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18 February 2015 @ 08:25 pm
It's Sexist, That's What It Is.  
Why are so many people of the opinion that being a stay-at-home dad is ‘doing nothing’? You should hear some of the things people in my family say about my little brother, just because he doesn’t have a ‘job’. It’s so sexist. If it were his wife who chose to stay home and take care of the kids, she’d be doing her duty as a wife and mother. But because he, a man, that society has set up as the breadwinner, is staying at home to care for the house and kids - (and two elderly parents, as well as volunteering at a soup kitchen) - suddenly it’s ‘doing nothing’. It irks me to no end. It’s basically saying, “Man make money, Man pay bills, Woman rear children, Woman get back in kitchen.”

My brother worked construction for ten years. His wife worked at the same fast food place all through high school. When they had their kid, they made a choice together that she would work and he would stay home. Construction is not a consistent job - he’d work 60 hour weeks for two weeks and then not work again for a month. That’s not possible to make money on an even scale that way. They tried both working for awhile, but with the construction gig, it wasn’t worth it to pay for the full-time spot at daycare for The Nephew when my brother wouldn’t be working regular hours. My S-I-L was being offered management positions and consistent promotions and it made more financial sense this way. My brother still picks up weekend gigs whenever his old construction crew is on a deadline, but he has a full-time job raising those kids. And running a household.

My mom called him the other day and he was all, “I can’t talk right now, Mom, I’m making dinner,” and she said, “Why are you making dinner? Your wife doesn’t make dinner?” My brother was shocked to hear her ask that, after he’s been a stay-at-home dad for almost nine years now. He was all, “No, she works. I run the house. I have to feed the kids, give the baby a bath, help my son with his homework, put the baby to bed and then do the laundry.” My mom scoffed at that, the idea that he did all of that, that his wife didn’t work a full-time mangers job and also run the house. What does she think he does with his time then? My cousin was here tonight and I was saying that Mom has been driving my brother nuts, calling him all the time, and my cousin was all, “Good. It’s not like he does anything else with his time.”

I am so offended! I am offended on my brother’s behalf and on the behalf of all stay-at-home dads and on the behalf of women, because apparently we belong in the kitchen and not men. Now if you'll excuse me, I apparently have to get back in the kitchen and make someone a sandwich.
 
 
 
Shireboundshirebound on February 19th, 2015 01:44 am (UTC)
I'm sorry to hear that he's not getting the support he deserves.
dodger_sisterdodger_sister on February 25th, 2015 08:34 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry to hear that he's not getting the support he deserves.

He really never has. We have one aunt who is quite proud of my brother and of course my sister and I support him, but everyone else in the family looks down on him, more or less. It makes me sad for him how outside the family he is.
crucis01crucis01 on February 19th, 2015 01:57 am (UTC)
You are so spot on with this. I was a stay at home mom till my kids started school and you would not believe the crap I heard. "Oh you don't have a real job?" " It must be nice to stay home and do nothing all day!" etc.
Your brother is proving himself a better dad than many out there. For what it's worth I think he rocks! He's taken on one of the toughest, if not THE toughest job in the world. Remind him it's also one of the most rewarding emotionally he will ever do. Hugs and kudos from me.
dodger_sister: angrydodger_sister on February 25th, 2015 08:39 pm (UTC)
You are so spot on with this. I was a stay at home mom till my kids started school and you would not believe the crap I heard. "Oh you don't have a real job?" " It must be nice to stay home and do nothing all day!" etc.

People underestimate how hard raising kids is! I think I also get mad about this because I worked in child care for so many years and people used to say to me things like, "Oh what an easy job, baby sitting," and it pissed me off. Everyone goes around spouting off how the children are our future and yet they don't understand how much work that actually takes.

Your brother is proving himself a better dad than many out there. For what it's worth I think he rocks! He's taken on one of the toughest, if not THE toughest job in the world. Remind him it's also one of the most rewarding emotionally he will ever do. Hugs and kudos from me.

Thank you! I am so disappointed in what old timey views my family has on gender roles and I am hoping more dads like my brother will start to change the tide on that!
Ironlily - Making My Marquevikingprincess on February 19th, 2015 02:04 am (UTC)
My husband's family has that jackassey attitude toward his younger brother, who handles home schooling, home management, and a custom furniture business on the side. It's pretty infuriating.

Edited at 2015-02-19 02:04 am (UTC)
dodger_sister: angrydodger_sister on February 25th, 2015 08:44 pm (UTC)
My husband's family has that jackassey attitude toward his younger brother, who handles home schooling, home management, and a custom furniture business on the side. It's pretty infuriating.

Do they even know what century this is? For crying out loud!

