what does S-T-H-M-D-A-D mean?” He was referring to my license plate. It wouldn’t be the first time I’d been asked. So I smile and say, “Stay Home Dad.”
I may as well have told him I was a leper. “You’re a what?!” he exclaimed with a half smirk. I explained that I worked from home and cared for my child. “You got to be kidding me,” he stated and then went on to say, “are you crazy? A Stay Home Dad? Not me!” I just kinda smiled and finished packing up the groceries an let him go about his way. I didn’t have a comeback for him. I should have.
Contrast this with the response I got from the Department of Motor Vehicle clerk, a woman, who handed my newly minted personalized California plates. She took them out of the sleeve they were in to check that they were correct. She looked up at me and said in a “Gotcha” kinda voice, “I know what you do. Stay Home Dad, right?” I responded with a, “yup, that’s me.” She then said, “Wow, that’s nice. Have a good day.”
Maybe it’s a guy thing, maybe it’s a girl thing. Who knows. I know that there are stigmas and preconceived notions about males staying home to care for children. But then I understand that not everyone is comfortable with the idea…yet.
In today’s world, working from home, for a man or a woman, really is a choice. It is a lot of hard work, but you actually can stay home and make a living and care for your children. I often wonder if my father would have approved. Hm?
Yeah, call me crazy.