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Gus Van Horn blog

Reblogged:Thanks, Critters!

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Writing at the Huffington Post, screenwriter Ken Miyamoto does a pretty good job of explainingwhat it is like to be a stay-at-home dad, something I did almost full time in Boston when our daughter arrived, and part-time with both kids while we were in St. Louis. In terms of how one fits in with society, Miyamoto is spot-on:

Image courtesy of Unsplash.
Many honestly do treat you like a lesser man.

Women can often do the same. Try being a dad with kids at the playground during the day. You will often feel ostracized. Like you don't belong. Like you are invading some sorority meeting.

Now, this isn't always the case. And yes, we live in a different time where this is happening so much more often. Virtual offices are increasing each year.

But it's still taboo to most, whether or not people will admit to that.
Indeed, I regard much of the rest as spot-on. My main differences are that (1) as an egoist, I wouldn't describe full-time parenthood as a sacrifice, even colloquially; and (2) I'm not sure guilt is the right term for the emotion he feels towards the end. That said, I will freely admit that one can certainly drop context from time to time: There were days when being home with the kids is awful, and can cause one to forget context for a moment and wish he had made other choices in the past. (Bivouacked in the den at 11:00 p.m. with a toddler and a vomiting baby, while waiting for my wife to come home from a late flight comes to mind.) And, I am sure that for anyone not used to going against the grain, the omnipresent pressure to conform to a more traditional role doesn't help matters.

But being at home with kids is more a blessing than a curse. They're growing the whole time, and you will grow with them. It is wonderful to see the first, and transformative to experience the second.

-- CAV

P.S. Regarding the title, Critters is my affectionate substitute for kidsor children, when I am addressing both of them. I once tried varmints on for size, but my daughter immediately objected, and specifically asked me to use critters. The question of which is "Critter Number One" and "Critter Number Two" remains open in her mind.

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