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Wanted: Boundaries for Desperate Stay at Home Daddy

by Deborah Cruz

I’ve noticed that with Bella starting kindergarten, my life has devolved into hectic chaos stuck into one little box and I feel like we are bouncing off the walls within our caged existence.For example, we go to church at St. So and so, and we go to school at Saint So and so, too. We go to the city ballet and it happens to be downtown , located a few blocks from Saint so and so.You see where I am going with this. My world has just gotten exponentially smaller.I’m not sure if I like it or not. It’s quaint but it’s pretty much like shitting where you eat, n’est-ce pas?

This was never more obvious than when I ran into the local Stay at home Daddy. Now, I know its a rare breed but they do exist. I have proof.This particular Daddy happens to be the Daddy of my Bella’s favorite little friend in her kindergarten class, of the female pursuasion (Y’all remember Bill*? My friend Bill*, Do you know my friend Bill*, Bill*, Bill*, Bill*!), Nora*.Who also happens to be in the Nutcracker with her, as a snowflake, so we also get to see her at rehearsals and mass.Which means I get to see Stay at Home Daddy on a regular basis.

When I first met him, he seemed harmless enough. But he always has this Vaseline smile that looks as if he’s been throwing back Prozac like tactics and to be honest, now..he kind of frightens me. Plus I’m a little jealous, where’s my frigging Prozac? The first day I met him, he came right over. Which I found quite bizarre because it was before we realized the girls even knew one another.But he made a b line for me none the less, and I’m basically stuck having conversations with 5 and unders, 24/7 so any adult conversation was a welcome reprieve. Within the first 5 minutes, he had told me the names and ages of all three of his children (6,5,3, in case you were wondering), his name,why he was a stay at home dad, that he was a stay at home dad,where he was from, why he was here, where he lived, where his kids went to school, what his wife did and where she did it. Obviously, he has not read the Stay at Home Mommy handbook and doesn’t realize he is giving away way too much information.Jesus, I could have been some crazy baby snatcher and came and stolen his children.Hell, he practically gave me their address. I was blown away from all the information. I was on sensory overload and felt as if my personal space had been greatly invaded. At the same time, I felt a little sorry for him. I know how it feels to be surrounded by little people all day and wish you had an adult to bounce your sanity off of once in awhile. I know that I am guilty of a little verbal diarrhea myself. Whenever I get around other adults after being cooped up for prolonged periods of time with just Bella and Gabs, I lose all control of my good senses and my filter is completely off. So, I DO understand. Especially, when he told me that his wife is gone from 7 am until 9 pm and she sees the children maybe twice during the work week.I know how that feels.It sucks!

Then the following morning I saw him at Saint So and So drop off. He had that nervous grin and once again recited all of his facts like the Gettysburg address. Had he forgotten who I was since the previous night at rehearsal? Could it be that he is so scatter brained (mommy brain on crack) that he had forgotten so quickly? Once again he told me all of his stats and once again, he told me about his wife and how she abandons him all day long with the children.How he is responsible for everything! Everything! Can you imagine?I just stood there and shook my head in agreement.

The following week at ballet, once again he came up to me and started his spiel.I couldn’t take it again. I very politely shook my head and said ,”Yes, I know.” Him: “Oh yeah,you’re Bella’s mother” I’m thinking, Oh yeah Buddy, I’m on to you.Go peddle your snake oil somewhere else.I’ve already got all the information I need. Then I thought, oh shit, do I do that? Am I the crazy Stay at Home Mommy that people cringe when they see me coming because they know I am going to talk their ears right off their ever loving heads? Poor guy.Makes me wonder? Are men built for this Stay at Home gig? I’m not saying they can’t do it because I am sure they are capable.I am asking should they be doing it for their sanity’s sake? I mean us Mommies are the direct result of centuries of birthing/parenting evolution.You can’t just walk in off the streets and have these kinds of coping skills. This man seems really stretched beyond all of his capacities. Plus, all the “support” groups are for Mommies. There is no co-ed play groups or “mom” groups. It’s no wonder that he can’t shut up.He’s starved for attention and adult conversation.But I swear to God, if I have to hear about his hardest working wife one more time..I’m going to punch him square in the gullet.He should realize, since he’s home and half crazy from taking care of kids ( I use that term loosely, these poor children look like little ragamuffins but hey, His wife’s a professor) that being a Stuck Stay at Home is pretty damn hard work too. Moral of the story, “A” for effort Mr.SAHD but maybe try and cut back on the verbal diarrhea and space invading.Happy Mothering, Mister.

Do you know any Stay at Home Dads? How do you think they fair compared to their female counterparts? Or are we all just equally insane from being cooped up for hours on end with the little people?

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MacDougal Street Baby 2010/10/14 - 8:27 am

There is one in my 'hood who is this guy's long lost twin. He's a handsome man but his eyes shake which makes me wonder, too, what kind of pill he's popping. The good thing about a stay-at-home dad is that they invariably make me feel good about myself. There is always something not right about them. Whether they're "girlie boys," or "drug induced" or just plain "creepy," I usually walk away from an interaction secretly smiling inside.

