10 Most Annoying Things People Say to At-Home Dads (And the Snarky Replies I Keep to Myself)

10 Most Annoying Things People Say to At-Home Dads (And the Snarky Replies I Keep to Myself)

This parenting thing can be pretty tough in a lot of ways.

Whether it’s the late nights and constant diaper changes of little ones, the day-to-day frustrations of trying to teach a toddler how to be a kind and respectful human being, or dealing with teenagers who simultaneously depend on you for everything but feel they need you for nothing. Parenting is tough.

But one of the toughest aspects, for me, has been how to be gracious with those who don’t stop to think about what they are saying when they comment on my being home with the boys.

In general I think I’m pretty good at it, by which I mean I look for a kind and non-confrontational way to answer a question or respond to a comment. Sometimes the best way is to smile and say nothing. Other times the right words come. And sometimes I stumble over my answer or say the wrong thing.

In my mind, I usually know what I would like to say, hoping that my snarky sarcasm would get the point across. But I don’t say it, because far too often snarky sarcasm looks suspiciously like being a jerk, which is sort of the opposite of being gracious.

To that end — and to get some of this off of my chest — here are some examples of what I would like to say, but don’t, in no particular order…

1.“Babysitting today, huh?”

Yep! My wife told me that if I want to go see Justin Beiber in concert I needed to earn some money of my own.

I’m not allowed to have any boys over, but I can have all the ice pops I want from the freezer, so it’s alright.

2.“Your child should have something on his feet!”

Wrong. My children are descended from Hobbits, and don’t require footwear.

See those goldfish crackers they’re eating? They’re not a snack, they’re Second Breakfast.

3.“Oh, so you don’t work?”

Pfft! No! Working is for suckers.

My toddler and preschooler can pretty much fend for themselves when it comes to taking care of their day-to-day needs. I mostly just play Angry Birds.

4.“I wish I could stay home and nap or watch TV all day.”

Me too.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to pull myself away from Angry Birds long enough to do that.

5.“You must really miss working in an office.”

Oh yes. I totally miss so much about it.

The dress code, the awful coffee, the awkward office hierarchy. But most of all, I miss the hour-long commute each way. Man, I got a lot of napping done back then.

6.“Hey you should send me a resume, I know some places that are hiring.”

I appreciate the offer.

But like I said, I have a toddler and a preschooler. I think that might be illegal to put them to work like that.

7.“It must be nice having a wife who makes so much money you can stay home.”

Oh, for sure, I’m a regular Ann Romney. We’re just rolling in money over here.

I mean, I know it looks like we’re not wealthy, what with the small rented apartment, old vehicles, thrifty grocery shopping budget, student loan debt, and lack of involvement in any sort of horse-dancing. I know it looks like we’re really doing this because it is the best use of our gifts and talents, and makes the most sense for our family right now.

But you’re on to us. It’s all a clever ruse to throw you off the scent of the vast money vault/swimming pool we own in Duckburg.

8.“I just realized that the acronym for Stay-At-Home Dad is ‘SAHD!’  Hahaha! Like ‘sad!’ Get it? SAD? Because you’re so sad!

I don’t get it.

*SAHDface*

9.“I’m sorry, no, you can’t join our mommy playgroup. We feel like it’s safest to go on the assumption you are a predator or pervert.”

Completely understandable.

I admit it, the main reason I convinced my wife that we should have kids was because I hoped it would someday be an all-access key into the occasional viewing of women I don’t know discreetly breastfeeding.

10.“Being a Stay-At-Home Dad is unbiblical. Titus 2 makes it pretty clear that childcare is women’s work.”

Oh, you’re absolutely right. Titus 2 is a great model for the ideal Christian home.

After all, Titus 2 is also why we Christians faithfully support slavery, as the right and proper arrangement for the Godly home. It’s why we still expect good Christian slaves to be obedient and polite to their masters, rather than kick up a fuss rudely demanding things like liberty and freedom and justice. I mean, why would it say that if slavery wasn’t okay? Kudos to the 1st century ancient near-east Roman Empire for getting it right 2,000 years ago, so I don’t have to take my cues from this present culture like a godless heathen! *Whew!*

What’s the most annoying thing you’ve been asked as a parent? Did you ever wish you could answer differently?

20 Comments


  • As for #9, my husband couldn’t even join an active Mommies web forum because he was a guy. They told him to join the Dads forum, but it was not maintained or very active at all.

    All he wanted to know was when the open playdates were so he could take our son to playgrounds that had other kids at them. What a freaking perv he must be!

    Reply

    • I don’t know how to break this to you, but clearly he just wanted into the web forum because he gets off on READING about breastfeeding.

      I’m sure he was a big fan of bestseller “Fifty Shades of Colostrum.”


  • Unfortunately because I have three kids under the age of 2, the only response I get is “Gee! You have your hands full! Don’t you?” Or any variation of this. I sometimes wish I could get some of these, just to change it up a little.

