Today over on Salon, Aaron Traister writes about what it’s like to be a modern stay-at-home mom. Errr, I mean dad, a stay-at-home dad.
Interestingly, his essay, “Dude, Man Up and Start Acting Like a Mom,” captures exactly the emotional roller-coaster ride of a man or woman who decides to be ungainfully employed as the full-time caretaker of the family.
Fraught, people, it’s fraught! When it’s a choice, it’s fun, even rebellious. When it’s forced, it’s depressing, sometimes soul-crushing.
Traister’s essay is meant to give insight into the man’s point of view, but I think a lot of moms can easily relate. Except for the part about being a schmuck (I’m really more of a flake), he described the first few years of my life as a mother perfectly.
His essay describes a common feeling of modern parents of young kids everywhere. We had expectations (our own, our parents’ or even, in Traister’s case, society’s) that we’d simultaneously raise children and have careers and be happy and all that. But circumstances presented themselves — either financial or emotional or both — and we found ourselves walking away from a job (or in Traister’s case, walking away from job hunting) and fixing breakfast for three every morning.
What do you think? Is Traister just being a big baby, when he starts going online all day and stops making dinner every night? Any stay-at-home dads relate to this? What about moms — surely I’m not the only one who can relate.