Saturday, June 13, 2009

Domestic Goddess and the SuperDads

There's a new phenomenon on the rise in Abu Dhabi. And elsewhere in the world too I believe. Its taking households by storm. Mothers are loving it. So are children. Its the turn of the Stay At Home Dad (SAHD)!

These SuperDads have been around for a while in many countries, but the concept is still fairly new in Abu Dhabi. Mom goes off to work and earns the turkey bacon, while Dad stays home and does the childcare, housework and cooking.

There are an increasing number of SAHD (also known as SuperDads) in many countries across the globe. Though many of them seem to feel a little shy about coming out of the broom closet.

There is still a touch of sexism happening it seems. Not all women are thrilled with the idea, believing that men have no business managing a home. And not all men are thrilled either - believing that being a SuperDad is a bit of woosie thing to do and that they will be expected to wear little frilly aprons. Its far from woosie, and the frilly aprons are optional.

We Domestic Goddesses love the idea of having a male counterpart. Its about time! Research has shown that involved dads and fulfilled mums make for happy families. And if that happy family requires a little traditional role reversal, I'm all for it.

The few SuperDads we have at our school are instantly recognisable. They arrive looking relaxed in shorts and t-shirts (an interesting one I spotted this week had a picture of Shakespeare along with the slogan "I love my Willy"), and instead of handbags, sport a newspaper and a packet of fags as accessories.

Unlike some Domestic Goddesses, SuperDads don't appear to be as concerned with looking good. Just feeling comfortable. Thats a plus point on their side, I must admit.

A negative point however, is their aloneness. We Domestic Goddesses are fortunate to have a plethora of organisations to belong to, and groups to participate in, but there is nothing for the SuperDad. Which is not a good thing.

Not that the SuperDads need support groups or stuff like that of course. They just, like Domestic Goddesses, could probably do with a bit of adult conversation at times.

And because there are no "Fathers Groups" active here, they simply don't get that as much as they would probably like. They would probably be welcome at most of the mothers groups that are active in Abu Dhabi, but I think the sheer femaleness of these groups could be a bit off-putting.

Because although SuperDads are doing an excellent job of taking care of the domestic chores normally associated with "women's work", my guess is that they could probably do with a bit of hearty backslapping and long discussions about spanners and cricket every now and then. Which they are unlikely to get at one of the numerous ladies coffee mornings that punctuate the Abu Dhabi social calendar on a regular basis.

I know my SuperHero would enjoy being a SAHD if the perfect job for me (at the perfect salary of course) landed in my lap. But for now, we're content to stay as we are. Him bringing home the turkey bacon, and me being the Domestic Goddess.

So here's to all the SuperDads - long may you prosper!

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