I have never let anyone guest post anonymously on this blog before, but today is an exception, and you’ll see why if you keep reading.

Every time I write about stay-at-home dads, tons of them write to me. They always want me to tell their story. The only emails I get that say “contact me if you want to interview me about my life” are from stay-at-home dads.

Not much ever comes of this, but there’s one exception: a guy I’ve been corresponding with for the last year about what life’s like as a stay-at-home dad. Today’s guest post is actually a bunch of his emails that I’ve edited, with his permission. I like this guy because he is more honest with me about his life than any other stay-at-home dad I know.

—————————————————————————–

When a person asks “What kind of marriage works today?” they learn that there are so many more options available than there were even 25 years ago. My mother and grandmother never would have been able to ask that question because there was only one type of marriage in the past. My wife and I have pretty much taken the old template and switched genders.

But it’s hard on me having a similar education and background to my wife and yet having her be the big success in her field while I’m not in it at all. There are many times when my wife accomplishes something and I say to myself that I never could have done that. And as my wife spends less time with our family and more time with work people, my focus and my social circle is different from hers.

So let me give you two of the positives about being in my position as a stay-at-home husband.

First, it is so great that my wife has a kick-ass job, makes good money, and provides so well for our family. She rocks. And it’s great for the kids.

Second, she’s really good at letting me do what I do. Not a lot of second guessing or interference. She’s never ever complained about anything I’ve spent or what I do. Not that I’m irresponsible or frivolous, but it’s just nice knowing that I can pretty much do what I want to do. I wouldn’t be staying home at all if not for her income.

Yes, there is a power imbalance, but I’ve gotten used to it. If I thought about it a lot, it would probably drive me crazy. But that imbalance comes with some of the perks that I embrace. Being able to commit and make this huge leap of faith is something that I’m very proud of myself for doing. And I know that my wife very much appreciates it. It’s certainly made me more vulnerable, but it’s added strength to our relationship.

But I’ve also been amazed as to how many propositions I’ve received since becoming a househusband. I have a pretty good sense of myself, so take my word that I’m not Brad Pitt but I’m not The Elephant Man either. But until I started staying home, I was never the object of this kind of attention.

Especially one winter, tagging along with her at a business conference.

On the first day I met a woman who really had her act together, single, about 50, and from Boston. A real flirt too. I flirted back. Same thing the next day. Each time we talked, she would talk about the seminars and other BS she’d attended (which my wife never does), and basically roll her eyes while giving the company-line on all the “interesting” things that she had learned. It was pretty funny.

On the second to last night, she said that, finally, tomorrow afternoon, she was actually looking forward to a meeting. I asked her what it was about. I’ll never forget what she said: “The two of us. I’m leaving the morning meeting early. Come to my room and we can have lunch and the afternoon together.”

The next morning, slinking around and probably acting like a burglar, I knocked, went in, and we spent three really great hours together. And that was it. At the last cocktail party, we bantered again.We’ve emailed a few times since them, but never gotten together.

At times I can’t believe the course my life has taken and I doubt that my wife has a huge amount of respect for me. Maybe it’s because I’m a chauvinist and always had a condescending view of women who stayed home, who live very pampered lives. Well, now I’m one of them. But I have to say that I’m really no different than a lot of women who are married to power husbands and play a supporting role. I just do what they do, with a masculine twist.

—————————————————-

ADDENDUM: YIKES!!! The comments below (there are now about 40) ask the same question over and over again: What is the point of this post? So here are some questions that I think the post brings up:

Is being a stay-at-home dad any different than the life that Betty Friedan and Sylvia Plath worked so hard to get away from?

Is the world really ready for stay-at-home dads? Will the world ever be ready? We have done a more successful job, I think, integrating women into the work world than men into the domestic world. Are women crossing these boundaries more validated than the men who cross the boundaries?

Why is the world not talking about the downside of being a stay-at-home dad? Moms complain about this lifestyle all the time –when they are doing it — but men don’t.

Do women respect their stay-at-home husbands? I wonder if women might have to work very very hard to respect their husbands who stay at home. Perhaps gratitude comes easily, but respect takes a huge effort and a lot of mental tricks.

Why do women hit on stay-at-home dads?

178 replies
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  1. Dale
    Dale says:

    This post reads like an episode from “Desperate Housewives” only it’s Mr Mom being the lady of bored circumstance and low moral virtue. I guess this is what happens sometimes when the shoe is on the other foot and there is nothing holding it together other than convenience. The piecemeal nature of the post didn’t help convey a complete picture of this person’s circumstances either.

