Frank let's out a screed I'm not necessarily against. Matter of fact I agree with most of it, but then he let's loose on men who want to stay at home as "girlie."
And thus I think I have to defend those of us guys who are the stay at home types not so much to counter what Frank is saying, nor to lick our wounds, but to explain that there have been fundamental changes in the economic relations and roles between the sexes, changes that make being the "stay at home husband" the logical, wise, and correct choice for most men.
But first let me provide a caveat in that the following advice is meant for men and women without children, which I do believe addresses not only the majority of my readership, but Frank's specific targeted audience with his post. If you have children then with today's taxes and cost of living, yes, both of you will have to work and the argument about who stays at home with the chillllldreeeennnnnnsszzz is moot.
Regardless, here are the reasons why you want to be the one to stay at home.
"Real Work" Sucks - And by "real work" I mean the traditional job where some aging boss who is unaware of the miracles of the internet, requires you to show up to an obsolete office, replete with unnecessary computers, and, oh, by the way, a really sucky commute. I don't know why women in the feminist world thought that "work" was "fun" to the point they demanded it, but if you have ever worked a "real job" in your life you know it sucks. You are not working for yourself, you are working for somebody else. You are also not allowed to achieve your maximum because careers and real jobs are not designed to benefit you, but rather your employer. And finally you are not working for you. You are working for the shareholders of the firm. Shareholders whose interests are the opposite of yours. They want your salary low as possible and really couldn't care less about your career or advancement. No, you are stuck in a job that pays you a sustenance level of income and only if you sell yourself and your mental health to a slave-like level of loyalty to your firm, are you going to reap anything approaching a "career."
"Stay at Home Work" Rules - Of course, just because I eschew real work doesn't mean I don't work. I work all the time. It's just not considered "real work" by the "real world." It's stay at home, self-employed work. Oh, laugh as you may as "stay at home office" or "self employed" usually carries the reputation and connotation as "person who can't find a job" and of course banks will never qualify you for a loan for "self employment income" isn't real income, but if you can be intellectually honest with yourself and pursue real work, just not for an employer, then you are light years ahead of the game. "
Stay at home work" (SAHW), if pursued rigorously, seriously, and professionally means, in a shorter amount of time you will have more success than if you worked a "real job." Not only because you are working for yourself, but because you will typically engage in work you like or at least work you have set up. There are no meetings, there is no negotiation, there is no discussion, it is just you. You are the Supreme Allied Commander and you get to decide, pursue and execute immediately and however you please. This single efficiency benefit is what allows you to run circles around your would-be-employer-now-competitor.
In short SAHW is all about you and the benefits all go to you. You actually enjoy your job, you can do it from home or the coffee store, you are allowed to complete tasks on your own time table and how you see fit, AND, did I mention, no mind-destroying, purposeless commute? Doing what you like AND having an extra 2 hours per day over your commuting your contemporaries makes those that ridicule SAHW look like investment banking analysts plugging dotcoms in 1998. Besides, just because it's work at home, doesn't mean it isn't manly.
I Like Sleep - Sleep is the most underrated benefit to human kind. I enjoy sleeping in till 9 or 10AM. I feel better, I'm healthier and I'm in a better mental mood. I'm more productive and (more importantly) I'm more creative. I can innovate and come up with ideas better than the coffee-junkie forcing themselves to stay awake during that Monday morning meeting. Sure, you could be a "real man" and suffer sleep-deprivation, but why would you?
A Better Home - Sure, I'm the "girlie" stay at home boyfriend. But guess what? The house is in tip top shape. Things are repaired. The cars are in working order. The fridge is full and when my girlfriend gets back we can go out because there ain't no chores to do. Besides, do you know how much you save when you can do your own home and auto maintenance, not to mention how many manly points you get for being able to do those things? Also, we don't need to increase our income tax bracket to pay for others to repair these things. I learn to repair and maintain at home, requiring a lesser income, but same standard of living. Why pay Barry and his legion of constituent parasites more than you have to? Besides, you can't write off maintenance, repair and chore expenses. Might as well do it yourself.
Taxes - On a related note, lower taxes. Certainly, not having children helps in this regard, but still, why have a double income that will only send you into stratospheric tax brackets? You, again, cannot write off house cleaning and maintenance, might as well have one person home doing that.
