When my kids wake up at night, they call for “Dad Dad.”
When they have a doctor’s appointment, they want me.
He helps them keep their teeth brushed. I help them finish their school work.
He makes them mac and cheese. I help them unload the dishwasher.
We don’t draw a line in the sand—we just lean in when and where we’re needed. We support each other first, and in doing so, give our kids the support they need.
I have a male ally in my corner every day
When my husband and I got married ten years ago, we imagined a different life.
For seven years, my husband and I tried to fill the roles of our conservative upbringing. But despite our best efforts to find better employment for him, our family of four was living on $800/month.
It was unsustainable.
I dusted off my resume and scoured LinkedIn for the EasyApply button. I wasn’t expecting to find a job—much less a new career path.
Call it destiny or desperation, but I ended up accepting an offer from an accounting startup. That decision brought us to this moment, where I’m the breadwinner and my husband is the stay-at-home dad.
It’s a choice and a sacrifice we both make. Every day. What matters is that it’s working—for us.
Everyone gets to make their own decision in the balance between provider and caregiver. That decision is dependent on finances, support networks, and a million other factors. Just because what my husband and I are doing works for us, doesn’t mean it’s the best option for someone else.
But it could be.
We had the courage to find a new solution, to create a partnership that stepped out of traditional gender roles. We’re still a team. We’re still committed to family. We’re just finding our own way to do it.
Get women out of boxes by getting men out of boxes
When I tell people I’m a working mom, they say “good for you,” “how do you do it,” “that’s incredible.”
But when I tell people he’s a stay-at-home day, they say “so he couldn’t hold a job,” “lazy deadbeat,” “that’s unusual.”
As we strive to break the bias, men and women have to work together.
Men have to lift women in the workplace at the same time that women lift men at home.
We need working dads and working moms just as we need stay-at-home dads and stay-at-home moms.
Let dads be involved parents and moms be ambitious professionals.
Let men be sensitive and women be assertive.
Let men reject toxic masculinity and women embrace leadership.
Breaking gender stereotypes creates more equity for men, women, everyone.
- Fatherhood Is A Leadership Issue – And A Key To Gender Balancing Business by Avivah Wittenberg-Cox (Forbes)
- Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (and More Life to Live) by Eve Rodsky
- The ‘open secret’ in most workplaces: Discrimination against moms is still rampant by Chabeli Carrazana (The 19th News)
- “‘Man-ifesting a Cultural Shift’ with Trevor Noah, Andy Cohen and Judd Apatow” by Meghan Markle (Archetypes Podcast)