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Stay-at-home Ex

Sharing ParentingFor those who follow my writings regularly, the headline might be a puzzle. I always make a point of protecting the male point of view. So how come I am now softening my stance? Have I gone soft in the head?

Hardly. Its just a viewpoint. What really happened is this: It was 3am, and I was awake, worrying about me, myself, my future, my choices, my loved ones, my children. And an article by Katy Read in Salon [click here] (Regrets of a stay-at-home-mom) came past my screen. And it is obvious that there is no real difference between us, as boys or girls, and the consequences of our choices. While we may belong to different classifications of humanness, the fundamental issues are similar. The things we struggle with at 3am when we look under the kimono, are the same.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t regret for one minute the choices I made. Staying at home with the little one was the most gratifying thing I ever did, and I treasure every memory of it. But those decisions had serious consequences. They impacted on my career, my status, and my pocket. As she says so eloquently: “Now I lie awake at 3 a.m., terrified that as a result [of my decision to be a better parent] I am permanently financially screwed“. She took me through a step-by-step journey of how her life unfolded as a result of her choices, arriving at a destination where she is perhaps uncomfortable but not regretful of her choices, putting my feelings down into words.

I’ve written about some of the issues before, [click here], and [click here]. The partner with the money can (and frequently does) make decisions that hurt the other partner, financially or emotionally. It is the other side of the coin. It isn’t bad or wrong, it is simply how life works, sometimes we are close to each other, sometimes we drift apart.

And like Katy I wonder about what would have happened if I made other choices. She says: “I doubt my sons would have been damaged if I had kept my job” and deep down I know she is right. But that is the crunch for me – I punish myself for having made “bad” choices. As a man, I want to retract into my cave in shame because I did so poorly in comparison to my peers …

But just before I disappear into the darkness, I pick up a drawing or a love letter from my little one, and I smile involuntarily as the memory of the warmth of her last cuddle rises in my chest. And I know, for sure, that I have memories that my peers don’t have and never will have.

I’d rather be broke.


7 Responses to “Stay-at-home Ex”

  1. dog Says:

    I discovered your blog last week and started follow your posts religiously. I have not commented on any blog just yet but I was thinking I would love to. It’s really exciting to actually contribute to a article even if it’s only a blog. I really don’t know exactly what to write other than I really enjoyed reading through 2 of the articles. Nice articles indeed. I sure will keep visiting your blog weekly. I learned quite a bit from you. Thx!

  2. Marci Bradac Says:

    The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought you’d have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you werent too busy looking for attention.

  3. name not published Says:

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  4. name not published Says:

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  5. Lauren Creviston Says:

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  6. Angelic Feldman Says:

    Pretty cool article, I learned a few things I didn’t realize. I just found your blog; it’s pretty informative.

  7. Carla Livings Says:

    Hello. This is Carla Livings, delighted to make your acquaintance.

    I like the title you gave the post: “Stay-at-home Ex”. Currently I have a blog myself [buy exhaust muffler ducati] … It might be a little offtopic but still, have a look around at the blog 🙂



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