Day 411: Stay at Home Dad Confusion

Today the little guy had another photo shoot for the toy company he had a shoot with in October.  Read more about that, and my view on having the little guy doing some modeling here.  Short version: the little guy is playing anyway, who cares if he is getting paid to do it while people take his photo?  As long as he is not being hurt or coerced or treated wrongly, we feel it is fine at this age.

When we were taking one of many breaks, the woman who works with the parents & children was chatting with me.  She is Hong Kong Chinese, born and raised in Hong Kong.  A very nice woman overall, so I enjoyed talking with her.

While we were talking, she asked me, “who is normally taking care of him?”  I responded that it was me who takes care of him.  This got a kind of surprised look, and she kind of had a hard time understanding what to ask or what to talk about.  She said, “so, you don’t work?  You don’t have to work?  You don’t have a job?”  I laughed and told her I have a job, but I am on leave to take care of my child right now while my wife is working here in Hong Kong.  She was so confused about this – she said she thought that was really interesting and commented that there must not be many other dads staying at home, which of course is accurate.

After the shoot, I got to thinking about her reaction – how she stuttered her way through understanding that I am a stay at home dad.  I realized that it is so special and unique for a guy to stay at home in this part of the world, that it really catches people off guard.  Is there something wrong with me, who stays at home with my child?  And for people here who are more “aware” of child-raising outside of Asia, they are probably still really interested in it.  Like, “Oh, I’ve heard about that, but I’ve never met someone who is doing it.”  Rather than take it personally and get all righteous about it, I was kind and answered her questions and talked with her – after all, there’s always something good to come from a little cultural exchange, and who knows, maybe if she has a child with a man in the future, a stay at home father might be an option for them, too.

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