I am a house-husband, not a space man

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Bryan is an artist, father, husband, and son (not really in that order). He works for the Department of Vetern's Affairs and writes and administers The Fireside Post with his father, Ohg Rea Tone. His writings have not been published, though they have been printed a lot.

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I am a house-husband, not a space man

I am a house husband.  I think that there is still some social barrier within me that creates a stigma around staying at home with the kids. I create my own stigma, I guess, I still feel a little weird when telling people what I do. Its a lot like telling them that I am unemployed, as in, I can’t find work. That’s what it feels like, but I think it is, in large part, my own perception of my situation that is bleeding through.

My wife and I have talked at length about how healthy it is for us to recognize our roles in the family and to make the best decisions based on our own goals, desires and talents. How many families host miserable adults who hate their jobs and are frustrated with their children all the time because something inside them, like pride, perhaps, inhibits them from recognizing the best scenario and acting on it?

There is a scene in the movie “Toy Story” when Buzz Lightyear has realized that he is not a space man. He is just a toy. He is crushed, and it takes his good friend, the pull-string cowboy, to explain to him that he doesn’t have to be a space man. Being a toy is way better. There is a boy who loves him, and he has a place and a role to fill among the other toys. I am paraphrasing, of course, but you get the idea. He realizes that he does have friends, and that it is more important that he choose to be who he is and do it right than to be the person that he thought he was.

I am not a space man. I am just a toy. And it is hard for me to accept that I am not designed to be a space man, especially when the people around me don’t see me as a toy, but a space man with no ship. It will be the key to my success as the parent who stays at home and raises the kids that I find a way to be the best toy that I can be. I like being a dad and a house-husband, and I hope that I can claim those things not only as occupations but as a way of defining who I am.

See: Being a House Husband

There Are 6 Responses So Far. »

  1. I think what is important here is that you are happy with your role and of course the ripple effect.. are the children (Child?- sorry new reader) coping. How much more satisfying are your days spent as the home-maker? Is it working for your wife?
    I like your analogy. Perhaps there are more people who see you as a spaceman than you think?

  2. I’m a writer and stay at home dad…temperamentally unsuited for working outside the home…tried it, my bosses could have all vied for the post of “village idiot” in medieval times. While I handle the house, my wife has forged a successful career and is now working on her Master’s program. Don’t regret my time with my kids, learned so much about imagination and story-telling from interacting with them. Some fathers count themselves fortunate to see their kids for an hour a day…no thanks. Good post, thoughtfully expressed…

  3. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, your a role model and I’m happy to just be a toy right along side you.

  4. Yes, our modern society does not value parenting enough.

    I was a stay-at-home mum for over ten years and cherished my time with my children. However, I also felt the stigma you are talking about. It can affect your self esteem. However, I am now back at work and I have found that rather than being out of it because I stayed at home, my skills as an employable person have actually increased (social awareness, maturity, self assurance and patience). Parenting is the toughest job out. If you are good at it you should feel very proud. It is something to celebrate (Parenting can be your space ship).

    The rewards of parenting are also something that cannot be measured against monetary-based values: your relationship with your children!

  5. Ok, I’m just gonna ramble here, is that ok? There are times I’d love to be “Mr. Mom.” I always thought that the military is the one who raised me. From the age of 6 I was abused. Not just a hard spanking, but head bashed into the door jamb or hung from trees while the “current boyfriend” threw rocks at me hopped up on heroin. The most scary thing to a 7 yr old child is watching a grown man choke on his own tongue while destroy the bathroom because of too much drugs. But he committed suicide because he couldn’t kick his cocaine habit. I never met my Dad, my mom was busy trying to make ends meet with two jobs, and find a suitor, leaving me to raise my two sisters at the ripe old age of 14. Hardly saw mom, when I did it was to go to the local thrift store for a new-to-me pair of boots. Usually made some kind of dinner for my sisters and me, which we had to eat quickly before the roaches took over. By the time I was 16 I was kicked out of my house. They call that “at risk kids” now days. I miraculously passed high school and ended up joining the military on my own accord. They broke me down to nothing and built me up to be the man I am today.
    I can’t stand a dirty house, I like my canned goods to be covered and aligned (as in formation) at so on. My wife thinks I’m a little psycho at times but I like making my home clean and presentable. All in all, to the writer, I sometimes envy you for your role. But with the testosterone driven military. I feel like I should be the main bread winner.

  6. Hi Bryan, I read your post on your househusband experience and although this is an old post I wanted to check if you are still a househusband at the moment. I’m working on a documentary at the moment and would LOVE to have a chat about it with you.
    if you get this please email me.
    Looking forward to speaking with you.
    Many thanks

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