    My take… even if you and your significant other spend alot of time together, when you can, the party that stays at home should have something other than a mere stay at home existance. The days for that are gone – for most of us – and unless you are cut from a different cloth, it is a very unfulfilling, though potentially rewarding, life.

    @ Jim Eiden fix your family life now while you can. What you described isn’t a good relationship situation and could implode anytime.

  2. John
    John says:

    Okay. This person really doesn’t exist and you’ve created this fantasy to explain what really happened to YOUR marriage and why you’re now divorced.

  3. Kelby
    Kelby says:

    This is the most moronic and offensive crap I have read in a long time… and on so many levels.

    One, I am offended as a woman that it is perfectly fine if I stay at home, but somehow it’s emasculating is a man does it.

    Two, I am offended for all the amazing stay at home dads out there who aren’t some whiny, threatened, cheating bastard. Aww, it’s just soooo awful for him that his wife (who sounds much classier than him!) actually does well with her career, and just how trying that is for him. Awww…. that’s awful. I’m crying… on the inside.

    I do NOT think this guy represents the norm. SAHDs not only have all the work a SAHM has to deal with, but they have to also cope with moronic BS just like this on top of it.

    No, some of YOU aren’t ready for SAHDs. Some of us are a little more progressive, and don’t think it’s still the 70s. Seriously.

    If you are hearing from sooooo many SAHDs just beggging you to talk about little old them (wow, big head much?) then why don’t you profile one who is a good example. I’m sure you could find hundreds. Just look at any daddy blogs.

    You should just be embarrassed for yourself, hon.

  4. catty
    catty says:

    i am sorry to say that your stated reasons for posting this amoral and depressing story do not hold water. you have succesfully fluffed the empty pride of one s.a.h.d., at the expense of the millions of principled, thoughtful, loving, good ones out there. i can think of a million better ways to initiate a dialogue on this topic. how did you not know that this was not the story to post? i am going to be taking a long break from your blog, which i have enjoyed reading for a long time. i hope you give some thought to how you can not make an error like this again.

  5. Momo Fali
    Momo Fali says:

    The stay at home dads I know all love their kids and love their wives. Seems this guy doesn’t care much about anyone but himself. Not a good representation, but instead a sad generalization.

  6. Barbara Saunders
    Barbara Saunders says:

    I think the whole issue brings up uncomfortable ideas about a)gender roles and b)work expectations.

    First, it is impossible to allow women “a choice” without defaulting to men’s having no choice. As long as the discussion is framed this way, the old gender roles must prevail.

    Second, the whole stay-at-home issue, for men OR women, rests on a notion of work that is compartmentalized from the rest of life.

  7. john
    john says:

    It’s difficult to come to any kind of useful conclusion with regard to this issue, because the questions raised deal in generalities, but ultimately everyone has to figure out his or her own life. We can try to determine whether the world is ready for stay at home dads, but does that make any difference at all to those men (and their families) who are actually in that position? As a soon-to-be stay at home dad (I work from home, my wife is in the military) I don’t really care whether the media or the general public accept the choices my wife and I have made – it works for us. Does anything else matter? This doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for anyone else – they’ll have to figure it out.

    I feel like I must be missing something, because this doesn’t seem that complicated. We’re talking about fairly basic concepts here – respecting one’s spouse (and honestly if that depends on careers/income then I’m not sure marriage was a good idea), accepting and fulfilling responsibilities, making compromises. Of course it’s all easier said than done, but that’s not because it’s complicated, it’s just that it requires a lot of work.

  8. Danielle
    Danielle says:

    Maybe something a bit more constructive to talk about relating to this issue would be the differences in maternity and paternity leave here in the US compared to other countries?

    I read recently that majority of developed nations offer much longer leaves and required to be paid leaves for the birth of a child and some even require that a portion of the time off be taken by the male parent.

    UK 39 weeks
    Sweden 16 months
    Norway 12 months (80% pay, 6 of the weeks must be taken by father)
    Italy 5 months (80% pay 2 of the weeks before the birth)
    Germany 3.5 months (100% pay, 6 of the weeks before birth)
    France 3.5 months (100% pay,rising to 26 weeks for 3rd child)
    US 0 weeks (6 weeks unpaid under the Family Medical Leave Act)

    I knew someone when I worked retail who got 6 weeks off with no pay. My current employer offers 6 weeks at a reduced pay, with more pay if you have worked there longer than 2 years. 8 weeks if you have a cesarean section.

