I was introduced to this title initially by my husband and his frequent reference to him staying home with our children. Apparently, many of my married friends have husbands who are also familiar with the so-called soccer dad. While we were dating, my husband, would jokingly claim that he would stay home and watch the kids; that should have served as my first warning sign. He always presented this proposal as his chivalrous and noble “sacrifice” to ensure the well-being of our children and it would allow me to continue to pursue my career. In other words, he would be willing to put his life on hold to keep his family happy. Hmmm. I am not so sure that his reasons are that sincere, but I digress. My real point is that I feel very strongly about not having my husband become a soccer dad and I often feel guilty about my opinion. I do not want my husband staying home with the children while I work! It may work for some, but I just feel that it isn’t the right thing for us. Now, my husband has lots of allies who wholeheartedly support his position. Coincidentally, they all happen to be men near his age who are married, with children and they have wives who also work. I truly feel a conspiracy working here but I just can’t put my finger on it.
First of all, in defense of my opinion, I can prove why this is a bad idea and it isn’t just because I am afraid that our children will love him more, although the thought has crossed my mind. One huge point is that we have different attention spans and nurturing methods. Although he loves our son wholeheartedly, I don’t think that he would be as enthusiastic about day to day care of a nine month old, who doesn’t speak, barely naps, is crawling all over the place and loves to play the game “guess what I just put in my mouth!” I truly believe that my husband imagines my days at home to be these luxurious nap-filled adventures where you can watch soap operas, lounge in your pajamas, surf on the net, maybe run a couple of errands and oh yeah, play with the baby! How hard can it be?
Aside from the fact that his view of my day is completely skewed, I personally would not be able to handle coming home from a full day of work to a house that looks like it barely survived Hurricane Ike. I know that sounds shallow and the important thing is whether or not our child is happy and well taken care of, but what about mommy’s happiness? I know for a fact that we have two different views on what is considered a clean house and the importance of maintaining one. The thought of the sink at the end of the day alone is enough to send me over the deep end. I can just see it now, overrun with empty baby bottles, half eaten plates of spaghetti and of course wrappers from my last chocolate bar. No, it just wouldn’t work. I know that I can count on one hand the numbers of times I have seen my husband open and close the dish washer and that number would not increase just because his hours at home happened to. This same principle applies to the washing machine and the dryer; the only difference is the number may be fewer with the latter appliance. Okay, to be fair, I haven’t done much laundry recently since we now have a housekeeper assisting with these duties, but the important concept is that I WOULD do it if I had to!
Here is an example of something that would send me completely to the dark side following a long day of work. My husband is excellent in regards to changing diapers. It doesn’t matter what is inside the diaper or how gruesome it may be, he will jump to the task. However, if some particles happen to escape from the diaper onto the baby’s pants then everything changes (and I am talking solid particles, if you know what I mean). The only way that I can explain this phenomenon is that once he observes that the particles have escaped from their boundaries ( and boundaries are very important to my husband), there is a little switch in his brain that clicks to off and this inhibits any logical problem solving to occur. Therefore, the pants get rolled into a ball, dropped into a sink, bucket or on the floor., BUT THEY DO NOT GET RINSED OUT AND THEY DEFINITELY AREN’T WASHED, because that would require opening the washing machine and dryer. That task would be left for mommy to do when she returned home from work and wouldn’t any loving wife be pleased to carry out this duty after a long day at work? Do you see where I am going with this people?
I have every intention of staying married to my husband and not finishing out the rest of my days in some penitentiary because I got a little upset one day when I found a pair of my son’s pants with a surprise inside next to a wrapper from my last snickers bar. So, the only way to keep us from traveling down that disastrous path is to not even ponder a switch of roles. It can’t happen, it won’t happen and we aren’t even going to attempt to create this scenario because I personally wouldn’t be able to handle it. So, ladies, before you make this decision, think long and hard about who you are as a person and how you might respond to these different scenarios. Your sanity, and if you have a temper like mine, your freedom just might depend on it.