Saturday, August 25, 2007

Return to work not easy for stay-at-home dads - Your Career -

Return to work not easy for stay-at-home dads - Your Career - MSNBC.comIt appears men who make the decision to become stay-at-home dads may be in even more career hot water.
I've been a stay-at-home dad. This article cuts close to the bone.

At the outset, I'd bicker with the concept in the lead paragraph of doing nothing to update their skills.

It might be bad to stay at home and do nothing. Sure. But, I didn't. While I was at home, my resume took a serious hit. however, my skill creation efforts did not shrink.

Working on the internet and going to work on community efforts present different opportunities for establishing skills while I was an at-home dad. This overlooks the whole challenge of being an at-home dad too.

When I was an at-home dad, my professional career was jolted. No doubt. But skill crafting does not need to STOP.

The root of article says men have added problems as we try to return to work. You bet. I feel that Pittsburgh's society, by and large, doesn’t give much credit to a recent at-home dad. Some do. Many don't. Some women are the worst. There is a bit of unspoken discrimination, sad to say. But, the “unmanly” tag isn't the hurdle. Unworthy for interviews and unworthy of job offers is more of a hit than being called 'unmanly.'

“In our culture, we look at work and family issues as women’s issues and don’t acknowledge men have at least the same kind of concerns about their families.

This is where I have a strength -- issues. I care about family issues. I care about healthcare, wellness, schools, parks, pedestrian life, parenting, and -- discrimination.

We've fully accepted the uncommon family structure in our house. Sadly, the rub comes with the plug-in to the greater community and wide-perceptions, especially the media. If I gave a damn what others thought I'd be a basket case.

Men face more prejudice when they decide to return to the workplace than women do. Save the males!

Men also face more prejudice when they are in school, before the workplace, as men's swim teams at many universities are axed.

Are there firms in Pittsburgh where men take "vacation leave" instead of "Family Leave" with the birth babies?

Stay-at-home dads usually have little support. But the real need for support isn't at the workplace nor within the family. Rather, it is within the community. Few guys made the same choices. More are doing so. But we're few and far between. The support I valued the most was on the internet among other at-home dads.

I agree that it is important for men to have the support of other men. This can't be overstated. Dads need playgroups. Dads need other dads to lean upon, just as women have had for the ages. Validation isn't nearly as important as plain old fashioned tips and socialization among adults.
Men get that support from men’s groups where men get the fathering, the wisdom and the tough love they need to make unpopular decisions,” says Wayne Levine, a clinical psychologist and founding director of

The article says stay-at-home pops are in uncharted waters. That's right where I want to be. I want to make my own, original mistakes, not repeat the mistakes of others.

Sometimes being a guinea pig can play in your favor.

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