It's Easier - Sorry ladies, I've lived both lives. The hard working corporate type and the"stay at home wife" life and you have go to be kidding me about how hard it is. Really? Cleaning, vacuuming, and laundry? Really? None of it takes that long and then I can watch Hogan's Heroes. Not to mention the entire time I am doing "house chores" I can listen to my MP3. THAT BEATS LISTENING TO SOME LOSER OF A BOSS IN A MEETING ANYDAY! Not to mention, you don't have any boss watching over you every second. You get to do your chores how you please and when you please. You can leave any time you want, do anything you want, exercise during the day, as long as things get done, who cares. But not a real job. No no no. You got a boss that wants you to look busy even if there isn't any work. You got a boss that wants you to sit in a meeting that has nothing to do with your job. Your boss wants to suck the life out of you, wasting your finite life, for shareholders who couldn't care about you and a government that wants a 40% cut. Meanwhile forfeiting what really is a part-time job where 100% of your efforts go to benefit your family is worth their mental slavery and hell? Sorry, whoever stays at home gets the better deal.
Physical Fitness - Since the standard "chores" only require part time amounts of work, this gives you ample time to stay in physical shape. Never have I been in better physical shape than I am when I'm the stay at home boyfriend. I run every other day, life weights opposite those days. My girlfriend appreciates the physique and so will your girlfriend/wife.
Freedom and Fun - Obviously an underlying theme to all these benefits is your freedom to do as you choose during the day. Not only will this result in you having the most efficient regimen or routine for the day, achieving the most amount of production and work, but you can also maximize your fun. Don't let any stay-at-home husband/wife tell you otherwise. They can sit down and have a cocktail watching the Price is Right. You can play video games while grilling a steak. And if the weather permits you can go out for a motorcycle ride. Heck, even assuming you did have children, playing with the little rug rats certainly is more fun than writing TPR reports.
Fundamental Change in the Labor Market - Much as I lament society's utter failure to fully capitalize on the world's latest revolution, the fact remains it IS happening, just not at the pace I want. If it were up to me, we would not longer have commutes, traffic jams, let alone downtown office buildings because the technology exists that you can work 97% of today's white collar jobs from home. The technology exists, the software is secure, it is the obstacles in the form of aging gray haired bosses who can't let go of control and let people work from home. However, as time has gone on (and more of these aging gray hair types die or FINALLY retire) saner minds are realizing there is no real reason to pay for the unnecessary expense of office space rental, computer expense, and printer expense. Employees are more than willing to work from home and their younger bosses are letting them. This means there is a more hospitable and growing environment to SAHW's and truth be told, that is the future. The mockery and ridicule of people who are "self employed" or "home based business" types will end, because that is where the future labor market is heading. You being the stay-at-home-husband merely positions himself for the future.
Basic Economics - All the compelling and factual reasons above to be the stay-at-home hubby, in the end it is really a matter of economics. Yes you may have that darwinistic male drive to excel and achieve, and yes you may have that biological drive to be a provider, but the economic reality and fact is that it plain financially isn't worth it being the "go getter corporate type" for most men. First, society and politics are cheering for the woman to excel and exceed in the corporate world. This manifests itself in outlandishly handicapped affirmative action programs where the bar is lowered so much for women corporations will go out of their way to create whole departments like HR and CSR departments to keep the government off of their asses. Quotas, either explicitly stated or not, are in force, and no longer does the job go to the best candidate. And women, who are disproportionately represented in HR are in fact sexist and will ply favor to women candidates. In short corporate America has become corrupted to the point it is not only inhospitable to male employment, but is no longer worth your endeavor to become employed there.
Second, government and law in the form of taxation, not to mention divorce law, are also increasingly hostile. Not so much towards men as much as it is the "bread winner." If you are the bread winner, be it male or female, you are the one who loses half your assets, must pay alimony and must "provide for a previously expected standard of living." You want to be "manly" and "be the man?" Good luck. That's too much risk to be a provider male.
Finally, are you kidding me???? Work the crappy corporate job and run the god damned rat race??? For once I fully and wholly agree with the most ardent of feminists. Women SO should take over and be the sole bread winner and provider. It is a no brainer. Let them do all the real work, let them provide for the family, let them major in engineering, study calculus and physics. We'll stay at home and clean, cook, whatever, and pursue our hobby/faux-career as an "artist" "musician" or "part time teacher." The key issue for the likes of Frank and other men invested in their manliness is to not let their manliness blind them to economic realities. If women and feminists are so adamant about them being GENUINE and TRUE equals, then I say let them have at it. We should not look a gift horse in the mouth when given the option to stay at home, clean occasionally, repair the roof and change the oil, and of course pursue our "career" as a "children's book author." Let them work hard, let them commute, let them tolerate and suffer psychotic bosses, let them sit in the meetings. Even with the presence of children the life of the stay at home husband is INFINTELY easier and better than the working woman. It is simply a matter of letting go of unnecessary pride and letting leftist and feminist women have their dream in spades.