Is there such a thing as a Working Dad?

by Melanie Edwards on January 13, 2009 · 16 comments

in Working Mothers

Working DadSAHM – Stay at home mom.

WAHM – Work at home mom.

WOHM – Work outside the home mom.

There are many labels out there to classify just what type of mami you are.

I am what you would consider a WOHM, since I work full-time outside the home. I’m also commonly referred to as a working mother.

However, Miss Britt (co-author of the Full Time, All the Time blog at Work It, Mom!) raises a good point in her post “Where are all the working dads?

She writes:

Why is it that Working Mom is an identity all its own, with support groups and message boards and blogs and research – and Working Dad is little more than an after thought?

I have to admit that I’ve never really heard the term working dad and have not heard any dads classify themselves as one.

But…my husband…he’s a working dad. He struggles with many of the same issues I do in trying to find a balance between the work and home lives.

But, why is it different for men?

Read Miss Britt’s post and then come back to chime in with your thoughts in the comments below.

Image credit: Fathers, Work-Family Research

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Alicia January 13, 2009 at 3:07 pm

Good point about a working dad, although I typically believe that women do the majority of household items like laundry, cooking, cleaning. Although, dads have chores too, I’d say they don’t have the guilt complex many women do. It’s hard to be a woman and a mother and try to have it all. It’s going against the grain of what society has deemed OK. Should we work outside the home? Some would say no, but dads don’t deal with this complex.

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Jai January 14, 2009 at 7:35 pm

You made a good point here. I think the guilt is almost imbedded in our DNA once we become mothers. Dad’s are not as bad. This is something that’s happened for centuries though. Dad’s worked and mom’s stayed home. Dad’s always worked, we just started working outside the home when around the 60’s when they just didn’t have anyone else to work because everyone was at war?

It definitely is hard to have that balance. I wish I had a part time job so that I could at least get to socialize with adults but still have my son full time. That’s not happening anytime soon. My first day back to work after maternity leave was rough. But dad’s have to go back to work after the baby’s born. There’s no such thing as Paternity Leave. :)

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Melanie (Modern Mami) January 14, 2009 at 9:53 pm

Alicia: I agree. I just wish we could let go of *some* of that guilt/complex.

Jai: Well some companies do provide paid family leave regardless of being the dad or mom. And there’s also the Family Leave Act, but that doesn’t guarantee pay. My husband was off for 1 week after our daughter was born; unfortunately he couldn’t take off longer.

We should get the husbands to stop by and comment. ;)

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Vicky Shaw January 16, 2009 at 9:15 am

Well what about the SAHD’s Stay At Home Dad’s? I meet a lot of them. Or all us Home School Mom’s, and Home School Dad’s? Now that one is really hard because some are single or they work at home or outside the home and still manage to Home School the kids. Matter of fact the kids are so well schooled they get some of the highest test scores out there. All because of the dedication of that Home School Mom or Home School Dad.

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Melanie (Modern Mami) January 17, 2009 at 8:32 am

Vicky: There sure are a lot of different roles that moms/dads play!

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Mary Lutz February 24, 2009 at 4:48 pm

I think the difference lies in our makeup as men and women. Men were created to be the providers in the home. It’s always been “natural” for the dad to work outside the home while mom stays home with the kids. But, with the sexual revolution and WWI, women started working outside the home more, but are still expected to take care of the household duties and be the main caregivers to the children. I think that’s why there really hasn’t been a term coined as “working dad”. He’s just dad and he provides for him family by working.
On the flip side of the guilt that mom’s feel when they try to balance work (whether at home or outside of the home) and taking care of their home and family, they often feel guilty because it is more “natural” for women to be the caregivers of the homes, while dad’s often feel guilty when they aren’t working. I think all of this is changing, but that innate, inborn instinct for men to provide for their families and for women to take care of the house and home will always be there, and there will always be some guilt feelings when we aren’t doing what we were created to do.

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Melanie (Modern Mami) February 26, 2009 at 9:46 am

Mary, thanks for your thoughts. I think you’re on the right track…

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SwamiMami March 8, 2009 at 9:32 pm

I think about this one often…
As a working mom who is in transition (thanks to lay off)… what the heck am I called? Visiting your post from Scholastic Vote for Moms Blogs!

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Melanie (Modern Mami) March 9, 2009 at 6:37 am

Thanks for stopping by Swami! Sorry to hear about the lay off. :(

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Miggy March 9, 2009 at 7:26 pm

When I was married my ex-husband lost his job and for awhile was at home, however, unlike a mom he resented the time with his children. I am not sure if its because of society, culture, how we were created or a combination of all three. It can definitely get frustrating when a WOHM- like me- tends to do more then a WOHD (Am I getting these abbreviations right? New to this!). Sometimes I think that we lost so much with our feminist advancement. We added more to our workloads and in doing so accepted less from our mates. Where is the line?
Latina On a Mission

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Melanie (Modern Mami) March 10, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Miggy, you bring up very good points. I know that many times the moms do more than the dads, regardless of the work situation.

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madilyn April 23, 2010 at 3:20 am

me & my husband need work can u healp us

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modernmami April 23, 2010 at 6:10 am

I'm sorry. Wish I could help, but I don't know of any jobs off-hand. Good luck!

Melanie Edwards

Blogs:
ModernMami – Motherhood…mami style
http://www.modernmami.com

40weeks Plus – All the Joys. All the Fears. All Over Again.
http://40weeks.modernmami.com

Connect:
http://twitter.com/modernmami
http://facebook.com/modernmamidotcom

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madilyn April 23, 2010 at 3:23 am

if read this masage pls healp us to fine work for my child

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modernmami April 23, 2010 at 7:10 am

I'm sorry. Wish I could help, but I don't know of any jobs off-hand. Good luck!

Melanie Edwards

Blogs:
ModernMami – Motherhood…mami style
http://www.modernmami.com

40weeks Plus – All the Joys. All the Fears. All Over Again.
http://40weeks.modernmami.com

Connect:
http://twitter.com/modernmami
http://facebook.com/modernmamidotcom

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