Wasau Daily Herald Says Dads Stay Home Because of Recession
Another day, another article trying to give dads any other excuse for staying home than a love for their family. Recently, we covered a My Fox Houston article that claimed stay-at-home-dads are losing the point-and-laugh stigma, all while pointing and laughing. This time around, it’s Wisconsin’s Wasau Daily Herald, who claim that “men who have been forced by the Great Recession to take on roles traditionally filled by women are increasingly accepting their new duties.”
Et cetera, et cetera.
Problem is, the article also mentions (actually, in the other half of their own sentence), that some fathers “in some instances are choosing to stay home with their children even when other options are available.” Sounds like fathers staying home are less victims of the “Great Recession” than champions of loving their families.
In the WDH‘s defense, one of the fathers they mention, Larry Riddle, had lost his job in 2009 – which is a tough situation for anyone. But Riddle spends his depression on being a stay-at-home-dad, not on being out of work. “I don’t know what they teach kids now, but we were taught to be worth anything, you have a job,” said Riddle. “Over the past few decades there’s been more and more men staying home, but you do tend to lose your identity.”
Dude, you’re a stay-at-home-dad! That’s your job. That’s your identity. Buck up, son. Be proud. Your kid needs you. Your wife needs you. Your job is just as important as the one your wife does that brings in the cash. She pays the mortgage/rent and you make it worth the payment by filling that home with love. Amirite?
Another dad in the story, Charlie Salamone, knew he’d be home caring for his daughters for some time, but he doesn’t want to be doing it for much longer, seems like.
Thank the heavens for Tom Gatzke, who sails in on the bottom of page 2 of the article as a proud SAHD. “I smile more every day than I can ever remember,” he says. Big sigh of relief for this article.
But wait, the article ends with a quote from Northern Illinois University sociology professor Kristen Myers, who did a story about stay-at-home-dads: “For dads to see their kids more and for dads to know it doesn’t turn them into women is great.”
Ugh, people…damnit. We’ve got to find a way as a society to look at child care NOT as a woman’s work – and in the meantime, find a way for men to not feel insulted if someone suggests that they’re doing woman’s work. And, while we’re on this train, men need to stop looking at women as a lesser gender – because that’s the only reason that Myers’ quote exists – because if men are afraid of turning into women, then that insinuates that women are less of a person…because you’re never actively afraid of turning into MORE of a person. So quit it, people.
Also, let’s stop using the term “Mr. Mom”. Although it’s obviously uproariously hilarious, it’s doing nothing positive for either gender; we’re shoehorning mothers into housework and fathers into feeling like they can’t just be a parent without being compared to someone else.
And another personal request: Dads, please – if a news crew interviews you as a stay-at-home- or work-at-home-dad, can you NOT put forth the image of being a senseless babysitter that can’t wait to go back to work? It’s killing all the dads trying to advance the common opinion that fathers are at-home-morons. It’s actually costing fathers money; as long as dads are interviewed at home and say things like “I just kind of keep her from killing herself,” (Larry Riddle SAID THIS in the article) companies will continue to look at fathers as nonviable forms of revenue. Think about it – when you say that you basically just make sure things don’t catch on fire, companies hear “I don’t make any meaningful decisions about food, brands and products that effect my family’s life.” And boom, hard-working SAHDs are out of a paycheck again. We’re working so hard to have advertisers look at men and fathers as decision-makers, and almost weekly, articles like this come out that give advertisers a reason to not put revenue share in us. If you don’t believe me, try joining a market research group “for moms,” and see what everyone thinks about you.
So, thanks to the WDH for running an article on fathers, but let’s make sure the representation is a little less meh next time. There are some good points, muddled in with some extraordinarily uninspiring SAHDs, no offense. But refer to the paragraph above for what I’m not looking for when Johnny Reporter comes knocking.
If you’d like to visit meh-city, Wisconsin, check the sauce below.