Stay-at-home dads, listen up. I know you've had it tough. But you are about to get the shot of arm you've been waiting for. Jay-Z has announced he's giving up the lucrative music career and trying the stay-at-home parent thing with Blue Ivy.
Got that America? Manly rap mogul Mr. J-Hova himself is secure enough to admit to the world that he doesn't WANT to be away from his little girl right now. He doesn't want to miss those moments that are so fleeting.
In that sense, he speaks for a lot of dads in America. I worked part-time after our daughter was born, at least a portion of it from home. And I would watch my husband when he left us in the morning. He wanted to stay, but his job is not the type that can be done from just anywhere. In going to work, he was being a good dad; he was making sure our little girl had food in her tummy and a roof over her head.
The fact that he's made a mint over the years certainly gives Jay-Z a little more latitude here than the average parent. He doesn't "need" to go work tomorrow or even next year. He'll be a stay-at-home dad by choice, not necessity.
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But he joins the ranks of some 154,000 guys who have opted to stay home, and who still get a lot of flak for it. Even in 2012, there are snide comments about whether a stay-at-home dad is "manly" enough. There is a stigma for men who are simply doing what women have for years: deciding that this is what works best for their family, their kids. Considering stay-at-home moms and working moms are still at loggerheads, it's no surprise that a dad making the choice is somewhat controversial. Silly and shortsighted, but still, not surprising.
But I think a lot of men like my husband would identify with what Jay-Z had to stay about his decisions to take some time off from work to be with Blue Ivy:
After my daughter was born I thought I would be more inspired with all the new feelings and everything that I’d have to write about, but it really happened the other way. I just really wanna hang out with her. I just wanna enjoy those moments for a bit and I’m sure that feeling of music will come back to me.
The beauty of being a parent in 2012 is that Dads are finally being given the chance to actually ENJOY being dads. The look on my husband's face when he's crouched on the floor putting together a LEGO set with our daughter is what reminds me why I had a child with him. He's not just some guy in her life, he's her Daddy. That's not something that should bring scorn or laughter. That's something to be celebrated.
Blue Ivy is one lucky little girl! I just hope people realize it ... and begin to copy it. Jay-Z could make a lot of families very happy if they follow his trend.
What do you think when you find out a man has opted to be a stay-at-home dad?
Image via Splash News