A taxi driver, a builder and a stay at home dad walk into a bar. . .

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stay at home dad
Luckily, Travis Bickle wasn’t really my taxi driver. Pic credit; Columbia Pictures.

Interest in my existence as a stay at home dad sometimes comes from the most unexpected places. Just yesterday it came from a taxi driver. In fact “interest” is a huge understatement, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone quite so enthusiastic about the idea.

This guy was driving Toddler Adams and I on a brief excursion. He was quite chatty and we were talking about the usual taxi driver stuff; cars, mechanics and the like.

He then asked me if I worked. I explained that I made a bit of money writing and blogging but that my wife worked full time while I ran the household and looked after the kids.

When I find myself in social positions where I have to explain my home life, I can never be too sure what reaction I am going to get. Travis Bickle, as we’ll call this chap, was fascinated.

The questions kept coming; “how did I find it?…did I mind doing the housework?….why don’t more men do it?” This guy was all for it. Apparently he’d discussed the idea with his own wife but as his earning potential was greater, he’d remained the breadwinner.

I was only in Travis’s company for a short while, but I was left with the impression that he was a very dedicated family man. It struck me that he was a thoroughly decent chap.

It reminded me of a similar conversation I had almost four years ago when I left the rat race. Long term readers of the blog may be familiar with this tale so forgive me for repeating it.

We’d not long bought the family home and had contracted a builder to make some minor improvements. We’ll call him Bob. Bob was in his sixties and my daughter (we only had the one at the time) and I were frequently in the house while he was working.

I thought I’d better explain why I was always around and not my wife. As he was from an older generation and worked in the very masculine world of construction, I didn’t expect a sympathetic hearing.

I had jumped to completely the wrong conclusion. He told me he’d wished he’d done the same and hadn’t seen his kids growing up.

Experiences like this make me wonder how many other dads are secretly keen to give the stay at home dad thing a go? If finances permitted, would an entire generation of men be seen pushing buggies in parks during office hours while their partners toiled?

Maybe men have been conditioned to want careers when they would naturally make exceptionally good carers? I’d like to think there’s something in this. I certainly hope that Travis and Bob weren’t simply being polite or humouring me.

22 thoughts on “A taxi driver, a builder and a stay at home dad walk into a bar. . .”

  1. Great post and how fabulous that Travis and Bob were so enthusiastic – a lovely reminder for us to be enthusiastic about other people’s ‘news’ too. If only we could all work ‘some’ and spend equal time with our kids!

    1. p.s. – by ‘some’ I mean not the silly long hours that some people have to do when they don’t get to see their kids at all during the week.. I think that’s such a shame but unavoidable I know. I’d love an ideal world!

  2. You talkin’ to me?

    Being a stay at home dad is the best job in the world. Watching your children grow, day by day, week by week. It’s a pity I have to go to work at night, instead of cuddling up to my wife.

  3. Love this and you are so right, so many fathers simply wish they had been there more for their kids, if only blogging were around then hey. You are doing an exceptional job John and are an inspiration!

    1. As ever Vicki, you are being very kind! If only blogging had been around for older generations the world might be a very different place.

  4. I never fully understood it until I became one. I did it through necessity rather than choice. Now I’m so proud of it and will always promote it. I still get comments on both sides. Some impressed and supportive where others are quite shocked and disproving.

    Great post, as always.

  5. I wonder if a lot of men actually would, I know my hubby wouldn’t want to do it full time but he does wish he could spend more time with the kids. We’re trying to pay off our mortgage as early as we can so we can both work part time and have a better quality of life with our boys

  6. I’m sure there are many fathers who would love to be the parent at home.
    I think it’s all too easy for people to assume that fathers naturally want to be the main breadwinner and leave the “main” parenting /household duties to the women.

  7. Great story, John, and a really interesting and thought-provoking question. I’ve never had any real desire to be a full-time SAHD although I do find the idea of working a four-day week (my wife also works four days) and having the fifth day as a “daddy day” an attractive one. Sadly finances have always dictated otherwise, especially after our third child arrived.

  8. I’ve probably already said before, but I’m due to become a SAHD in May when the missus goes back to work. I’ve been at home doing a bit of work here and there, but it’s meant we can all be together as a family whilst the missus is on mat leave. It’d be great if more dads became SAHDs and it appears that numbers are slowly increasing 🙂

    1. Indeed they are Dave, although emphasis on the word “slowly”! Think we’ll always be in a minority, but the trend is only going one way.

  9. Great post. I know someone who is a stay at home dad too and I find it really interesting the things he tells me that people say to him…some very supportive, others can be quite rude! Great to hear of your experiences.

  10. Wicked World of Lucas

    Great post. It’s only recently that my Dad has admitted to wishing that he hadn’t worked as long hours when me and my brothers were growing up. He’s realised this by doing a large part of Lucas’s childcare when I went back to work. He loved it and never thought he’d feel so comfortable around a young baby. Now Lucas is 6, they are best mates – we call them The Odd Couple…………. #brilliantblogposts

  11. Lucas says – Dad often says that he’s like to stay at home whilst the Mother works. I think it would be great fun. Star Wars would always be on the telly and the LEGO building would be awesome. Dad leaves the house very early and doesn’t get home until quite late sometimes and I feel a bit sorry for him as I know he would like to be at home more. My school friend’s Dad stays at home and they have a great time but he says his Dad still can’t do the ironing very well………. #brilliantblogposts

    1. Thanks Lucas for commenting. It’s rather like that in our house, mum leaves very early and someimtes doesn’t get home until very late. Thankfully, however, I can iron.

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