I sometimes come across articles bemoaning the challenges of being a stay-at-home dad. You know, how it makes a man feel less of a man, and how it’s true — guys really can’t parent the way women can.
Pshaw! I used to think. I’m just as much of a man as the next guy, and a good parent to boot.
But over my past four years as a stay-at-home dad (time that I’ll miss, now that my son has started school), I did sometimes have moments of insecurity. I’m no stoic cowboy herding cattle, my face glistening with sweat and darkened with stubble. Nor am I a toss-me-a-beer and let’s play a game of football kind of dude, my pecs popping beneath my tank-top, my face darkened with stubble. I am also not a handy-man around the house, hands calloused, untucked shirt smeared with grease, face darkened with stubble. No — I enjoy playing with my son, and hanging about the house doing chores, and I’m almost always clean shaven.
Then I read in Esquire magazine that actually, scientists have found that women consider men with stubble more manly than clean-shaven guys, and I began to wonder. Maybe I’ve been wrong this whole time. Maybe if you put some of the myths about being a stay-at-home dad under the microscope, they turn out to be true. Perhaps I’ve been deluded, telling myself I’m man enough and parent enough to stay-at-home while my wife works full-time, when in fact, science says no, I’m not. Stop pretending, Gresko! Get a job and lay off the shaving once in a while, eh?
It only took a little digging to uncover the sad truth behind stay-at-home dads, which I sadly present to you here. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go look for a full-time job…