    Many of these countries do not have these policies to encourage people to have children. Rather they have them to encourage the retention of women in the workforce and in some cases to share the load of time off between both spouses.

  9. Bill
    Bill says:

    Penelope — I’ve noticed a change in your writing and perspective since the incident with Yahoo and your divorce announcement. I hope that one day you will return to the ‘old’ Brazen Careerist.

  10. FD
    FD says:

    I feel like the only person on the planet that actually got something out of this. Someone further up referred to this article being about a stay at home husband not a stay at home dad. I think that is exactly the gist of the discussion.

    I know plenty of stay at homes (both male and female) who are providing valuable ‘services’ to the family and yet don’t feel valued. They dutifully perform their ‘duties’ yet wonder where their life and sense of self has gone. They don’t get the re-assurance and understanding from their partners.

    It is not that they don’t care about the family but they feel that their partner does not give them the care that they deserve or need. It is not something to be proud of for sure, but it is human nature to be flattered by attention, particularly if one feels they are not getting it at home. Especially as this can go one for years. I am certainly not saying the guy is right but I certainly understand where he is coming from.

  11. CindyS
    CindyS says:

    This was my first visit to your blog. It will be my last. If I wanted to read stories about some guy’s fantasy life, there are better places. I had heard that this blog had some great advice but I would question the judgment of anyone who claims that this is the best example of a stay at home dad she could find. And by the way, the addendum makes no sense at all as the edited letters that you posted speak to NONE of those points. This is a letter from some slimeball who is trying to ease his guilty conscience and come to terms with his life.

  12. quibble
    quibble says:

    I didn’t particularly like Penelope’s article. However, there are a few really insightful/interesting posts from people explaining their own situation in the comments.

    The comments that stood out to me were those about stay-at-home parents _not_ performing well. They made me realize that some people perhaps do not work well in a stay-at-home parenting role/environment. I’m in no way trying to insult anyone. I’m just now realizing that stay-at-home parenting is a distinct _work environment_ (probably somewhat similar to work-at-home alone jobs); and not everyone works effectively in that state.

    I guess what I’m saying is that, perhaps some of the problems SAHP are having could simply be because they don’t fit well in that work environment. Perhaps, for _some_ struggling SAHP, it isn’t as complex as relationship problems, emotional controversy with gender roles, or issues with feeling respected.

    Based on how unproductive I typically am in unstructured work environments, I will carefully consider whether or not I even have the capacity to be a SAHP (think seriously about what I have to do to make sure I can be productive).

  13. finance girl
    finance girl says:

    I thought this was very well written. Wow though that he had some afternoon delight with that woman…

    I love not working, whatever works (no pun intended)!

    But the person who doesn’t work needs to keep their mind engaged and still figure out what they want to do that plays to their skills and gifts (no way that staying home, raising children, and playing house are enough, regardless of it being the wife or husband; mind will turn to mush!!)

    If anyone needs proof of what happens to a person who doesn’t strive to find their passion in this world and a way to contribute, don’t look any further than all the women out there that hit 50, kids don’t need them anymore, and they don’t know what to do with themselves.

  14. thom singer
    thom singer says:

    I agree with the people who say “WHAT THE HECK IS THE POINT OF THIS POST”.

    And you see, I am not just any guy…I am a guy who was a stay at home dad for two years. And I did it a decade ago…so if you think the world is not ready for “full-time-dads” now…. go back eleven year and you will find that people thought I was from Mars. Especially because I made more money and was the one who wanted to work outside the home. But my wife was given a promotion to a job she had wanted for 7 years while on maternity leave (she had secretly not planned to return to her company after the birth).

    She went on to be sales person of the year three times over the next three years for her group.

    I had two years that were both wonderful and difficult on so many levels.

    Nobody ever hit on me. Not sure what your anonymous writer is trying to prove … but who cares. Is that part of the story really about being a full time dad?

    Being married and raising kids is about being part of a team. If a family chooses to have one spouse home while the other works, then there are some issues that they face (for both). Life is hard…. raising kids brings difficulties. Choices are made. Society does treat men who stay home different. Money and power create crazy issues. Yep….it is hard and people can get bummed out and do dumb things, etc…. but that is not what it is about. It is about the kids.