TBH, I think a lot of my family's unwillingness to see my brother as a good dad is because he used to be a drunk and a criminal. But that was years ago. He's been sober for over 6 years now - longer than me - and anyways, where were any of them when he needed help?! Like if someone is a 15 year old alcoholic, maybe you should try helping, not judging? So now they can't see anything he does as good and it makes me wonder how they see me, since I was an addict and a criminal. Or do I just get a pass because of the disability? That's bull. My brother takes care of the baby all day and cleans the house and does the laundry and helps The Nephew with his homework and then when he gets a day off, he spends it in Detroit handing out blankets to homeless people. But no, let's judge him on his actions from a decade ago when he was mentally ill and drunk and in need of help. Good call guys! 80
Ironlily - Making My Marquevikingprincess on February 26th, 2015 12:45 am (UTC)
Grrrrrr on behalf of your brother!
lindahoylandlindahoyland on February 19th, 2015 02:11 am (UTC)
He should be applauded not got at.
dodger_sisterdodger_sister on February 25th, 2015 08:45 pm (UTC)
He should be applauded not got at.

Thank you! This idea that my brother needs to be the one paying the bills just because he is the man is so outdated and I am shocked at my family's narrow views.
Kate: taking wingceitfianna on February 19th, 2015 04:54 am (UTC)
Your brother is awesome and your family is being stupid. Its wonderful that he stays at home. My brother and his wife balance two jobs between them with school and other stuff and its stressful. *hugs*
dodger_sister: angrydodger_sister on February 25th, 2015 08:51 pm (UTC)
Your brother is awesome and your family is being stupid.

Thank you, bb. I just can't believe some of the things these people say. Guy Cousin said to me once how my brother 'doesn't even take care of his family' because he doesn't have a job and I was all, "What century is this?" My brother works just as hard as a stay-at-home dad as GC does at his delivery job, but when GC has a day off, he drinks himself into a blackout state, while my brother spends his days off running errands for my dad and planting trees and other volunteer work. He certainly isn't a saint by any means and he still needs to work on his patience issues with the kids, but he works hard to not be our father, to not be absent from his kids life and to never raise a hand to them. My dad worked 60 hours a week and paid the bills and put food on our table but he was rarely involved in our lives and when he was home we walked around on eggshells all the time. My brother deserves some support for it.

Edited at 2015-02-25 09:19 pm (UTC)
MoSinging1986: 24 - Chloe - geek in troublemosinging1986 on February 19th, 2015 05:34 am (UTC)
(Here randomly from LJ Home Page)

Your brother's amazing! It must be so frustrating to hear that crap all the time, but tell him not to believe it!
dodger_sisterdodger_sister on February 25th, 2015 08:53 pm (UTC)
(Here randomly from LJ Home Page)

Your brother's amazing! It must be so frustrating to hear that crap all the time, but tell him not to believe it!


Oh, thank you! I know my brother doesn't believe all that negative naysaying from these narrow minded people who think of gender roles in such a small way. But because of it, he also is not very involved with anyone in the family outside of me and my sister, and that is a shame. Thank you for the support!
MoSinging1986: B5 - normal lifemosinging1986 on February 25th, 2015 09:11 pm (UTC)
I'm glad he's at least got you and your sister for support. Those kids are blessed to have such a committed father!
bugeyedmonsterbugeyedmonster on February 19th, 2015 10:51 am (UTC)
Ouch! I'll agree with you.
dodger_sister: angrydodger_sister on February 25th, 2015 08:54 pm (UTC)
Ouch! I'll agree with you.

Thank you! My brother works hard as a stay-at-home dad and this is the year 2015 - what are my narrow minded family members thinking?!
lizibabes: Franklizibabes on February 20th, 2015 01:30 am (UTC)
What total bullshit. I think having kids and running a house is one of the hardest, most full on jobs there is. It's full time, no breaks.

When me and my brother were little my mum was in the hospital for a long time (brain hemorrhage) And my dad told her after he couldn't believe how hard a job it was, how it never stopped.

I'm offended for all the same reasons as you. Your brother does a hard job, people should get that, and they should get that it's not automatically the woman's job, or her 'place'

I've probably told you I trained as a chef, I got enough women belong in the kitchen, oh look she knows her place, make me a sandwich jokes to last a life time ugh

your brother sounds awesome.
dodger_sister: angrydodger_sister on February 25th, 2015 09:01 pm (UTC)
What total bullshit. I think having kids and running a house is one of the hardest, most full on jobs there is. It's full time, no breaks.

Right? Even when my S-I-L is home from work, my brother still does all the house stuff. I mean, she helps out certainly, but it's not like the second she walks in the door from her job that he's all plopping down in a chair and sitting on his butt!

When me and my brother were little my mum was in the hospital for a long time (brain hemorrhage) And my dad told her after he couldn't believe how hard a job it was, how it never stopped.

I am so glad your dad gave your mom her props! So many people just don't know how hard it is and too many stay at home moms don't get their credit either.

I'm offended for all the same reasons as you. Your brother does a hard job, people should get that, and they should get that it's not automatically the woman's job, or her 'place'

I feel so looked down on - as a woman and as a person who worked in child care for years - that people still think this is such an easy job or my place to be (in the kitchen making them a sandwich). Every family is different and who is anybody else to judge what one family chooses for them? My brother and his wife made this choice together and all anybody sees is my brother staying home everyday and 'making' his wife work.

