Is Being A Stay-At-Home Dad Manly?

by Brett & Kate McKay on July 23, 2008 · 111 comments

in Fatherhood, Is It Manly?

Each Thursday we ask whether you think a certain object or subject is manly. Make sure to check out past Is it manly? polls. Now for this week’s question:

Is being a stay-at-home dad manly? Vote. Discuss.



{ 111 comments… read them below or add one }

101 He man December 17, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Someone is gonna frown at a SAHD? Baaahahahah so the F what? Nothing wrong with staying home and caring for everything else while the lady brings home the bacon. My fiancé an I just started this out a few months ago, and our relationship has never been less stress free, she has no worries outside of the few hours she goes to work. From house to car maintenance cooking cleaning all that shhhut is cared for. All our situations are just too unique to have an accurate answer cause at the same time, I know deuches that are just worthless. I’ve worked my whole life since I was 16 so it’s taking a bit to get used to but whatever, I’m 30 now, and I just act like I’m still at a work schedule, she works, I work, she’s off, I’m off. She has her degree in nursing so it just made more sense in a lot Of ways.

102 JM January 8, 2013 at 7:57 pm

I’d just like to say, as a man who has served in the military, worked construction and several and very different jobs in several fields that manlieness comes from the man. I quit the rat race about 5 years ago to start my own entertainment company and work for myself while my then fiancee continued to work as a teacher. She always made more than I did and this had no effect on our relationship then, and still does not bother us now. I make decent money with my gigs but they are not always consistant. The things that are consistant however, are: her paychecks allow me to enbsure our bills are always paid on time and something is being saved every month, the general cleanlieness and order in our home is never overlooked, the chores are always done before she comes home and our toddler has better care than you would ever be able to pay for at a preschool. THEN I make dinner and go out to my gigs to make whatever money I can by doing what I love to do. That income then will supplement hers and we are living pretty comfortably with all the things we don’t really need but are nice to have. These things (at least in the eyes of my wife) make me manlier than most men because I know how to have humility and humble myself to get the household things done. In return, I get the satisfaction of working for myself at my dream job, spending the formative developmental years of my daughter’s life teaching her the way we would like her to be taught AND reaping the many rewards of a wife who, aside from her job, has absolutely NOTHING to stress about when she is home, and let me tell you, that is really the only reason we are so concerned with being manly, right? to attract our mates and not look like sissies? REAL MEN know how to vuccum and sew and cook and raise a child. Looking tough is usually just a front for insecure weenies with little peckers.

103 GL January 12, 2013 at 11:56 am

It is not “manly” to stay at home cooking, cleaning and changing diapers while your woman goes out to work. Nor is it manly to utter things like Baaahahahah.

104 Jordan January 29, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Short answer; Yes, it is very manly. As stated by Jim it is very manly and shows such traits as humility; responsibility; being a good father and being a good fiance.

I think the mix up with this series is manliness vs masculinity. A lot of these things are masculine or tough (not necessarily in a good way though ) or if you would, not a feminine act. I.e. is it manly to swear? No but it is masculine.

Most of these discussions border on mistaking manliness/being a gentleman for masculinity.

105 Kent July 11, 2013 at 11:26 pm

To those who think staying home with kids is questionable. My grandfather was a rancher and farmer. And my father carried many of the habits and traits forward. I find myself now staying home with my son and working as I can with him.watching and helping. Overall my life is now not so very different than my grandfathers, I do my morning chores, fix and repair stuff, clean and care for our animals while teaching my son and teaching him life skills. Cook, clean, and also make things for sale and to better our home as well as run my small business. With that in mind I say old things become new again. Look at the lives of the old farmers, craftsman, and even Amish craftsmen. Most of these Men did their jobs and trades while helping with the children

106 Wazzago July 15, 2013 at 4:45 am

GL you are hardly even worth an answer, but since you seem to be confused about what is manly and what isn´t I´ll direct this at you.
I used to be a pissant that thought doing stuff like clubbing, drinking and bagging new women all the time was manly – Now at 40+ I´ve settled down, and spend a lot of time at home with my daughter.
I have to say I´ve never felt more manly.
The shear feeling of having a small child depending on you for her nurishment, cleanliness, first education etc. gives you a boost into MANliness you cannot understand unless you experience it.

It is a sore little pissant loser that says cooking isn´t manly, tell that to Gordon Ramsay and he´ll bite your little head off.
It is pretty insecure to say that changing diapers is only for womenfolk – that only shows you cannot handle it, it isn´t a nice job… You can compare it to cleaning out a latrine, but a smaller task.
Cleaning isn´t manly?
Living in a pigsty is manly then?
Get your priorities straight before coming onto this site opening your yap at real men.

107 PM August 12, 2013 at 8:58 am

I have stayed home for the past few years while finishing my degree AND felt pretty bad about it the whole time. I want to thank almost everyone, I think I did have masculinity and manliness mixed up. I have a different view after reading your posts. Thanks.

108 Rob December 1, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Well there is good news and bad.
The bad is your going to get divorced and have a hart attack.
The good news is a father’s parenting style is beneficial for a child’s physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioral development. Fathers kick ass at parenting! 85% of children with behavioral problems come from fatherless homes. 20 times the national average. SOURCE: Center for Disease Control
Not Manly…..NO. But it is bad idea to stray from the traditional family structure. There is a dam good reason why it has been this way for over 2000 years.

109 Richard December 3, 2013 at 11:11 am

The answer depends on what a man does at home. Where I’m from, there are men, even husbands and wives working in tandem, poring over computers for on-line work. They make more money than your regular blue or white collar mid-management level worker. This gives them more time with their spouse; their kids; the handyman works; and those DIY stuff that makes them feel fulfilled. Looking deeper into this, we’re still dealing with traditional concepts, principles and problems but with modern means as we adjust to available technology. On the other side, a man must build a career whether if it’s working at home or in the office. A man understands his core skills, builds it up, develops it, and lives by it.

110 Amos Marr December 18, 2013 at 7:24 pm

WARNING: I’m not a father
I don’t see a problem with staying at home and being a dad. It gives you more time to focus on doing other things, like running around in the woods. Don’t tell me it’s not manly to stay at home and let the wife bring in money. Different men do different things, and they’re still considered manly.
Teddy Roosevelt was manly.
Ernest Hemingway was manly.
They don’t have a whole lot in common, do they? Different styles, same result.

111 Guy Cruisalair February 20, 2014 at 1:20 pm

My twin brother and I were raised by a stay at home dad, and I find my father no less manly for it. In fact, it has always filled me with a sense of pride and got me respect from my peers.
I do believe it may have served me a different kind of male role-model than a dad with a job away from home, but not at all a bad role model. I learned a lot from my dad, and all he taught me is useful in a man’s life. I can cook, clean, fix bikes, draw funny pictures, know my classic rock and art rock, classic painters and telling jokes largely thanks to my dad. The only thing I can’t explain is why I’m still not as “handy” or accurate with various tools and fixing stuff as my dad is (my brother turned out better in that regard :P).

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