    But as a former full time dad (and proud of those 2 years) I am disappointed in this whole post cuz it does not really address anything.

    Nobody comes off looking good in this post. Everyone loses. The writer, his wife, you, your readers, and full-time dads all over the country. That is a shame,,, cuz this is a topic that needs real discussion, especially as younger generations are exploring all the ways to parent.

    You should use your HUGE audience to have a real dialog on this topic, not this drivel. You usually do better.

  15. Quirkee James
    Quirkee James says:

    Every now and then a writer/blogger posts something along these lines about SAHD’s in order to stir up controversy and drive traffic to their sites. You have proven once again that it works, and that’s a shame.

    Not only have you lost all journalistic credibility in many readers eyes, but in the end you will probably lose readers – all for the sake of narcissism. This post was offensive to more than just us stay-at-home dads.

    I am not subscribed to your blog and have never heard of you until this post. You can be sure that I will also never come back. I encourage everyone else to do the same.

  16. Andrea
    Andrea says:

    (sorry if this double posts…having connection problems)

    Jesus, if comments are any index of how your blog is doing (and really, discussion is information commerce, yes?), I’d say it’s doing just great.

    Second, as a lesbian feministish type, I don’t really see what the big deal is. This guy is a stay at home dad who chose not to gush about seeing his kid’s first steps, but picked the topic of challenges and less-than-fuzzy realities.

    And I think there are a lot of people misreading the guy’s scenario at the conference. He was clearly tempted, but didn’t have sex with the woman. I don’t know where people are getting that; that is NOT how you brag about a sexual conquest. Not saying he felt good about it, (e.g., feeling like a burglar) but for the moment more interested in charting the dynamic between the worker bee and the domestically inclined: gender doesn’t seem to matter. That interaction, combined with the comments about his wife maybe not respecting as much as she would, speaks to the way money works in our society: validating some, scorning others. Sure, you may be above all that, but these days money is a pretty potent symbol of your potential. You can have potential without it, but how reassuring to have a high $ assigned to it! It reminds me of the discussion about how “housewives” should get paid six figures…but they’re not, and this exclusion is reflected in how people view them and their role. This guy didn’t invent this idea; he merely discusses how it affects him in his situation as a SAHD.

    And I feel like calling this guy a crappy dad is a bit much. I didn’t get that at all.

    People are so weird.

  17. NukeDad
    NukeDad says:

    Nice hit piece. Truly. You want to generalize all Stay at Home Dads into this idiots class? Nice try. If you truly believe his story, why don’t you do a follow up post on “Women In The Workplace: Why Work Your Way To The Top When You Can Sleep Your Way There?” That would even out your stereotype exploitation post quota nicely; and ensure that your once successful blog goes the way of the dinosaurs.

  18. Shefaly
    Shefaly says:

    @ Danielle

    The Scandinavian countries are the ones that require dads to take paternity leave. But they are also the ones which reserve 40% of board seats and a large % (cannot recall – it _is_ 6am my time) of parliamentary seats for women. Yes, they are doing more and one has to ask if the US is ready to all that much more.

    I think it would be more interesting to examine what % of men take paternity leave. In the Anglo-Saxon world, the answer is hardly any! That says more about the workplace culture than about the legal provisos of the countries, don’t you think?

  19. Davesnot
    Davesnot says:

    The reason this post is getting so much play is that is it phoney.

    This poor blogger has been duped by an internet creation.. just like a teen-aged girl by a sexual predator.

    There is a reason interviews are done face to face.. or at least on the phone.. editing the e-mails of someone you’ve been corresponding with and met via the net.. sheesh.. in this day of reporters making stuff up.. we’re supposed to believe any of this crap?

    Well.. let me try to shed some light..

    I’m a stay at home male parent.. my wife’s job is kick-ass.. she’s a madam.. and she pimps me out 3 days a week.. she doesn’t mind because I do the laundry.. When she see’s my rock-hard abs (hey, folding clothes is tough!) all is forgiven… she even encourages me to invite other women over for her to watch.. honest.

    I say honest.. because I fear you won’t believe me unless I say it is really, really true… I learned to say that because I heard a lot of people don’t believe that Microsoft is giving away a bunch of money with AOL.. but I got millions from them.. it’s really, really true!

