How can you Stay a Man?
There are two ways to maintain and increase your
masculinity while being the Stay-At-Home and
drudging through the emasculating chores of
laundry, dishes, making dinner, cleaning vomit from
couch cushions, more laundry, changing diapers,
etc. The first is address your job your way. The
second is to make sure that you exercise your
This is your job. It is not your wifes
that you are taking over for a short time while she
goes out to the store. You are not the Substitute
Mommy. You are not the Babysitter. You are raising
your children and running your home. Do it like a
man. Develop a system. Develop your system.
However it works for you, do it that way. If
your wife has a better idea, maybe she would like
to switch positions and stay home. If not, tell her
to back up and watch the Master work.
However you decide to run the house and raise
the kids, it needs to be done in such a way that
will encourage your Inner Caveman and Hidden
Gladiator. This does not mean you can test your
daughters date by challenging him to a joust.
However, give a nod to those instincts men have
that we so often have to suppress for the good of
We like to shoot things. We like to hit things.
We like to overpower things. Dont agree? Then
why are contact sports so popular? Of course, you
cant hit, shoot or overpower your children
(or their boyfriends) or most of the stuff in your
house. You can shoot baskets with a dirty diaper
from across the room. You can put the toys that
were left in the front yard into the back yard
using a tennis racquet. You can pick up and carry
your third grader to the car (probably a minivan)
when he doesnt want to go to the dentist.
If you want to clean the playroom using a push
broom, shoving all of the toys to one wall, do it
that way. When your wife comes home and asks you
what in the hell you are doing, tell her you are
tidying up quickly because the hockey game is going
to start soon and you need the rink cleared.
Play hockey with your kids in the basement.
Laundry sucks, but you can make it manly. Buy a
basket that only you can carry when its full.
It can take three full loads. You will sweat and
grunt when you take it upstairs and that is exactly
Do things that will make you sweat and grunt. If
you cannot find things that satisfy during the day,
look outside the realm of parenting.
Not everything during a SAHDs day will lend
itself to encouraging masculinity. Because of that,
you have to find things that make you feel manly;
that make you feel alive; that stir the fires of
barbarism deep within you. Play football even if
you think you are too out of shape. Go to a movie
that has lots of mindless carnage. Chop wood. Go to
a bar and watch a hockey game. Walk around in an
sporting goods store and try to figure out what all
those camping and hunting supplies are for. Dance
like you did in high school. Embarrass your wife.
Maintaining your masculinity cannot take
precedence over the rest of your life, of course.
Dont spend every night proving how strong you
are by being on a seven different softball leagues.
You have an important job to do and most of that
job involves paying attention to other people, not
yourself. However, if you ignore your self and the
aspects of it that most civilized people dont
talk about, you are going to run into trouble.
Even in the most sophisticated, sensitive man,
there flows the blood of an ancestor that hunted
for his food, killed for his country, and never
even considered crying at Old Yeller.
Dont let that ancestor run around free, but
dont lock him away forever, either.
* * *
Women, it's true, make human beings, but
only men can make men. - Margaret Mead
Phillips is a Stay-At-Home-Dad and freelance
writer. Along with raising his four children, he is
developing a franchise called The Vacuum IS a
Power Tool. It is designed to help SAHDs
maintain that which makes us men, instead of hairy
Mom-substitutes. He earned a B.S. in
Communication/Theatre Arts and teaching
certificates in English, public speaking, and
psychology from Eastern Michigan University. After
six years as a high school English teacher and
Director of Dramatic Arts at Powers Catholic High
School in Flint, Michigan, he changed careers and
became a Stay-At-Home-Dad. www.TheVacuumIsAPowerTool.com
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