Stay at Home Dads – Duds or Dudes?

25 Oct

I was deep in high brow conversation at the park with another Dad recently when he drifted off our debate about the relative merits of swings and slides (swings are better) and into the far more murky waters of whether Dads are attractive to the opposite sex. Disclaimer numero uno – this is a story about a friend, this is not a story about me masquerading as a ‘friend’, got it, disclaimer installed I shall now continue. He claimed, with a slightly smug grin it must be said, that women find him more attractive now that he is a professional pram pusher. He also noted that having a puppy does wonders for his raw pulling powers, as he casually beckoned his pugadoodle pup – this guy had the whole package.

I found his argument a little deluded to be honest with you. I will now lay down my second disclaimer (I must be skating on thin ice to require not one but two disclaimers) and state that being a very, no wait extraordinarily, happily married man I am intrigued by his claim rather than hoping to profit from it. Being a stay at home parent has all the glamour and sex appeal of a pair of sweaty socks, actually some people are partial to a sweaty sock, but I’m talking about normal people. I will now allow you a voyeuristic glimpse into a typical unsexy day in the life of this dad. I wake up for the fifth time, this time it’s light so I know it’s serious. I inspect my growing army of grey hairs in the mirror, try to remember what it was like to have white eyes as opposed to red ones and step into the shower in the hope it will perform energising miracles. I pick up the clothes that were unceremoniously dumped at the side of my bed the previous night and through slightly gritted teeth promise Max that we will have a day of unparalleled fun and excitement. We have a bowl of cereal; Max prefers to let the milk really soak in before ditching bib, spoon and social etiquette in favour of good old hands.

I load up my wheels with everything I can arm myself to avoid a parenting catastrophe and start to push and I push and I push and I push. I look on at the “crisp shirts” lined up at the tram stop in the morning and look down to survey my own attire, wondering why I opted for jeans with dubious milk stains around the crutch. I then wait in line for my caffeine and ear wig the exciting exploits of the crisp shirts, all that talk of bars, restaurants and movies is so glamorous, I then turn to Max and we discuss whether he would like an apple or a banana.

We head for the park the same park we head for most days. Some Mums acknowledge us, some are friendly and some still can’t see the correlation between man and baby. I suppose being a dad in a sea of mums (we’re talking metaphorically again) is what makes the whole thing so unsexy to me. I am basically one of them (or you) I do the same things, I moan about the same things and I, well I am you but with different bits and pieces. The daily grind for stay at home parents of both persuasions is fairly unglamorous and I would imagine does not leave many of us feeling spunky (check out how Australian I am) but I can see that there is a certain empathy that would exist between SAHM and SAHD that could in the wrong hands be confused with attraction. One thing that is for sure The Boy gets all the female attention and thats just fine by me. I will conclude the rambling there and before I have to deliver anymore disclaimers I will sign out and wait with baited breath on the verdict; Stay at Home Dads – Duds or Dudes?

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18 Responses to “Stay at Home Dads – Duds or Dudes?”

  1. workingmumsaustralia October 25, 2012 at 3:47 am #

    Dudes. Comfortable enough in their own skin to have a great relationship with their children

    Kirsten 🙂

  2. Wendy October 25, 2012 at 4:31 am #

    Dudes but if my man wanted to do it then I couldn’t be a SAHM which I am loving 😛

    • daddownunder October 25, 2012 at 4:34 am #

      Thats a fair point Wendy, best just tell him it would make him a dud ; )

  3. Kelly HTandT October 25, 2012 at 5:35 am #

    Since the dawn of time, women have filled the role of full time caregiver and this role was often looked down on by men. Being a stay at home parent isn’t easy, so to have a man not only agree to do it, but have the same issues and feelings that a woman does while doing it, makes us feel like shouting FINALLY A MAN GETS IT! By being a stay at home dad, you’re relating to a woman in a way a man never really has before, and therein lies the sex appeal. In theory. I would assume. Um… disclaimer required…

    • daddownunder October 25, 2012 at 5:54 am #

      That all makes sense to me Kelly. Disclaimer noted : )

  4. Kate October 25, 2012 at 5:44 am #

    I just see them as Dad’s, sorry but I am a stay at home mum and my husband works very hard for our family and we have all day Sunday together and kids see him quickly before bed each night but I tell you the guy has nothing but love and time for these two kids! If he didn’t have to work he wouldn’t he’d be with us but this is reality, plus I have always dreamt and wanted to be a mum so my role is at home and I love it wouldn’t swap it. I think if it fits your family for the dad to stay home then thats better than kids having no parent at home, but does it create sex appeal no sorry. 🙂

    • daddownunder October 25, 2012 at 5:54 am #

      Don’t apologise Kat, I’m not actively seeking the stuff, just was curious to hear a womens perspective. Sound slike your hubby’s doing a grand job for the family.

  5. Jo @Countrylifeexperiment October 25, 2012 at 6:34 am #

    My husband is a SAHD to our 3 kids (now 7, 5, and 2). Whenever he turns up at playgroup, all the mums treat him like he is boy wonder. I don’t think they think he is more sexy (though I think he is!), but just that they think it is amazing that a bloke is there (I don’t know why!). All the mums take turns trying to out bake each other for morning tea, and he takes a couple of packets of tim tams and they still think he is amazing lol. I kind of wish there were more SAHDs around for him to hang out with.

    • daddownunder October 25, 2012 at 9:17 am #

      Hats off to him, 3 is a whole other bal game I imagine. I will have to remember the Tim Tam trick.

  6. Mumabulous October 25, 2012 at 9:17 am #

    To me sex appeal is defined by a dude’s sparkling wit, fierce intellect, cheeky smile and sense of humor rather than whether he is a stay at home dad or not.

    • daddownunder October 25, 2012 at 9:19 am #

      My son has all of those things in bucket loads so he should be fine

  7. melissa4444 October 25, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    Dad’s first. But I guess if I were picking between Dude and Dud, I’d go Dude, absolutely. I actually think that my husband would be a fabulous SAHD. He’d probably get out more with our sons than I do. Either way, they’re doing ok. 🙂

    Your little boy is freaking adorable though. I’m not surprised he’s getting all the girls.

  8. Carla October 25, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

    Dude for sure…..If my husband was a SAHD none of my children would have survived infancy….I take my hat off to you!!

  9. Rach November 10, 2012 at 2:56 am #

    I think that seeing a guy interact with his kids in a loving and devoted way makes them a dude! It doesn’t make any difference whether they’re sahd’s or not. My husband loves our kids a lot but fails doing much with them at all. He’s too selfish and won’t do anything that he thinks is boring or that he doesn’t benefit out of. So for me, seeing a guy that loves doing things with their kids just to make them happy makes me adore them and really wish my husband was like that!

    • daddownunder November 10, 2012 at 3:03 am #

      Hey Rach, just been checking your Blog (love your font) for signs of family, all i can see is a cute lhasa apso ; ) I guess some people mums and dads take longer to warm to the situation, it’ll come.

      • Rach November 11, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

        Hehe, my kids are 10 and 12 and don’t really love having their photo taken everyday for my blog enjoyment! Scroll a little furthur, you’ll see plenty of non dog related posts {particularly in the ‘my family’ section off to the right} 🙂

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