Last updated: Jun 4th 2010 




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Prevalent in OUR (Trinidad & Tobago) and the wider Western society, is the rise of single parents, both single fathers and single mothers, and as such there is a blurring of the line and fewer restrictions on what constitutes a family.

Depending on the country or region, a stay-at-home dad might find more or less social support for his decision. In Trinidad & Tobago and other regions where traditional roles prevail, a stay-at-home dad is some times overtly shunned by stay-at-home mom's peer groups and there is very little support to be found for making this choice, It is difficult for us to find or even create any kind of support network.

I think that we, - and I know that I did- still, struggle to find acceptance within the role of stay-at-home dads, despite my best efforts and the many gains that have been made. There is a constant and persistent  worry about losing business and professional skills and I am often faced with the added onus of constantly being asked if ‘you take a day off?’ or ‘you didn’t work today?’ type of questions.

Why is there is this common misconception that stay-at-home dads cannot get a job? I did not re-write the typical family roles, nor did I force my partner into having to bear the major financial burden. I already have to deal with my partner not so obvious jealousy with the children’s attachment to me; even though she said that she’s is ok with it. Trust me, it bother her! And be prepared to encounter some resentment, spoken or inferred!!…a lot of wives that I haven spoken to, have admitted to feeling some resentment at the changes in their roles, EVEN if it IS the best choice for the family!!

The role of stay-at-home dad is sometimes difficult for me, as it can be for a lot of fathers who feel as though they have had no other option. It is hard to adapt from being a financial provider in the family to being a homemaker, a role that we are sometimes TOTALLY unprepared for.

What ever you do PLEASE don’t complain about stuff at home!!Especially after your partner comes home from a long day at work, she may just decide to whack you over the head. In my case I KNOW that she isn’t really happy with her job and we both know that it will be a bigger struggle if she had to quit.

My advice here is to source as competent a help (sitter) as can be found and get back into the market ASAP, and for us, (and likely for a lot of people,)finding this help has been one of the major reasons why we have embraced this arrangement for as long as we have.

Be aware, that a lot of people always seem to be against stay at home dad and think that they are ALL lazy. It’s just because traditionally  it was the man that did the’ work ‘and people tend to hold on to tradition.( and Sexism). I remember my partner telling me that she felt the need to defend our arrangement from her parents because her dad visited us on a number of occasions and I was at home and he mentioned this to her mother??!! Who in turn mentioned it to her!! Tradition!! Remember that there is  no greater caregiver for a baby or child than a person who truly wants to do it! I also know that some dad's do a better job :=)) (No offense mums)

 Being a stay at home dad or (parent) is not as easy as some might think, and if you can do it successfully than good for you. I myself  cannot wait for my children to be more independent so that I can return to my “ normal” job but I prefer to be the one taking care of my children rather  than someone else.. People often have a different or higher expectations of men, and still don't understand the value of a homemaker. They think men should "take care of the family". And that being a SAHD may be a tremendous blow to our self-esteem. It may be,initiately, but if you communicate with your spouse then this burden becomes easier to bear or eradicate.

Really, in a husband-wife-kids family, the husband AND wife are the head of the family and it is BOTH their responsibility to "take care of the family". One should not be doing it more than the other. And, again, a lot of people underestimate how much work goes into homemaking and how honorable a job it is.

Until next time.



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