Shit People Say When Your Husband Is A Stay-At-Home Dad


Ever since my husband became a stay-at-home dad, I’ve noticed that some people are, well… weird about it. Even though the number of stay-at-home dads has nearly doubled in the past thirty years (they now make up about 16% of stay-at-home parents), many people still can’t wrap their heads around this flipping of traditional gender roles. So, to help prepare those who are contemplating this arrangement, I’ve compiled a collection of things a woman might hear when her husband is a stay-at-home dad.

1. From people who think you have it too easy:

  • Work must be a nice little break for you! (Sure. Because there’s nothing more relaxing than working 8 hours a day. In fact, you know how some people use those bath bombs labeled with things like “refresh” and “sooth”? Mine all say “work.”)
  • I’ll bet you’re happy to be back at work! (I had a baby, not an all-expenses-paid-vacation to Maui. Plus, a whole bunch of shit didn’t get done when I was out, so now I’m 6 weeks behind. Joy.)
  • You don’t mind working late, do you? I mean, since your husband has the baby. (Yes, I do mind. I always did, even when I didn’t have a kid that I wanted to get home to. Why would having a loving family at home waiting for me make me want to stay at work longer? How is this a real question?)
  • I’ll bet it’s nice to come home to a clean house and dinner on the table every night! (It is nice, when it happens. But that’s probably only about twice a week at best because, believe it or not, being a stay-at-home parent to an infant is actually a ton of work. Which brings me to…)

2. From people who think he has it too easy:

  • Must be nice! (Yes, he likes it. So, why are you rolling your eyes?)
  • No, I meant nice for him. (Yeah, no, I got that the first time. Seriously, is there something in your eye?)
  • I’ll bet he loves not working. (He works every. single. day. Probably harder than you.)
  • How’d he manage to pull that one off? (I’m a pretty smart gal. He didn’t “trick” me into this arrangement. We agreed on it together.)

3. From people who seem baffled by the very concept of a stay-at-home-dad:

  • So, he’s on babysitting duty today? (I mean, if you call caring for your own child “babysitting” – which no one ever seems to do to women – then, sure. Today, tomorrow, the next day…)
  • How does he like being Mr. Mom? (There’s no such thing as Mr. Mom. He’s just “Dad.”)
  • Is this, like, a “feminist” thing? (Why are you putting feminist in air quotes like it’s a bad thing?)

4. From people who seem, for some reason, to want you to feel bad:

  • Aren’t you sad that you’re going to miss your baby’s first moments? (I didn’t transfer to an office in a foreign country; I work 3 miles away from home. I don’t think I’ll miss them all. Plus, my husband is a whiz with the videocamera.)
  • Don’t you miss your baby during the day? (Yes. Thank you for reminding me. Do you want to see his picture again? No? Then, leave me alone.)
  • I could never be away from my child for that long! (That’s going to be awkward for him when he goes to college.)
  • Do you ever feel like your husband is taking advantage of you by staying home? (No, but I’m concerned that you think someone who spends all day caring for their family is some kind of a “mooch.”)

5. From people who wish they were you:

  • You’re so lucky! (Yes. Yes, I am.)

What about you? What awkward comments have you heard about being a stay-at-home dad or being married to one?

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