The Indian Society often considers ‘Stay-at-home Dads’ as a subject of ridicule. The useless idiot, who stays at home and survives on his wife’s income’, this is what we usually associate with house husbands. For the western society, it’s not a new concept, but for the Indian society, it gets the eyeballs rolling where gender role rehearsals are not accepted. The person taking the decision will be ridiculed by his friends, relatives, and neighbours.
A man who has decided to stay at home taking care of his house doesn’t live up to what the society expects a man to do. Women are getting more opportunities to explore the world than earlier where they were forced to stay at home taking care of the house while men went out to work.
Most of your friends will instantly look down on you once they find out that you are unemployed. Being a man, you have to hide your unemployment status because job role determines how man enough you are, which makes it difficult for a man to be a stay-at-home dad.
Most of the stay-at-home dads in India are forced to stay at home for the reasons of failure in business or an accident, in the rarest of cases anyone would have given up their successful career to be a house husband. As a society, we are not matured enough to accept such a change, blame the patriarchy or whatever.
For a woman after pregnancy, there is an expectation that they will make a choice between staying at home, and working full time but for men, it’s a very different story. From my personal experience, I feel that the society has zero support for a man making that choice. Many women also prefer to be with a man with ambition, stable job, and high earning capacity to share the financial burden than someone willing to stay at home.
Someone’s decision to stay at home doesn’t make them any less of a man. We have always seen over the centuries women are the ones who make the sacrifice, and now it’s time for a role reversal.
I have openly expressed my opinion and willingness for being a stay-at-home dad than being the sole breadwinner of the family. I have met with an exclamation from both men and women. I don’t think my peers and friends have taken it well. There are cases where women themselves find it difficult to accept the change, most prefer a working professional with a huge paycheck to share the burden.
It’s easy to enjoy the concept on the big screen, but in real life, people do not have the courage to do what the protagonists of “Ki & Ka” did. Our society is not mature enough to accept something that is different from the set norm.
Personally, I would, with open arms accept the role of stay-at-home dad while the other partner goes out to work taking care of the house, but unfortunately circumstances don’t accept such a swift role change in any possible way.