This is one that I may regret posting later on. Remember, it is all in good fun.
Stay-at-home parents face many perils. Some are common across gender lines while others are specific to stay-at-home dad or moms. As a stay-at-home dad, I worry that people think I’m just taking a day off when they see me out with the girls, probably over-correct the girls’ behavior because I don’t want anyone saying “That wouldn’t happen if their mom was around,” and struggle to feel comfortable with the social aspect of being a parent during normal working hours.
There’s one other thing that is troublesome to us at-home dads: cleavage.
Before I break it down, here’s a mathematical look at the problem.
Gathering of kids + parents monitoring kids + current fashion trends = dad looking down some mom’s shirt without realizing it.
For example, M. attended a birthday party on Wednesday. S. left for work before it ended, so at pick-up time I had C. and L. with me. As the party was wrapping up, the two little sisters and I sat and watched the final presents being opened and the attendees collect their goodie bags. M. was standing next to one of her friends who was having her shoe tied by her mother. M. was showing me what was in her prize bag and I was being a good dad and acting excited about her collection of Tootsie Rolls and Skittles. As the mom leaned up from her child’s shoes, I noticed she was offering the kind of view I’ve had to pay a cover charge to see in the past. I quickly averted my eyes to avoid any embarrassment. However, I’m sure she noticed before I could look away.
So now I’m worried she thinks I was checking her out. No one wants to be the dad known for checking out all the moms at parties, school events, etc. Well, unless you’re single, I guess. Even then, it’s kind of creepy.
But I’m also a little disappointed. I figure if she thinks I was checking her out and I’m going to be tagged with the stigma of gasp looking at cleavage*, shouldn’t I at least got a good look to see if it was worth it? I mean, if word gets to S. that I have this reputation and she confronts me, shouldn’t I be able to defend myself by saying, “Oh yeah, that mom was totally showing them off. You couldn’t NOT look at them!” If I’m going to be charged for the ticket, I’d kind of like to see the show.
Of course, chances are she probably didn’t notice and I’m over-reacting, or she realized M. was my daughter and she understood I was talking to her, or she realized she was crouched down and anyone could take a look and is either embarrassed for herself or worried that I’m embarrassed for seeing, which was exactly what I was trying to avoid, right?
Anyway, sometimes it’s tough being a stay-at-home dad.
(I’m no religious scholar. I do know there are people of many different faiths, in all parts of the world, who quote religious texts as justifications for keeping women in a submissive role. I would point out to those people that if God truly wanted women to be subservient, he wouldn’t have given them cleavage. Or allowed the bust-enhancing brassiere to be invented. Whatever powers we men think we have over women are all trumped by boobs. If there’s ever a war between the sexes, we men are toast. Legions of well-endowed women will flash us a peak of cleavage and we will be defeated in short order.)