    Truth is.. a stay at home dad is just like a stay at home mom.. except .. she’s got the boobs.. and we don’t get the typical “mom’s peragative” over the kids.. which means we have a thankless task and aren’t ever completely trusted despite being the one’s that understand what’s happening at home with the kids.. and why the kids freak out when she tells them to get dressed. .. I mean when she orders them to get dressed.

    Get a clue lady…

    and feel free to interview me.. I’m a live human.. and I live in Oceanside, CA.. but my wife’s job sometimes has us travel to the East Coast.. so.. let me know..

    Oh.. and so I’m not one of those.. “and nothing became of it.”.. feel free to contact me.. I’ll send you and e-mail… and if you don’t keep in touch.. well.. I guess we’ll know why “nothing became of it.”

    Oh.. but if I’m honest about my situation.. and I don’t have any women feeding me grapes.. or I mention that my wife and I get along or don’t.. please don’t think it’s me being dishonest.. Honesty ain’t fiction.. and people love to read fiction for a reason.. we’re even sucked into believing the fiction is true.. if they tell us sincerely, “Honest! It’s really, really true!

    Enjoy!

    Dave

  20. Davesnot
    Davesnot says:

    Round 2

    Is being a stay-at-home dad any different than the life that Betty Friedan and Sylvia Plath worked so hard to get away from?

    Being a stay-at-home parent is work.. it becomes something to get away from when the other spouse refuses to participate emotionally and/or doesn’t respect the work.

    Is the world really ready for stay-at-home dads?

    yes, of course.

    Will the world ever be ready

    We’re already here.

    We have done a more successful job, I think, integrating women into the work world than men into the domestic world. Are women crossing these boundaries more validated than the men who cross the boundaries?

    Women still get paid squat for equal work.. call that successful?.. I suppose that means more for the men.
    Women that are so blinded by their womenness.. well.. they don’t really have an perspective to be objective.. I think the question is a wash

    Why is the world not talking about the downside of being a stay-at-home dad? Moms complain about this lifestyle all the time – €“when they are doing it – but men don't.

    Because it’s the same issues.. but the women don’t believe it’s the same issues.. so they don’t listen.. so we quit complaining.. either that.. or men are better workers than women.. but I don’t believe that.

    Do women respect their stay-at-home husbands? I wonder if women might have to work very very hard to respect their husbands who stay at home. Perhaps gratitude comes easily, but respect takes a huge effort and a lot of mental tricks.

    If you don’t respect the stay-at-home Dad.. then you don’t respect your partner.. and they won’t be your partner.. If you have trouble respecting someone that is trying his damndest at teaching your kids to be independant, responsible, people while you complain about a commute (ah.. alone in a car.. what a wonderful thought).. well.. there’s somethin’ wrong if a working parent can’t respect the at-home parent.

    Why do women hit on stay-at-home dads?
    They don’t.. not more than any other profession.. much less considering they are too busy raising the kids.. because.. at the park you don’t just stand there and flirt.. you watch your kid to make sure they are safe.. you catch the kids before when they fall.. you hug them.. you encourage them.. and you wish like hell your spouse could any of the jobs you do with the kids even remotely competently.

    There ya go.. honest answers to your questions.. no need to look any farther.

    Enjoy!

    Dave

  21. Ed F.
    Ed F. says:

    “Why do woman hit on stay-at-home dads?”

    Hmmmmm… that question is awfully specific Penelope. A question specific to one situation and one viewpoint. Based on following you for about a year now, from what I’ve seen your writing is never this specific, you always try to be broad-based to cover many situations. Based on that, it’s almost impossible not to draw the conclusion that this was your own situation, or something very similar happened to you and your husband and now you are looking for answers.

  22. Amy
    Amy says:

    My husband stays home to take care of the house and pets while I bring in the paycheck. I have a great deal of respect for my husband, and your guest blogger seems like a bit of a dirtbag to me. But then again he isn’t telling 100% of his story, just the part he finds interesting (hey, a woman hit on me!). I don’t find that interesting at all.

  23. Jose
    Jose says:

    I am a stay at home dad with 3 wonderful boys. This guy is terrible. What am awful representation of stay at home dads.

  24. Nathan
    Nathan says:

    i must be closer to The Elephant Man than i thought, because in 3.5 yrs on the job, i have not been hit on by any women because of the job. in fact, its more the opposite, i am very isolated and women on the playground in the daytime avoid contact with me. i realize that this is just anecdotal evidence and has very little towards swaying the conversation.sociologist try not to make sweeping generalizations of populations based upon a small number of people, much less basing condemnations of entire classes of people based upon the arrogance of a single smuck. perhaps you should too.

