Dad of All Trades, Master of None

Domesticated, Not Demasculinized

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One freaking day and she’s hijacking my blog already…post from the wife

Posted by doatmon on July 23, 2009

Boy, that didn’t take long.  One day the blog is up and one day it took my lovely wife to take time out of her busy day to steal my thunder.  Just kidding, honey.  Of course your thoughts are welcome.  In fact, let’s do this often.  Maybe not too often.  But often enough.

Below is my wife’s first post on her thoughts on my daddyness and all it brings.  I will post my response to this blog later in the day.

“Mommy take daddy car. We take mini van,” Chicken Nugget, our 2 year old, announced for the third morning in a row today. She loves the DVD player and the freedom to stretch out without her 4 year old sister on top of her. “Cheeseburger, remind me again why I drive the mini-van each day but you are the stay at home dad?”  I asked.

That is a rhetorical question, both Cheeseburger and I know that I am the reason he schleps our 2 kids around town in his Jetta instead of my mammoth town and country mini van.

Let me explain.

For the most part the world we live in understands that many families need to have two parents working to keep them afloat. Each day I cruise 670 and pass hundreds of woman like myself driving their Odyssey’s, Sienna’s and Town and Country’s to their “day jobs”. In the evenings and on weekends they drive that same minivan to pick up their kids from school, take them to soccer practice (yes I just threw in the soccer mom stereotype) and run errands. They of course also drive that same mini van during work hours to doctor’s appointments, dental emergencies and to answer the pleading cries of the school nurse who needs them to pick up their 7 year old that just vomited the entire contents of the pancake breakfast (so lovingly prepared by mom that morning) all over his brand new gym shoes.

What our world still has trouble grasping is the working mom who is backed up by the stay at home dad (and no I do not mean the dad that has lost his job and pulls the kids out of daycare temporarily to save money until he finds new employment). What I speak of is the mom who willingly, if not enthusiastically, goes to work each day while her husband, equally willing and enthusiastic, stays home to tend to the tribe.

That is the arrangement Cheeseburger and I have chosen for our family and one that I imagine continually perplexes our friends, families and the occasional stranger at the mall play yard.

Why would a mom give up her god given right to stay at home with her children when her husband is perfectly capable of making a living in the 9-5 world?

Well the answer to that question is much too convoluted and complicated for one blog but what I will say is the following: yes I love my children dearly and can think of no greater gift then to be able to spend every waking moment with them; no I do not need my husband to play the role of Todd Palin to my Sarah Palin as I pursue elected office (a logical assumption since I make my living in a world of politics); and finally no I do not think so highly of myself that I believe my career is on a skyrocketing trajectory path that will take me into the atmosphere of high powered executives.

Which brings me back to the plight of our mini van and my angst over giving up the keys!

I simply have no need to drive a mini-van each day. I do not drive children to or from school. I rarely run errands during the day and as of this week I will now even more rarely have the need to leave work to take children to appointments. So why then do I still drive my empty mini-van all over Columbus?

The real reason is this: If I hand the minivan keys over to Cheeseburger and take “ownership” of his snappy, almost brand new Jetta the rest of the world will have visual confirmation that I am no longer the primary care giver to our children

Sure I of course do my share of caring for my children’s needs while juggling work. Last night was a prime example as I attempted to be at Chicken Nugget’s 5:15pm ballet class, that of course requires parent participation (I was not aware and showed up in my 3 inch “F me heels”, as my husband lovingly refers to them, and a skirt), while still making it to a 6:00pm candidate fundraiser held at a swanky country club. Last nights disaster is a blog for another day and is maybe why I do need the minivan to handle last minute wardrobe changes in the backseat but that being said it is clear to my husband and I that I do not need to be in possession of said minivan to make the juggling I do any easier.

My husband who has embraced his “state at home dad” status with such vigor I often wonder why we did not figure this out sooner, could care less what car he drives each day and wonders why I am hesitant to hand over the keys.

It’s really very simple I am worried about what society will think about me. I feel the watchful eyes of working moms everywhere examining my latest moves with envy and confusion. I also imagine my stay at home mom friends wondering over coffee if I just don’t “have what it takes” to stay at home with my kids each day.

So I continue to drive my empty mini van to work as some obscure affirmation to everyone that I am still the one in charge, the one driving the “mommy mobile”. I wonder though if it is not all just in my head. That as I learn to embrace the role of “working woman in sporty Jetta with 2 young children cared for at home by a perfectly capable and loving stay at home dad” that the rest of the world will learn to embrace it as well?

For now I think I will hold on to my mini van keys and relish the notion that I do get to have it all -a large, clean, quiet car and a house full of happy babies being cared for by a man who gave it all up for them and for me……

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3 Responses to “One freaking day and she’s hijacking my blog already…post from the wife”

  1. Melissa said

    Frist of all, you two are both wonderful writers. I wish you nothing but the best on this decision. It’s well within the realm of “normal” in my mind, and I only hope it’s viewed that same way by everyone else!

  2. Lisa said

    220, 221, whatever it takes!

    Seriously, amen sistah!

  3. Rhoe said

    1. give your “dad car” keys over to cheeseburger and look cute in your jetta. Its all in your head and no one cares what car you drive. that way “cheeseburger” can have the convenience and comfort that all the minivan lovers so desire.

    2. jamie may join you in the stay at home daddy gig…if only i made enough money 😦 if that ever happens, you guys can start a daddy day care together.

    Enjoy the girls, you are one lucky man!

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