Lately Stay at Home Dads have been showing up on TV and at the movies. (Usually, as well-meaning simpletons who commiserate about dropping their kids in the toilet by accident.) This can only mean one thing. If Hollywood has noticed SAHDs, they must everywhere. Believe it or not, you may run into one yourself soon. And you don’t want to confront that particular produce-aisle repartee unprepared.
So we’ve put together a helpful list of conversational no-nos, should you suddenly find yourself talking with a real-live baby wearing SAHD. And one final note before we get started: always try to keep top of mind that the baby hasn’t actually been dropped in the toilet.
1. Don’t say the words “Mr.” and “Mom.” In that order. Not at all. Ever. Men who do full time parenting are called Dads, ’cause that’s what they are.
2. Do not say, “Oh, no! Did you get laid off?” when you find out that a guy is a Stay at Home Dad. Do ask him the story of how he became an at-home dad.
3. Do not ask if he’s “getting any” from the Moms at the PTA. He’s not. I don’t really have to go into why, right?
4. Do not say something like, “Dude, you must be extra whipped.” Stay at Home Dads are the new Gloria Steinems. You’re likely to get a lecture on gender issues.
5. Do not say, “I’m gonna take you out tonight and get you totally hammered.” Not gonna happen. Kids are 6AM hangover amplifiers. Think Spinal Tap and “turn it up to eleven.”
6. Do not say, “Dude, sucks to be you.” It doesn’t suck to be him. He’s having an eye opening, amazing, life affirming time. (Most of the time.)
7. Do not say, “God, I wish I had a easy job like that.” It’s about a lot of wonderful things, but it ain’t about easy.
8. Do not ask, “Do you actually change dirty diapers?” What do you think, there’s a f**king diaper fairy?
9. Do not say, “I have to call so-and-so RIGHT NOW and tell them what happened to you.” Being a stay at home dad is a choice, not a meteor strike.
10. Do not ask, “Are you okay?” Instead, ask yourself “why the hell would I think he’s not okay?”
11. Do not say, “Wow, so you’re baby sitting every day?” It's called raising children, regardless of whether you’re a man or a woman. Babysitters are people who watch your kids for a few hours, eat all your microwave popcorn, and then go home. Dads are parents.
12. In another generation or so, dump the “at-home” or “stay-at-home” thing, too. Dads can, in fact, be found in the home and with their children. Shocking, I know.
Do say, “Man, I would so love to be doing that.” It makes everybody smile.
Read more on The Good Men Project: The Day I Acted Like A Sexist Jerk To A Stay-At-Home Dad