My Wife Hates Me Because I'm a Stay-at-Home Dad

Rant 41

My wife resents me with every strand of her hot little DNA. And it's not the never listening, the constantly open kitchen cabinets, or the vegetarian farts -- although they probably don't help. It's because I get to sit around crafting ambiguously profane "Wheels on the Bus" lyrics with our 2-year-old while she works 10 hours a day supporting us.

Every picture I share of our daughter and me bonding, every message about what she had for lunch or what new mall we browsed, kills her. (When Skylar spoke her first sentence, I had to pretend she didn't and wait until she repeated it for both of us to hear. Oops, did I just publish that?)

Of course, I'm oblivious to this raging jealousy in the moment. I only discover it during my wife's bi-monthly, bottled-up explosions at me. So, after I apologize and we make up, I assume for some reason that things are forgiven and return to all my inconsiderate behaviors. (I have never claimed not to be a moron.)

And the thing wracking me with guilt is that I want to trade places as much as my wife does. I love my daughter more than anything. Yet I would also give anything to go back to my former career as an award-winning newspaper columnist with medical benefits who pawns his kid off to full-time daycare. (However, because print media suddenly decided to do its best impression of the telegraph industry, the only menial full-time jobs I now qualify for wouldn't even pay for the daycare.)

I blame "The Brady Bunch." Possibly enough to sue. As progressive as it may have been for its divorce premise -- and for what actor Robert Reed was up to behind the scenes -- this twisted TV pestilence taught me that the husband is the provider, period, and the wife greets the husband in a floral-print blouse when he comes home from a hard day of providing. (I tried doing that once, but Tom, my across-the-street neighbor, complained.)

I know these stereotypes are neither legitimate nor helpful -- but I only know this intellectually, not emotionally. And so, while most of my guy friends think I have it made, I can't help but feel like an utter failure because I cook, carefully judge diaper bloat, and drink pretend tea for a living.

Are your parental roles reversed and, if so, does it cause any problems?


being a mom