Walk a Mile in My Vans
by Shawna Black

Eleven years ago December, my husband, Marty, changed careers and started a new job. His new position required performing tasks that men of the older generation (our fathers’ age, for instance) wouldn’t dream of doing. His new position required late nights, early mornings, cleaning parts of the human anatomy one otherwise would avoid in others, being spit up on, screamed at and demanded of. He was on call 24/7.

My husband’s new job: Stay At Home Dad.

Right before our oldest son was born, Marty was laid off from his position of printing press operator. I was working as a production manager in a paper coating company and making fairly good money. We talked about what we’d do after the baby was born and decided that Marty would stay home with the baby and I would go back to work. We didn’t want anyone else raising the kids, so daycare wasn’t an option.

Eleven years and three kids later, he’s the best stay at home dad this side of the Mississippi.

I, however, am one very spoiled wife.

Marty cooks everyday. I’m not allowed in the kitchen. Sometimes I miss making dinner. I don’t do the shopping, the laundry or the vacuuming. I don’t clean the cat box (I’d never do it as well, anyway) and I don’t feed the animals. Marty makes the kids’ lunches, makes sure they do their homework as soon as they get home from school (both boys are on the Principals Honor Roll, by the way – straight A’s) and mows the lawn. He fills the gas tank in my car and gets the oil changed. I iron the kids’ school clothes and drop them off at school on the way to work. I’d say I have it fairly easy despite the fact that my job is a bitch.

Marty is a musician who teaches guitar and bass to the neighborhood kids, an old school skater who takes his boys to the skate parks and an awesome cook. Other men envy him.

Anyone can get a job; but it takes sacrifice, persistence and a special dedication to what’s important on the home front to be a Stay At Home Dad.

Our picture today is Dad with his two boys, about eight years ago. I think this picture speaks for itself.


Shawna has never spit up on her husband



I don't envy him. Kids are completely insane. Escpecially two boys.


tesco, my girl is much more of a terror than the two boys put together. Girl hormones. We have at least one meltdown per day.


I agree with Tesco on this one. My girls can be rough, but my boy is an unthinking force of destruction. It's a lot of fun, but quite frustrating.


I'd much rather be a stay at home parent to 80 boys than one girl.

That is a beautiful photo, Shawna.


amazing photo and great lead-in shawna.

(i will only have boys. by the time i'm ready we will be able to do that at the clinic - heh)


boys are the best. the sheer amounts of affection, rough & tumble fearlessness, and energy are all amazing to me...staying home with our boy has been the hardest, and most rewarding, job i've ever had.

your husband is very lucky.

and, that's a very lovely photo, without being saccharine.


I love how all the women are like, "Give me boys" and the guys are like, "I feel sorry for you."

My attitude will probably change in about 3 - 4 years (my oldest is 8), but right now, give me girls.


My attitude will probably change in about 3 - 4 years (my oldest is 8), but right now, give me girls.

I give you a year, tops.


No kids yet and either one of us would be happy to stay at home. My wife would do a better job though. Everyone gets sick of me after 8 or 10 hours.


Thanks everyone!


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