I heard a piece on ESPN Radio today that Stay-at-Home Dads everywhere would definitely appreciate. The host, a recently divorced guy who's still good friends with his ex-wife and an involved dad, was defending Reggie Bush. Bush, if you aren't plugged in to the NFL, is the Heisman Trophy winning utility back for the New Orleans Saints who was expected to be an all-time great. He had a good rookie year last season, the Saints made it deep into the playoffs, and Reggie Bush was a factor in much of their success. So what's to defend, you ask? Well, the Saints are terrible this season (at least so far), and the critics are knocking Reggie for not being able to do certain things they feel the team needs to succeed. Without going all John Clayton on you, he's not a pure Running Back.
Colin Cowherd, the host of the show, offered a perspective that relates very directly to Stay-at-Home Dads who struggle with the perception of their role in society. Statistically, Reggie Bush contributed over 25% of The Saints' total offensive production last season, which should be more than enough to keep the pundits at bay. But because Americans are uncomfortable with people and things that don't fit a specific mold, the knee-jerk reaction is to criticize. Reggie is versatile, more so than most NFL players, but he draws criticism the same way a Stay-at-Home Dad who cooks most of the family's meals and does all the laundry does. "You mean to tell me you don't work? At all?"
Sooner or later, the perception will have to catch up with the reality. The reality is, if you're a one-dimensional Dad today you're probably way behind. Life is becoming so much more about balance and teamwork than it is about bringing home the bacon. If you want a happy marriage with well adjusted kids in today's world, everybody has to contribute to all the different facets of the daily. Colin's perspective on this one was really spot-on, even though he never mentioned the Stay-at-Home Dad.