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    Being a Stay-at-Home Stepfather Essay

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    My name is Tom McClain and I am forty years old. I have three beautiful children with my exceptional wife, Jane McClain. Jane and I got married when I was twenty-five and have been figuring out life together ever since.

    When we started to have kids we both made a mutual decision that Jane was going to work and that I was going to stay home to raise our family. Though stay at home dads are becoming more common it still surprises people when I tell them that being a father is my occupation. “Everything from social expectations to policy sets up dads to assume that they shouldn’t- or can’t- take care of their own kids alone (Behnson, 2014). Since I do not have a job people have viewed me as a lazy or uncaring father, which is a false stereotype.

    I have not always been treated well by my peers, but I am proud of what I do and have learned from experience how to showcase that to others. (Question 1&3). The reason I do not work and my wife provides for the financial support of the family is because I was injured in the marines. The injury was so severe that I was honorably discharged and thanked for my services. A year after the accident Jane and I got married.

    After the wedding I was better, but my body was going to have harsh aches and pains for the rest of m life. My wife knew this and didn’t think it was necessary for me to work. Thus deeming the role of a stay-at-home father. At first I didn’t want to give her all of the drudgery, I didn’t think it was fair.

    Once I listened to her point and asked questions on how our situation would work I came to the conclusion that she was right. I wasn’t healthy enough to take on the role of income producer. Through our communication we both got the chance to understand each other. That helped us move on to the next chapter in our lives, having children.

    Jane and I didn’t take much time starting a family. Eleven months into our marriage Jane gave birth to our first child, Bryson. Two years later she had twins, Hillary and Devon. After each birth Jane went back to work in less than three weeks.

    Before Bryson was born I read about ten baby books and talked to other mother I knew for rearing advice. You can say I was little nervous, but as the days turned into weeks I was becoming a pro at being the “mom . My daily routine revolves around my children. In their early stages of life I would do everything for them because of coarse they were not capable of doing anything on their own.

    Once they started to attend school they could do little tasks that made my job easier, such as, brushing their teeth and getting dressed. This gave me more time to cook breakfast and spend some time with my wife. Now Bryson is thirteen and the twins are eleven. I don’t have to spend any time getting them ready for school; they take care of this themselves. The only thing I do for them in the morning is make sure they are awake, cook them breakfast, and then drive them to school.

    When I return from dropping them off I spend some time my wife before she goes to work. After she is gone I get started on chores around the house. Besides house chores I pay the bills, run errands, care for the lawn, and cook all the meals. When I take care of everything at home I do have hobbies that I enjoy (Question 2).

    I do get bored of all the chores and errands, but luckily have found some hobbies that keep my interest. I love the water and enjoy just about every water sport there is to offer, but my favorites are kayaking, paddle boarding, and kite surfing. I usually partake in these activities in the morning but I don’t mind going during the day to get some vitamin D from the sun. Plus the kids can be somewhat stressful at times and exercising is a good outlet for me. “Spending time outside enjoying nature is one of the most basic ways to help reduce your stress level and boost your immune system, a critical aspect to overall health and well-being (Vidum, 2011). As well as exercising, I am also involved in numerous events at my children’s school.

    At first I was self-conscious and didn’t want to get involved, but soon realized how ridiculous that was and committed myself to volunteer. I am happy that I did and plan events to make the schools activities more enjoyable for kids. Helping out helps me get out and communicate with others. (Question 7).

    I was self conscious about helping out at my kid’s school because in the past I have been treated differently for being a stay-at-home dad and that made me self-conscious. The fact is I am a parent doing what a parent should be doing, and all of the discriminators were not mindful of my role but my gender. “Involved fatherhood is and should be considered completely normal. Yet, until very recently, involved dads have been alternately ignored or overly celebrated as doing something exceptional  (Valenti, 2014).

    Fathers from school found it odd when they overheard their wives mention the amount of projects I was helping with. They would occasionally come up to me and asked, “If I was supper dad , “Was joining the mom’s club , and similar questions of that sort. Jane’s father took awhile to accept me. He questioned my manhood and didn’t like that his daughter would be the income producer with no help from her husband.

    He eventually came to realize he was being prejudice and that my job was no cakewalk. I’ve had some conflict with people and trying to figure where stay-at-home dads are accepted in this society. I have come to realize there is no point to understand where I fit in because I accept what I do and completely happy with that. I am a great father and have an awesome family that appreciates what I do for them (Question 4,5,&6).

    The mistreatment of others has made me question my role in life, but understanding how to communicate my importance has given my confidence in what I do. I have learned from past experiences to not listen to what others think you are because of your role in life. Stereotyping people to their role is wrong because that isn’t fair to the person because every person is unique. Reflection This paper helped me learn a lot about how people from different backgrounds can view certain stereotypes. Not all stereotypes are viewed in a bad way but they are viewed in a way that isn’t pleasing to the person being stereotyped.

    For example, in my paper the father was viewed as a supper hero for doing a duty that was expected of him. It wasn’t a bad or mean way to view the stereotype but it didn’t make Tom feel any better. The lack of adapting that the father took ruined the relationship between Tom and him before it could even start. Once he changed his mindset, his open-mindedness helped his relationship with Tom grow. The father set aside his intercultural communication differences, which was the best decision he could have made to build the relationship. I am happy that I have a better understanding of how people think towards certain roles, and how that thought is expressed in society.

    Bibliography:

    Behnson, S. (2014, June 10). We Need to Start Giving Stay-at-Home DadsMore Credit. Retrieved September 23, 2014. Valenti, J.

    (2014, June 9). Stop congratulating stay-at-home dads for doingtheir job as parents. Retrieved September 23, 2014. Vidum, T.

    (2011, February 2). Reduce Stress in the Great Outdoors.Retrieved September 23, 2014.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    Being a Stay-at-Home Stepfather Essay. (2018, Aug 03). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/being-a-stay-at-home-stepfather-54921/

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