Monday, April 8, 2013

Stay at Home Dad

If you visit the parenting section of Reddit the term is SAHD, or even SAHP for you more progressive types. 

I’m sorry but we just need a new title.  

At the nonprofit, I am Executive Director Craig Fortner.  Now that’s a title.  When you call us stay at home dads/parents, you imply that is the only hat we are wearing.  Everybody has many hats that they wear in their lives. It’s just at work and at school your hats come with fancier titles.  Hell it doesn't matter if your title includes the word assistant or even clerk.  At least you have the knowledge that there are better titles with in your reach.

All I get is stay at home dad….SAHD.  It even looks like the word SAD.  I think I’ll get some business cards with that.  Craig Fortner SAHD L.  This way when people ask what I do, I’ll just hand them my business card.  I assume they will be uncomfortable, and not ask any additional questions.

I’m not going to lie to you.  I’m writing this the day night before I post it.  (My apologies for the typos and over use of the comma)

Why? Why does this blog post have such a quick turn around?

Because I’m wearing too many GD hats!

Let’s just pish posh away the whole notion that staying at home is in anyway an actual job. Something I wrote about first here, then here and have decided already.  Sure I’m raising a HUMAN BEING, but whatever, no title means no fancy hat. 

So I started to blog.  You know people make money from blogging.  I don’t…but people do.  It’s like being an artist, lots of people make money in art, but many more don’t.  It‘s not a real job, but it is a job.  So it gets a hat.

Then there is the nonprofit.  It is turning into a very fancy hat.  I've started to toss this new hat around, and found it adds credibility to my statements.  "Of course I'm responsible enough to watch your children...I run a nonprofit."

Speaking of, eventually I'll have time to blog about the “Daddy Daycare” opened at my house a few weeks ago. It is going very well but dramatically decreases my writing time…as in entirely.  Even though it’s the exact same thing I do with my kids, I get paid to do it, so it is more of a hat than my primary job.

Least we forget about my actual job, I have one of those as well.  I still work at the hotel.  I joke with my boss when she schedules me 32 hours.  There is no way for her to get it, but that much work at the hotel, just wears me out. 

I don’t say all this to have everyone look at all I do.  Despite the many hats I wear, I don’t really do any more or less than you.  I work, just like everyone else who has a job OR doesn't.  In every single category I listed, there are many people who do that task better than I do.  There is a whole world of super parents, who do a lot more than I.

I am not those people.  I am running out of time in the day, and beginning to wonder when I’ll be given a few extra hours.  I’m sure this is something that everyone can relate to.  My problem with titles is it tends to pigeon hole us into roles.  I feel like I either need to build myself up or bring you down, in order to justify what being a stay at home parent means to me.  As if working parents Tammi doesn't feel like she is wearing too many hats.  She doesn't have enough to worry about and manage from day to day.  Her lazy house husband is stressed because he doesn't have tomorrow’s blog written. 


I just want a better title. 

How about…..BP….Busy Person?

I’d also accept GSD…Getting Shit Done.  How about you, what would your title be?


  1. Ha, I'd love to call myself a writer, but I feel even worse with that title if I don't make money from writing...

    Thing is, there's an inherent conflict in being a SAHD. I feel like by staying home I'm making a feminist statement--I stay home so my wife can concentrate on her career. I'm clearing the way for her to succeed.

    On the other hand, as a feminist, it would have been hard for me to see a woman who, when asks what she does, answers, "I'm a mom."

    1. Right, because the phrase, "I'm a mom" is still true if you work. It forces stay at home parents to defend what they do, but minimizing what other parents do.

      I look at it this way. If you are lazy, then you will be a lazy stay at home parent. You probably weren't all that motivated at work to begin with. If you are a naturally driven person, than you'll naturally find other projects to work on.

      It just doesn't sound as good as, "I work in Sales."