“Sausage balls,” I say.
“Really, that’s it?”
“Actually, I want sausage balls and a fifteen minute chair massage at the mall.”
“You are kidding, right?”
“No. I want sausage balls, a sketchy mall massage, and an ESPN 30-for-30 marathon.”
“We will take you to lunch.”
“As long as it involves sausage balls.”
What are you giving your stay-at-home dad this Father’s Day? Maybe you are considering giving him a fancy meat preparation guide, maybe you are considering a Make-Your-Own-Hot-Sauce-Kit, maybe you are considering a laser guided beard trimmer, but these gifts will not do. I cannot speak for all SAHD’s but here is what I want on Father’s Day:
- Time for myself. I want what every stay-at-home parent desires, an opportunity to regain my sanity. I want to pee uninterrupted and shower for more than two minutes. For your SAHD, it could mean giving him a fist bump as he walks out the door to ride his motorcycle, visit the art museum, attend a monster truck rally, read a book in a coffee shop, or catch a matinee. Encourage him to do whatever tickles his fancy.
- A little bit of appreciation. How about a banner across the living room that reads: We love our primary caregiver! This might sound ridiculous, but I don’t think you understand the challenge my ego has endured as a SAHD. When was the last time someone celebrated a male who chose to forego employment and paycheck to care for children in a role traditionally filled by women? Look. I’m not asking for a medal, just a banner. Alright, I will settle for sausage balls.
- Fun Time With Spouse. I want a childless and stress-free outing with my wife. Drop the kids off at grandma’s house. Call a babysitter. Do whatever is necessary to make this happen because it would be so refreshing to eat dinner, have a drink, and chat without a little person pulling on my sleeve and interupting my conversation. I want to laugh with my partner and talk about something besides Paw Patrol. After dinner and fun, we can relax on the couch, snuggle, and finally finish the last season of Mad Men. For a night, we will pretend to be newlyweds and deny that our lives are run by a twenty pound tyrant. It will be lovely.
So, now you have an idea of what to do for your SAHD on Father’s Day. It’s up to you to celebrate him. He earned it. Recognize him on this holiest of dad days. Got it? Good. And whatever you do don’t call him Mr. Mom.
READ MORE: How Your Life Will Change: A Stay-at-home Father’s Letter to Expectant Parents