Confession: I'm a sucker for a good fundraiser. Spin me a sob story, and I'm all, "Who gets the check?" But even a soft touch like me has no truck with the latest fundraising trend: parents trying to get good-hearted folks to donate money ... so they can stay home with their kids.
Sounds too crazy to be true? Oh, it's true all right. In fact dad blogger Adam Dolgin currently has a GoFundMe fundraiser online, begging people to cough up $50,000 so he can become a stay-at-home dad to his two kids.
According to Dolgin, the dad behind the blog Fodder4Fathers,
I'd like to leave the corporate world behind for a year to take on the role of stay-at-home parent with my kids and prove once and for all that anything moms can do DADS can do equally-one year to chronicle my life doing the hardest, most rewarding job in the world and doing it well. But I'm just not in a position to do this financially, so I could really use your support.
Well, golly gee, when you put it that way, buddy ... I still don't want to donate.
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See, I'm a parent who works full-time. I have a spouse who works full-time. Either one of us would love to be home full-time with our daughter, but financially it's simply not to be, and we knew this going into parenthood. I was able to cut back to part-time after her birth and remain that way until just a few months before she started kindergarten.
And while I know our choices are not right for every family, I also know that we put ourselves in this position because we thought it would be doable (and it is!).
Staying home with my daughter, as attractive as it might sound, is not required. If it were, quite frankly, we would never have had a child because we knew going into parenthood that we couldn't swing a full-time stay-at-home parent.
This is the trouble with fundraising to be a stay-at-home parent.
It's not an emergency situation. It's not something that you couldn't save up for (or plan for!).
We are not talking about a family suddenly up to their ears in medical bills because of a child's cancer diagnosis or a stay-at-home parent suddenly left with a bunch of kids and no money because of her husband's untimely passing.
We're talking about a situation you put yourself into, and one that -- let's be honest -- works out fine for hundreds of thousands of people every day.
So why should we pay for people like Adam Dolgin to be stay-at-home parents? Just because they "want" to be at home? Sorry, buddy, but most parents I know "want" to be home. In fact, according to one Pew Study, only 16 percent of adults say the ideal situation for a young child is to have a mother who works full-time. The Pew Study also found that 56 percent of working moms and 50 percent of working dads say they find it very or somewhat difficult to balance work and family.
The reason at least one of those parents isn't at home is because it's just not feasible. The needs outweigh the wants.
Those families of kids with cancer or that single mom who just lost the only breadwinner, on the other hand? Their requests aren't about want ... they're about need. And when you're crowding out their fundraisers with something this silly, well, you're taking money away from them! Money that they truly need.
And all to prove, what, exactly? That while there are hundreds of thousands of parents who make true sacrifices to be stay-at-home parents and there are hundreds of thousands of parents who work despite wishing to stay home, you can just take the easy way out?
Sorry, folks, but if you want to be stay-at-home parents, here's an idea: figure out how to save the money and do it. If you can't save the money, then you should probably stick to working like 70.6 percent of America's moms and 93.5 percent of the country's fathers.
Would you donate to help a parent stay home with their kid? What might make you change your mind?
Image via kwanie/Flickr