Do giraffes neigh? Or, What’s it like to be a stay-at-home dad, Answer 5: Liberating.

by doodaddy on March 5, 2008

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Tongues rock!

Leaping around like a grounded trout. Singing when I probably shouldn’t be given my lack of ability to stay in a particular key. Dancing in the middle of a beautiful day. Barking like a dog, neighing like a giraffe. (Do they neigh?)

If you saw me on the street acting like that, you’d cross to the other side and call the cops. But when I’m with Boobaby (and, today, with another dad and toddler*), it’s more than acceptable — it’s cool.

"Testosterone" was the topic on This American Life a couple of weeks ago. Among the personality traits associated with high levels of the hormone were "decisiveness" and "conformity."

That is to say:

    1. Gotta be a real man…
    2. Gotta fit in and be tough…
    3. Gotta resolve problems decisively and quickly…
    4. …Without thinking much about it.

Words fail me to describe how much I suck at all four. I dither, I avoid confrontations, I debate problems inside my overcrowded head endlessly. I have 7 unlistened-to voice mails on my phone because I fear if I heard them I might have to, you know, deal with something.

So I’ve never been confused with an alpha male. Gamma, maybe, but even that’s pushing it.

But being a dad, I can act just exactly how I want, using Boobaby as my excuse. If I get a funny look, I just shoot right back with a knowing "Well, I’m just being a good parent!" nod, and that trumps any remaining pressure to fit in as a "guy" I might have felt.


*I won’t name the other dad I was being goofy with, to protect his privacy. But oops! A link to his site slipped in!

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tagged as in goofiness,what's it like to be a stay-at-home dad ·

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Xbox4NappyRash March 5, 2008 at 10:38 pm

Yay, ye BOTH look happy in that shot. That’s cool.

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Lis Garrett March 6, 2008 at 5:19 am

Honestly, I’ve never been attracted to the “macho” type. I think dads who can act silly, sing off key, tromp around with kids . . . they are who I consider to be real men. George Clooney may be fine to look at, but I’ll take Steve from Blues Clues any day, thank you very much!

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Jessica March 6, 2008 at 9:03 am

I have to admit….I am married to the macho type. He was a football player, he hunts, he fishes, he works with his hands.

I hate to say that I completely underestimated the type of father he would be. I knew he had a big heart but I thought he would be hands-offish with the children. Afraid to do things. I was never more wrong. When Lil’ Bum was born, a man whom had never held a baby before, took her like he had done it his whole life. He gets silly right along with them.

I love the picture. You are a very handsome guy, with a bit heart. That is an awesome combination.

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doodaddy March 6, 2008 at 5:34 pm

Nothing wrong with that! I sometimes think I’d be happier with a little more macho — but it’s just not in me. I didn’t mean any value judgment about it at all; I think happiness lies in being who you are, not trying to conform to being more (or less!) macho because you think that’s more acceptable. (When I went to college there were a lot of guys trying to pretend to be less masculine because “sensitive” was the current trend. Not a pretty sight.)

And just for full disclosure, I work with my hands, too! More along the lines of animal husbandry and gardening, though.

Take care!

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The Other Dawn March 7, 2008 at 7:02 am

You are a rockin’ good dad.

Hey. I wanted to post about Funk’s relative baldness. Can I swipe a pic of your daughter to illustrate the POTENTIAL for a 25 month old head of hair, as opposed to Funk’s baby mullet?

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Elizabeth March 7, 2008 at 10:48 am

I love this post. I also love that photo! You look like a fun Dad 🙂 Even when my Dad was home from work, he wasn’t fun, and I wonder what that would have been like?

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doodaddy March 7, 2008 at 12:29 pm

Aw, thanks. I think I’m fun, which either means I’m fun or pathetically full of myself, or both.

:),

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chicago pop March 7, 2008 at 3:10 pm

I have to say, whatever “guyness” means, the sense you have that it’s something you lack strikes me as one of the sources of your (enjoyable) sense of humor.

Which is cool.

I find myself not guy-like in a lot of ways, and guy-like in some ways that bother me. An infinitely profound subject for meditation.

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doodaddy March 7, 2008 at 5:31 pm

Aw, thanks. I do feel not like much of a guy, which bothered me for about five minutes until I realized that it’s kind of liberating. Of course, if you’re not going to tend to the male stereotype, you do have to think of something else to replace it. I certainly try conform to other stereotypes and fashions, just not the mainstream one!

:), Dd.

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