Feminism is not only about women’s rights; it’s about equality between the genders. Therefore, stereotyping the role of a stay-at-home parent as feminine should no longer exist. In the modern age having a family shouldn’t mean that the woman automatically assumes the role of main caretaker to the children. When I was in elementary school my dad became unemployed. He could no longer work as a carpenter due to injuries that made him physically incapable to do so– and since he never went to college and only had training of working with his hands, finding a new job was practically impossible. Becoming a stay-at-home dad wasn’t necessarily his choice at first, but he adapted and was a great father for my brother and I. Even though others perceived stay-at-home dads as feminine and unsuccessful, full-time fathers are extremely capable of what they do. Being a stay-at-home parent shouldn’t be a stereotyped position solely for women.
1. Read books out loud to me.
Remember those days of non-stop book projects in English class? Whenever I got tired of reading a book I would ask my dad to read at least a chapter to me out loud. My dad and I even cried together when he read The Outsiders out loud to me; we were on the chapter when Johnny dies.
2. Wash the dishes.
He would collect all the water glasses that had accumulated on my brothers table every few days to fill up the dish washer.
3. Do the laundry.
When my brother and I were in elementary school my dad would dump the warm laundry, fresh out of the dryer, on top of us while we laid in bed. Basking in the warmth of the clothes become almost a little game of ours. Granted, my dad never folded the laundry but at least it was clean!
4. Pack lunches for school.
Every single day of school my dad would pack my brother and I a sandwich, a piece of fruit, and some chips. Eventually after 12 years of eating practically the same meal, it began to get extremely boring and bland but at least he was consistent.
5. Wait with me at the bus stop.
Of course since popular morning radio shows are always packed with advertisements and commercials, with barely any music in between, my dad put on the classical music station. Essentially all the music sounded the same to me but it was a nice time to just sit in accompaniment with my dad while waiting at the bus stop.
6. Cook dinner.
My dad is a vegetarian and he even took one for the team and cooked meat for us now and then.
7. Play board games.
He beat my brother and I in monopoly every time but it was always fun to have some tough competition.
8. Build a tree house.
Before his injuries progressed, my dad build a tree house in our backyard for us to play in. We even borrow paint from the neighbor to paint eat pallet a different color of the rainbow.
9. Drive everywhere.
Whether it was to school when I missed the bus, to a friends house, or to Target to pick up some supplies for a project, my dad was always there.