  25. sifi
    sifi says:

    I think most of these SAHD’s see it as a temporary accomodation, not a permanent lifestyle. But if you look a little lower on the payscale you will find millions of homes where the mother is out working for subsistence and the father is just hanging out with his hobbies after getting the kids off to school. Would be interesting to look at the psychology of that.
    BTW: You have a knack for controversey and a good poker face. And people on here fall for it every time! LOL

  26. thom singer
    thom singer says:

    Nathan, you are right on….when I stayed home many of the full time mom’s treated me like an alien and would not talk to me. Maybe I look like the elephant man and dont know it.

    I am sad for this guy that he feels he is not respected, but the best advice I ever got was that you cannot command respect, you earn respect. What does he do on a daily basis to earn his wife’s respect? He left that part out.

    this whole post make me feel icky. I am done.

  27. Dale
    Dale says:

    This post was about starting a discussion – while generating/retaining interest in the blog. Was it successful?
    Heck yes!

    But whereever opinion goes, emotion is usually a travel companion, so lets discuss this issue and get back to the hows and wherefores of the career discussion. I guarantee that just like life, and as the comments here attest, there are people on either end of the SAH continuum and there are those in the middle.
    That’s life.
    Just my two cents worth:)

  28. phil
    phil says:

    as a full-time 12 year SADH this post completely undermines the 12 years i have taken to build up the respect & confidence of my community of women friends. i’ve never once been hit on, neither have i hit on anyone else. this would be a deadly social situation. once the trust of mutual respect & friendship is broken you will never get it back (unless you move). i am fortunate to have these women in my life because without them i would be pretty damn lonely. fortunately i realized that i would have join the women’s world early & have tried tirelessly not to jeopardize my standing. i have made mistakes but not ones deep enough not to able to recover (as with any other friendship). they treat me as one of their own which is all i can ask of them. i enjoy what i do & i have great kids. don’t let one bozo who’s penis is more important than his responsibilities to his family & friends sway your opinion. it wouldn’t matter if he was a SAHD or not, he’d still be an ass!

  29. KC in Lubbock
    KC in Lubbock says:

    The guy’s a jackass and a fine specimen of one at that.

    I think his story sounds more fabricated than real. You sure his wife is really supporting him? Can you verify any of his claims?

  30. Deb (Missives From Suburbia)
    Deb (Missives From Suburbia) says:

    You admire him, huh? Clearly, your standards for men are incredibly low. I hate to consider the kind of morals you’re teaching your kids if this is the kind of person with whom you enjoy spending a year corresponding.

    Nice job undermining the credibility of the rare men who can set aside their egos for the sake of their family. Those are the men you should really try to find amongst the myriad of offers you’re receiving for interviews. Those are the men worth admiring and holding up as examples. I can assure you they’re not difficult to find.

  31. AY
    AY says:

    I have to admit that this post pissed me off. This guy feels sorry for himself and doesn’t have the guts to talk with his wife about how unhappy he is with his situation. It sounds like she makes good money. Hire a nanny and go back to work, buddy. Nothing is perfect, not her situation at work and not his at home. Have the insight to realize that their are kids who need both of their parents (Dad included!) to mirror good behavior, or be a grown-up and change the situation. P, PLEASE do not use your great blog for this stuff again. I found it a waste of your valuable space and irrelevant.

  32. Joe
    Joe says:

    Good Lord people. If you haven’t figured it out yet, Trunk is a Narcissist! And she knows it. The edited comments from this guy’s emails are her way of reaching aout for approval. Nothing more, nothing less. So, bring on the psycophantic chorus of how great this guy (translation, “she”) is. It has nothing to do with career, but it sure strokes his, umm her, ego. That’s what the whole blog is about. Not a single post has a different message.

    Penelope, shame on you for crossing the line. . . again.

  33. Ugh
    Ugh says:

    I think it’s extremely rude so many people are assuming that the man in this post is Penelope’s real-life husband. One of her most interesting characteristics is brutal honesty, even about own her personal life. I think a lot of her readers appreciate that. Why would she lie about something all of a sudden?

