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Nshima & Curry

 


THE CHALLENGES OF BEING A DOMESTIC DAD

For several years now, I've been a stay-at-home dad, feeding
the kids, getting them dressed and refereeing all the
fights, while my wife goes to the university to work. You
may call me "Mr. Mom" or "Mr. Homemaker," but I prefer a
more respectable term: "houseband."

Being a stay-at-home dad isn't easy. Some household tasks,
such as washing and drying women's clothes, just seem to
confound the male brain. You don't know how times I've put
the fabric softener sheets in the washing machine. They
really come out fresh and clean.

Yes, domestic dads face many challenges. And as if that
isn't enough, we also have to deal with society's
expectations. Since my wife goes out to work, she wears the
pants in the family and I'm left wearing out the couch. Or
at least that's what some people think. "You don't want to
work?" they ask, almost with disdain. "No," I feel like
saying. "I prefer the nice relaxing life of taking care of
three children. It's like a vacation really, especially
since only two of them are in diapers and the third one has
been fully trained to change them."

Stay-at-home dads need more support and guidance. That's
why, as a veteran of the stay-at-home career, I decided to
answer a few questions from newcomers to the profession.

Ahmed, London, England: "Because I stay at home, I do all
the laundry in our household. But my wife always complains
that I don't fold the towels properly. Aren't there many
different ways to fold towels?"

Stay-at-home veteran: "Yes, there are 325 different ways to
fold towels and each of those ways, if you ask your wife, is
the WRONG way. As an experienced towel-folder, let me give
you some key advice: It doesn't really matter whether you
fold your towels into squares, rectangles, hexagons or
octagons. Since you do the laundry, the important thing is
to fold the towels in such a manner that all stains and
discolorations are hidden from your wife."

Barry, Toronto, Canada: "I became a stay-at-home dad this
year and am finding it very challenging. There's so much
work to do around the house and, with five children to take
care of, it's almost impossible. Got any tips to make it
easier?"

Stay-at-home veteran: "Well, for starters, you can train the
kids to do a little bit of work around the house. I've
trained my oldest daughter, for example, to switch channels
all by herself. My other daughter has learned to pour juice,
slowly and carefully, all over her shirt."

Ronald, Chicago, USA: "My wife and I were at an insurance
office the other day, arranging coverage for our new car.
The agent asked me how much driving I do. Before I could
answer, my wife said, 'He hardly ever drives. I'm the one
who works.' I felt really bad. I mean, I do a lot of work at
home, taking care of the kids, doing the laundry, keeping
track of what's happening on Oprah. How do I get my wife to
realize that I work as hard as she does?"

Stay-at-home veteran: "Congratulations! You are the 1,000th
stay-at-home dad to ask me that question. I'm going to send
you a wonderful prize: a loaf of bread. So the next time
your wife tells someone she's the one who works, you can
say, 'Oh yeah? Then tell me, honey, who is the
breadwinner?'"

Rajiv, Mumbai, India: "I'm a new stay-at-home dad and I'm
really enjoying it. I don't know why some men struggle so
much. Sure, there's a lot of cooking and cleaning to do, but
if you're organized and diligent, you can make sure
everything gets done before the servants have to go home."

Stay-at-home veteran: "Thank you for your comment, Rajiv.
I'd really like to see for myself how well your system
works. Do you think I could borrow your servants for a
few weeks?"


                                                        

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