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Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt November 9, 2014
By Orlando Griffith
It would be easy for me to express my position on
being a stay-at-home-dad in one paragraph: I simply
don't think any self-respecting man would relinquish
all financial responsibilities to his woman, for her to
act as the sole breadwinner, but I try to look at these
topics from all perspectives, because there is always
some truth in these questions, and I have to be ob-
jective in my analysis. I had to ask myself a few ques-
tions to be fair, and put myself in the shoes of this
hypothetical man. "Would I be less than a man if I
chose to stay at home, and let my wife earn a living,
what's best for my family?"
First, let's look at what could cause a man to change
his role to suit. He may be dissatisfied with his career
choice; he may have gotten fired; and because he's
highly specialised, finding work may be very difficult;
perhaps if he's much older than his wife, and may be
already well established and is living off prior invest-
ments that help the family maintain a standard of liv-
ing that keeps them happy. If she makes significantly
more than him, it could also be an economical decision
in which it makes much more sense for the woman to
earn a living than the man, because if both parties
worked, then the children may be neglected.
Ultimately, within each particular circumstance, every-
thing done is for the sake of raising healthy and well-
adjusted offspring. These scenarios, and many others,
could only become reality with lengthy discussions and
solid communication, down to every last detail, to en-
sure that the man and woman won't develop any re-
sentment toward each other.
While it might seem noble for a man to want to stay
at home and help raise the kids, most of the women I
spoke with don't want to hear anything about their
man doing so. I even tried to play devil's advocate, and
suggest some pros to the situation. I proposed that a
stay-at-home man would probably have skills that
would make him quite useful. He might be a "progres-
sive" man who can do housework, home repairs, keep
himself in shape, cook, do laundry and yard work ---
generally a man most woman would deem perfect. I
proposed that this perfect man would also get the chil-
dren ready for school, comb the girls' hair, shuttle the
children to and from school, get the groceries, help the
children with homework while establishing stronger
bonds with them, while the wife is getting a chance to
fulfil her dream as a career woman ... and still have en-
ergy to be great in bed.
But to no avail; no compromise came to this hypothet-
ical scenario, and most women asked why he couldn't
do all those things and still have a job. "He needs to
have some sort of income!" As I said, I'm not in favour
of any man being a stay-at-home-dad, aka "house hus-
band", especially if his intention is not to work at all.
There are some cases where a man may work from
home, or if a man is studying for a better job between
jobs, etc., which may be acceptable, but to me there are
too many negatives.
I think, for one, that he's making his wife have some
doubts about him when she may be around driven suc-
cessful men at the workplace. It may make her wonder
why her husband doesn't want to do what other men
are doing. Suppose she meets a man who asks what
her husband does; will she be ashamed to answer this
successful and driven man, who may look down on her
husband? Will a man be respected by his peers, family
members, and in-laws for his decision to stay at home?
More importantly, would he be respected by his wife if
she doesn't agree with his change in lifestyle? Could
there be room for abuse by the wife if she's lost re-
spect for her husband for not being ambitious enough?
I believe that eventually, boredom from the monotony
of a fixed routine may create depression, and self-es-
teem issues may arise if he isn't feeling fulfilled; even
women feel this way. He may have to rely on the wife
for an allowance, which to me is even more demeaning,
because his role as a man is to provide for his wife and
family, and not the other way around. While I may have
an opinion, there are couples out there who are "mak-
ing it work", and, from outside, seem to be doing just
fine with this arrangement, but I think I have a decent
grasp on Trin-bago culture, and human nature, to think
that this arrangement cannot be long term. A man
must be a man.
Orlando Griffith is an Athletic Development and Per-
formance Specialist ... and a very thoughtful guy!
If you have questions you'd like answered from
a guy's point of view, contact him at Ariessportsper-
firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @Beastmode1404
As I said, I'm not in
favour of any man being
aka 'house husband,'
especially if his intention
is not to work at all ...
a man must be a man."
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