    And speaking of narcissists, I think it’s pretty narcissistic to come un-constructively announce your hatred of Penelope and your subsequent departure from her blog. If you hate this post, and her so much, then please just leave (no need to tell everyone first). She has over 20,000 RSS subscribers. No one cares you’re leaving.

  34. Sat-at-home-career-dad
    Sat-at-home-career-dad says:

    First off… I find it pretty baseless and shallow to even suggest that stay-at-home fathers are adulterers. This is a ridiculous implication and very Fox News-esk in my opinion. Why not balance your blog with a second anonymous entry form an additional stay-at-home dad? I would be more than happy to give you my experiences both staying at home while also running a very successful business in the evenings.

    Secondly, I think think the bigotry needs to end. As women are perfectly (and proven so) successful in the workplace, holding down high-level career positions, men are equally capable of performing primary childcare duties and raising quality children just the same. Blanket suggestions or statements misrepresent the facts and ironically do to men what women suffered from (and still do in some cases) in the workplace. Isn’t that a bit a of a double standard?

    2 thumbs down for this blog entry.

  35. Pirate Jo
    Pirate Jo says:

    “I know women who are driven career-wise, but the better I have come to know her, the more I see that her success is driven by the failure of men in her life and her desire for safety. Men have let her down so she is driven to independence out of fear. This is not healthy behaviour.”

    I can’t tell if you are referring to one specific woman you know, or women in general who are career-driven. (You mixed your plurals with your singulars, oops.) Speaking for myself, I wouldn’t say that I’m particularly career-driven, but I want a job where I am challenged and solve problems, and I think it’s important to make my own money.

    I think EVERYONE should have his or her own money, regardless of gender. It has simply never occurred to me that a man could, would, or should support me financially. You could say I am motivated by fear to the extent that I won’t be able to live indoors and eat food if I don’t earn the money to pay for my own keep, but how is that different than anyone else? People should be self-sufficient and independent because that is a healthy thing for adults.

  36. Enviromomma
    Enviromomma says:

    Oh my god…you have got to be kidding me?! My husband (Davesnot – see comments posted) just had me sit down to read this…the stay-at-home cheating dad’s story…the interviewers notes…my husbands responses…and I read a couple of other comments.

    You want my story? I am a hard-ass working mom…I work my ass off every day…there is no down time (other than the 1/2 hour commute in San Diego traffic that I drive to get home…it’s not down time, it’s alone time, there’s a difference, but I recognize that my husband doesn’t get that). There is no personal time to myself…other than that drive. There are no hobbies I get to partake in, unless you include a 1/2 hour drive every day. Do I have the easier job? HELL YES. Am I grateful for my husbands committment to raising and teaching our kids? Hell yes. Do i think he flirts and would potentially cheat on me? Not in a million years. Do I thank him enough for his hard work? Not nearly enough. Is this arrangement hard as hell on our marriage? hell yes…you want an interview…we’ll give you a tandum story of true life. Are we grateful for what we’ve got? Every day. Do we have issues we need to fix, including and most importantly communication between us and figuring out how to respark the romance in our life? Big time. Have I made that a priority to fix? No – I’m exhausted every day (4 hours sleep each night ain’t much). Should I make that a priority? hell yes…I need to get my ass in gear.

    I’m rattling because my thoughts are everywhere here. Feel free to contact us for a story about honesty…commitment…extremely hard times…failing romance but love that’s bound…poopy butts…an extremely messy house…exhausted parents…screaming kids…etc.etc.etc.

    Enjoy – Heidi (Enviromomma)

  37. Ty Tribble
    Ty Tribble says:

    Ugh…I hate Stay At Home Dads.

    Why can’t these guys start a business from home so that their wives can enjoy raising the children as well?

  38. pam
    pam says:

    Wow, just wow! You obviously have issues with SAHDs. Pathetic really that you’d post this lopsided view.

  39. Ken
    Ken says:

    First Yahoo, now Boston Globe??

    I tried to find an article in response to this post, which was meant purely to drive traffic (succeed, and success, Ms. Trunk), in the Boston Globe.

    Penelope’s last post there, from what I can see, is dated April 13, 2008.

    I hope Brazen Careerist and her book can support her $50k/yr house manager needs, because, man, the income from mainstream media sources appears to be drying up…fast.

  40. Ken
    Ken says:

    Is the timing of this post and her last article the reason she’s been so quite on her blog & a-Twitter?

