A few years back, it started becoming more common knowledge that anyone who still used the phrase “Mr. Mom” to refer to a “stay-at-home dad” was revealing they themselves were out of touch with modern times.
I feel that I am the epitome of the modern American dad: I have always been extremely involved in not only my kids’ lives, but extremely active in domestic life. There is no irony in a dad doing the dishes, cleaning the bathrooms, vacuuming the floors, getting the kids ready for school, and taking them to the park on the weekend while his wife is out buying groceries.
In fact, I would argue that a dad who is not that heavily involved in domestic duties would be a dad who doesn’t have a healthy marriage. Yes. That’s how important it is these days.
I have been saying for years now, that in our modern American culture, a man can not be a good husband unless he is a also good father. And by good husband, I mean he is extremely involved as a domestic helpmate, in addition to being faithful and loving to his wife. Good husband and good father in inseparable terms.
But in addition to “Mr. Mom” being an outdated and irrelevant term, I feel the same is happening with “stay-at-home dad” as well. Here’s why:
I am actually working to make money (with my side hustles) alongside also working to save money (by staying home with the kids).
All of my free time is spent generating income for my family.
I don’t binge-watch Netflix. I don’t take naps. I don’t scroll Facebook on my phone.
Instead, whenever I am not responsible for catering to the physical or emotional needs of another member of my family, I am either working as a freelance writer or producing YouTube videos.
(At this point in time, most people still don’t realize how much money YouTubers can make if they do it right… but I have figured out the formula, after years of practice.)
So in addition to it not being ironic to share the domestic duties, I am also spending any free time working from home. And this includes after everyone else has gone to sleep (including my wife) and in the middle of the night when I have to wake up to get our daughter back to sleep.
Does this make me special? I would think not.
I would have to imagine it is quite normal for the modern dad who stays at home with his kids to also have some kind of side hustle going on.
It’s all about having a hobby that makes my family money, not one that costs us money. I submit this is normal.
Since I make supplemental income from this blog and my YouTube channels, it’s this simple:
If I’m not working, I’m not making money.
It technically costs me money to not be working, as every new blog post and every new video I publish increases my SEO and subscribership, and therefore, my income.
Undeniably, it’s important to my identity that I’m providing income for my family in some way, in addition to taking care of the kids; while my wife, who has a master’s degree, is out making the big bucks.
So yeah, “stay-at-home dad” doesn’t quite cut it. Maybe it’s more like “stay-at-home dad who works from home”.