I've probably told you I trained as a chef, I got enough women belong in the kitchen, oh look she knows her place, make me a sandwich jokes to last a life time ugh

I can only imagine. Sometimes I feel like the world thinks we belong at home and only at home, because when we try to get out there and work we are either getting 'lol look she's in the kitchen' jokes or comments like I got in child care about being a 'babysitter' or else in the corporate world where women are looked at as bitchy bosses. I mean, what year is this, people?!

your brother sounds awesome.

Thank you! I think so!
lizibabes: Gerard redlizibabes on February 26th, 2015 09:43 pm (UTC)
Big yes to all of this.

people really fucking suck sometimes. This is why feminism is still really needed, it's needed for men too, because a man doing a 'woman's job' is still seen as a bad thing.
phyllis2779phyllis2779 on February 20th, 2015 02:51 am (UTC)
Right on. For a lot of folks (of all ages), the 19th century never ended. Or maybe they're stuck in the 1950's. Sigh. What's right for one family, is right for them and not necessarily for anyone else. Everyone should be able to make their own choices as to how they structure their family life (as long as no one gets hurt).
dodger_sisterdodger_sister on February 25th, 2015 09:03 pm (UTC)
Right on. For a lot of folks (of all ages), the 19th century never ended. Or maybe they're stuck in the 1950's. Sigh. What's right for one family, is right for them and not necessarily for anyone else. Everyone should be able to make their own choices as to how they structure their family life (as long as no one gets hurt).

Agreed! It's such an old time mentality, that whole 'man make money, woman run house' idea. My brother and his wife made this choice together, as what is right for them, but all anyone sees is his wife working and him staying home 'doing nothing'. As if raising a family is not a worthy job. Which means when we are told, as women, that we shouldn't work and we should stay home with our kids, basically they are saying 'take the job that we deem less worthy'. /shakes head/
wolfrider89: Em smishwolfrider89 on February 20th, 2015 11:03 am (UTC)
Ugh, I'm pissed off too! That is fucked up. :( All the kudos in the world to your brother, he seems like an awesome dude and he shoulde be proud of the work he's doing. Raising kids is like one of the most important things a person can do, imo.
dodger_sister: angrydodger_sister on February 25th, 2015 09:22 pm (UTC)
Ugh, I'm pissed off too! That is fucked up. :( All the kudos in the world to your brother, he seems like an awesome dude and he shoulde be proud of the work he's doing. Raising kids is like one of the most important things a person can do, imo.

I know my brother is no saint and he certainly could work on some issues, but he loves those kids and he teaches them so many good things, like when he takes my nephew to the soup kitchen to feed the homeless or to plant trees on Earth Day. My dad barely noticed us unless it was time for him to coach one of us in a sport - (which means he never noticed me) - and here my brother is being so involved in his kids lives. When they got a crate of discounted comics for The Nephew for Christmas, my brother read every single one of those comics (a whole crate) just so he could weed out the ones that weren't appropriate. Like what Dad does that? I feel like so much of the judging in this family is based on actions my brother took when he was drunk. He is an alcoholic. But he has been sober for over 6 years now. He got sober for his family, because he love his wife and kid. No one in my family gives him credit for that and now they see him staying home to 'do nothing' and they judge him. They don't know anything about him, but they still judge him.
wolfrider89wolfrider89 on February 27th, 2015 12:09 pm (UTC)
Those are a lot of really good things your brother is doing. My dad stayed home with me for a year after I was born (we have paid parental leave in Sweden) and let me tell you, it really, really makes a difference in the realtionship with the kid. I whish more dads got the opportunity to be close to their kids, it's really important stuff.

I'm really sorry your family isn't giving him any credit for either staying sober or raising his kids, that really sucks. :(
matrixmannmatrixmann on February 20th, 2015 12:52 pm (UTC)
That's really sexist.
dodger_sister: angrydodger_sister on February 25th, 2015 09:09 pm (UTC)
Oops, responded to the wrong comment!

But yes, this idea that the women must stay home with the kids and the men must work is extremely sexist and very outdated. Thank you for the support!

Edited at 2015-02-25 09:22 pm (UTC)
Trigger Warning: Lifematchboximpala on February 25th, 2015 05:37 am (UTC)
I am offended for both your brother and SIL. The idea that they think he sits around doing nothing all day is super offensive. Equally offensive is the idea that your SIL has to play the homemaker role even though she is the primary breadwinner. Must be so frustrating for them to hear this crap -- and for you.
dodger_sister: angrydodger_sister on February 25th, 2015 09:12 pm (UTC)
I am offended for both your brother and SIL. The idea that they think he sits around doing nothing all day is super offensive. Equally offensive is the idea that your SIL has to play the homemaker role even though she is the primary breadwinner. Must be so frustrating for them to hear this crap -- and for you.

My brother rarely hears this crap from family, because he is so cut off from our family, in part because of these sort of opinions they have about him. And I think that is a shame. I feel like once my grandmother passes, my brother will only come to the small immediate family things with me and my sister. That the rest of the family, extended family, will never see him again. Because he knows what they think of him. They think he 'makes' his wife work all day and sits around 'doing nothing' while she is gone. Despite that she comes home to a cooked meal and clean laundry and kids ready for bed every night. But whatever, that's not making money and he is supposed to be a Man, so his contributions to his family don't count, I guess. /shakes head/