    I’m not sure, but she hired the house manager April 10th, according to this blog.

  41. Lisa Gates
    Lisa Gates says:

    Ay ay ay, blah blah blah. Twitter pitter patter.

    Blog posts are written for lotsa reasons: to inspire, inform, incite, elicit, defend, contribute, challenge, and get messy.

    Congratulations on achieving all of it, Penelope. As a medium of words on the page, it’s tricky to accurately and specifically convey intention, and have it land as you intend. No worries.

    I think it’s time for a Brazen Careerist Un-conference. Get the conversations physical.
    (I don’t mean coming to blows…) All your topics are worthy of exploration.

    Go girl…

  42. sara
    sara says:

    I think your selection choice of excerpts from a years worth of e-mails with this guy shows your prejudices and attitudes about stay-at-home dads…your focus on their value and what they are thinking more than anything else.

    Care to enlighten us further about your attitude about SAHDs?

  43. Patricia Robb
    Patricia Robb says:

    I didn’t get the post.

    It was hard to figure out why you were corresponding for so long with someone else’s husband and he was sharing intimate details of his married life with you.

    It got people talking as we can all see by the comments. Is that what the post was all about?

  44. Hogan Hilling
    Hogan Hilling says:

    Here is a true honest account of the at-home dad world from an eighteen year veteran at-home dad.

    For decades women have been demanding sexual equality in the workplace and nagging – I mean – . asking men to handle more of the care giving and household duties.

    Along comes a band of men who decided to become at-home dads. Instead of being embraced and accepted by the people in their communities, these men have become the butt of jokes and been subjected to constant skepticism, criticism and analysis.

    Why do so many people continue to think and believe that a man can’t do as good a job as a woman as the primary caregiver?

    Why do so many people still view a strange woman at day care – and not the father – as the second best choice to mom in caring for a child?

    Why is it that so much time has been spent on questioning and analyzing a man's conscious choice to be the at-home parent? A choice he made with the support of his wife.

    I wonder if Penelope sees the similarities between the way women were viewed and treated by the good ole boys club of corporate America and men by the good ole girls club of Mom's Turf.

    Why can't people spend more time focusing on the benefits of having an at-home dad in their community? I'd be happy to start a list.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed being a an at-home dad for the last eighteen years to three boys. And I have no regrets. Grant is twenty and attends Pepperdine University. Wesley is eighteen and lives in a wonderful home for the disabled. Matt is fourteen and a freshman in high school.

    I've also been faithful to my wife, Tina.

    I will continue my stellar and rewarding at-home dad career until Matt graduates from high school in 2011.

    Keep On Daddying Guys

  45. Penelope h8r
    Penelope h8r says:

    Being the stay-at-home/work-at-home dad that I am, there are definite benefits and definite drawbacks.

    The benefits are obvious, that I get to spend my entire day with my 19 month old (as of this writing). He is my world and because I never had a father of my own, this is my one chance to redeem the void in my own life and “do the right thing” by being there for my own kin when my own father abandoned our family, but that’s another story, all together.

    The drawbacks are several fold, as well. Socially, I can generally find only a few dads as involved in their children’s lives as I am, which is great when they’re not total douches. I find some of the moms we meet up with very attractive, but would never move on those impulses – what would be the point?! Porn is free and BJs happen by request, so I’m all taken care of here at home, ya know…. Anyway, my social life with friends has virtually ended, though … that is, to say that my previous friends (without kids of their own) cannot relate to what is going on in my life, so I’ve had to make some sacrifices and give up a lot of the friendships I once had. But I digress…

    I feel that the world is a better place with women in the work-force, leading our households and allowing the fathers of now to make up for the years of neglect and ignorance of the fathers of past.

    So this article only proves one thing — that dads are not immune to the bias and bigotry that the mass media has bestowed upon thee by publishing an article of this “style” to somewhat stigmatize stay-at-home dads, as a whole.

    Wake up and see the bigger picture – this is just ONE guy’s story … BIG DEAL!! Doesn’t deserve an entire article, or an “edited” excerpt of his emails to one lowly columnist.

    Shame on Penelope for even bothering to publish this article of defamation on SAHDs.

  46. MJ
    MJ says:

    Where is your business focus these days? Why are you writing? This post was just plain repellant – we spent the afternoon together, heh heh heh. And the Twitter post – why do we need to know about your desire to date while your husband is still around? What is the point of any of this?

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