    Either way, I always find it amazing when I get the funny stares from people when I am out in public. I would like to think it is sheer amazement at my parenting skills, but mostly I think it is closer along the lines of “he must be a pervert, why else would a man be at a playground.” The funny thing is, I don’t even own a trench coat!

    Reply

    • I think they’re mostly amazed at your beard.


  • I routinely get asked if I think that my education (that led to a ten year, successful career) was a waste of time and money. I had one person tell me that I unfairly took a law school spot from someone else.
    I have no earthly idea how other stay-at-home parents even have the energy to be rude to stay-at-home dads. Seriously – if you have the time, energy, and bile necessary to be rude, you are simply not throwing enough impromptu dance parties with your kids. Play with your kids more, judge others less.

    Reply

    • Amen.


  • I used to get the “Oh, so you’re Mr. Mom now?” comment at the beginning. Hated it so much. Made me mad in the assumption that to parent your children full time meant you had to be a woman or pretend to be.

    When at the playground with my son, after being asked which one was mine, I alway want to reply, “I’m not sure. I haven’t chosen yet.” But that may not be the best idea 😉

    Reply

    • “Wanna switch?”


  • One of my best friends is a stay-at-home dad of three. Against the norm, he attended stroller boot camp regularly and joined us for the odd stitch and bitch. He is the one who always has snacks packed and actual band aids (not just the empty band aids wrappers like in my bag) He is my go-to-person when I want to discuss parenting or school issues. As our kids have grown, we help each other with school pick ups, park watch and homework instructions. At Halloween he dresses up like super dad. I look to him for inspiration as a parent. He rocks. He doesn’t rock because he is a ‘man’, he rocks because he is an awesome parent, reliable friend and valuable member of our community. I just wish he didn’t have to deal with so many ignorant comments. I know I have even said dumb things to him over the years, but I apologized and learned from them. I’m thankful for the opportunity.

    Reply

    • That’s fantastic.

      I’ve been fortunate to make some great “mommy-friends” who have accepted me, and never make me feel out of place or unwelcome. But it did take a while to find those people. I’m sure your friend is more grateful than you even know.


  • “When are you going to go back to work?” or “When are you going to get a real job?”

    Really? Do people ask stay-at-home moms these questions? Sheesh! I could never do what my husband does, running around all day at the park and making endless varieties of swords out of paper towel rolls. Perhaps the house isn’t always as clean as I would like, but someone is doing it and it’s not me after a 9 hour work day! Thank goodness the mommy community has embraced him and he’s got a huge network.

    And thank goodness for an affordable 2 bedroom apartment!

    Reply

    • I’m certain people do ask at-home moms the same things about going back to work and getting a “real job,” yes. I imagine dads get it more, but it’s very common for both.

      Good for you for seeing the value in what your husband does. I’m sure it makes the role a lot easier to manage. I know it does for me.


  • Oh, thank you for #2! That one drives me insane! The best I’ve managed so far (to a man) was “I don’t want them to grow up to be as pathetic and unmanly as you appear to be.” Or pointing out that I don’t have shoes either, or that my mom grew up only having shoes in winter, so I’m pretty sure they aren’t going to die. Half the time, it’s all I can do not to scream “do you have a doctorate in medicine?! No?! Well I do, so STFU” and storm away. On those days, I try to keep it to “they’ve managed not to catch pneumonia as of yet” or “gee, you’re right, that must be why the keep sniffling, sneezing and dribbling snot down their shirts all day.”

    Reply

  • When I am asked what I do (“Do you work at Mayo, too?” “What do you do?”) and I reply that I am a stay at home mom, the most common replies are, “oh, that’s okay,” or “Oh. So what else do you do?” I’m never sure what I should say to that.

    Reply

  • What other inconvenient Biblical passages do like to ignore?

    Reply

    • Just the one that declared that “considering cultural context and intended audience when interpreting Biblical passages” is the definition of “ignoring.” I think that’s somewhere in the back.

      What I’m not going to ignore are the ones that inconveniently tell me to keep on loving you, a friend who insists on continuing to anonymously troll my blog.


  • I have received some form of #1 through #7…

    My first day on the SAHD job way back when, I took our four-month old son out to the grocery store, grabbed a few items in a basket, went through self-checkout, stuck cash in the machine, and bagged my own groceries, all while holding him in one arm. The female store employee nearby said, “Hey, nice job! You’re almost as good as a mom!”

    Not that I really needed it, but I have used this as fuel to be the best parent I can be to my two sons 4 1/2 years later.

    Reply

  • A friend of ours had girls. When they were tiny he would use Vaseline as a “glue” to adhere little bows on their heads. Rich got so tired of people wondering how the bows were affixed to their heads he finally told one nosey little old lady…”I use a straight pin!”. He said she turned red, shut up and walked away fast.

    Reply

  • […] 10 Most Annoying Things People Say to At-Home Dads (And the Snarky Replies I Keep to Myself) […]

    Reply

  • […] choose to stay home with their children is admirable. Especially when, according to Chris Routly of DaddyDoctrines.com, those men hear judgmental comments like, “Babysitting today, huh?” or “I wish I […]

    Reply

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