My wife and I had this plan at the beginning of our marriage, see. She was going to work for a little while until I found a job, and then we'd switch out, and she'd be the stay-at-home mom - you know, the barefoot and pregnant stereotype?
Now for those of you who are about to hyperventilate, don't get offended - if you talked to her, she'd agree, only she'd add stuff like making homemade yogurt, granola, and more of these meals...
My wife has some college degrees and all that, but when we had kids, she said she really wanted to focus on them. We were both committed in our conviction to have the kids stay at home with one of us, and perhaps even homeschool them as they got older.
We wanted our kids to be able to just roam around and have a kind of old-fashioned kid existence, with few pressures of the modern world. Oh, and my wife most emphatically DID NOT want them to eat sugary cereals, with lots of marshmallows and different colored dyes - in fact, this was the subject of one of the first arguments of our marriage. Go figure.
(Sidenote: anyone else love those Fruit Loops with marshmallows? That is seriously the most awesome idea for a cereal anyone ever thought of.)
Therefore, as I applied for job after job (and didn't get them), it was dependent on me to carry out this little conviction of ours.
Transparent moment: I'll be honest when I say that there are some days I wish we didn't have this conviction. Any of you out there with kids or a great career can probably imagine why.
BUT: There are more days when I remember that, although I may not be bringing home the proverbial bacon, I'm still providing for them. To determine the importance of a father's role in his child's life by the amount of money he makes is to undermine the very idea of who a father is or should be.
So, to all your SAHDs out there (that would be Stay-At-Home Dads), don't feel embarrassed or ashamed! Lift high your sword of fatherhood as you battle against the Judgy McJudgersons of the world who think that you are just sitting around playing xbox and eating chips all day long – though that sounds like fun sometimes.
Scott Keen is the author of three young adult fantasy novels, Scar of the Downers, Rise of the Branded, and War of the Downer King.