Jennifer @ The Toy Box Years 2010/10/14 - 8:51 am

I, personally, haven't come across a Stepford Daddy yet — but this guy would definitely make me run in the opposite direction!

Jennifer 2010/10/14 - 8:51 am

I, personally, haven't come across a Stepford Daddy yet — but this guy would definitely make me run in the opposite direction!

Kim 2010/10/14 - 10:43 am

poor guy, he sounds a little desperate! my godsons dad is a stay at home dad, his wife is my best friend, she isn't gone as long as your husband or that guys wife..but i think my friends hubby is pretty normal as far as stay at home dads go. he's a little on the geeky side and tends to make your eyes roll and your head spin when he gets started on talking about this gidget or that gadget..but on the other hand its super cool to go to his house where they have the latest technology. my husband was a stay at home dad for a few months while i worked 40 mins away..i got home to spend 2 hours with my son before he went to bed..usually at that point my husband made a beeline towards the nearest beer or painpill (chronic back pain and 4 year olds don't mesh well) and crash for the night and if i wanted to spend time with him i'd have to cuddle up next to a passed out body thats snoring loudly. but i dont think he stalked any females and gave them lessons on his life over and over..

Mommy Lisa 2010/10/14 - 11:34 am

I think it depends on the guy. I know THREE SAHD's and two are doing great…one not so much.

Also my dear friend Brian was SAHD in the early 90's if you can IMAGINE his isolation. He loved it and is great with kids, but he still has a bitter taste over the lack of support he got from other parents/society.

Truthful Mommy 2010/10/14 - 8:34 am

I know. He does make me feel like i am really good at keeping my head above water in comparison.I do commend him for trying since his wife can't do the Mommying thing.From what he's told me,he either became a Stay @ Home or the kids were raised by daycare.He's trying, bless his heart.I just wish he'd be less of a personal space invader.It's off putting! I really just want to carry a brush with me and redo his lil girl's hair and straighten her clothes.You know men's fashion sense.Poor little girls.But really he is a great Dad for choosing his children…just creepy.Stepford Daddy:)

The Empress 2010/10/14 - 12:43 pm


don't tell me he was a "close talker" too….

Truthful Mommy 2010/10/14 - 8:59 am

@ Jennifer,
Vaseline smiles and wild eyes freak me out!Plus the stats on repeat are creepy. Maybe his wife beats him.He sure is a strange one.

Jami 2010/10/14 - 2:24 pm

Ah…ha ha ha! It's a good thing you wrote this down instead of telling me face to face (if you could) because I would have been interrupting you (I learned this from the kids) and saying "uh-huh, yeah me too!" through the whole thing. Sounds like this guy needs to reach out to some of the SAHD's.

Lauren 2010/10/14 - 2:43 pm

I gave you some blog awards! Check it out here: https://threecrazymunchkins.blogspot.com/2010/10/im-little-behind.html

Happy Thursday!

Truthful Mommy 2010/10/14 - 10:47 am

@Kim, I do feel sorry for him.I feel his pain but at least Moms sort of unify and support or at least understand.This poor guy gets no relief.I know he's not getting invited to the groups and it would be awkward to invite a Daddy over for a play date,the Big Guy wouldn't understand.Plus, I can't handle that life story one more time!He needs a Stay at Home Daddy group. Someone should start those. Its more common than it used to be.

Truthful Mommy 2010/10/14 - 11:41 am

I agree. I just think this poor Daddy is floundering being left to his own devices.Problem is, with another Stay at Home MOm, I would jump in and invite her over or for coffee. I would smother her with understanding and friendship but I can't do that with a Daddy because rumors would flare, spouses would not like. Instead he is left on his own. I assume this is a problem he is running into a lot. The worst thing is the spiel of information,its like he's stuck on repeat.I do think he's a great Dad for staying home with his kids. I hope his wife is appreciative if what he is doing. He needs a FOPS immediately!

Rebecca (me!) 2010/10/14 - 4:39 pm

I used to know one…and at times, I felt that way…but, I realized, they were far and few between and he was trying to overcompensate in a woman's world….I tried my best to be his friend….he killed himself two years ago…he had cancern and could not stand to watch his family see him suffer any longer…and he had no one to share the pain with (we had just moved back and I had not had a chance to call them). My advice, be kind…maybe help him find a SAHD friend….you never know…

Megan Lubaszka 2010/10/14 - 9:12 pm

I cackled so hard at "mommy brain on crack." He sounds like that guy in Memento – did you ever see that movie? He had short term memory loss and would start repeating himself like every 3 minutes?

Truthful Mommy 2010/10/14 - 9:14 pm

@ MEgan,
bwahahaha! I was thinking maybe some short term memory defect.


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