I am not a Stay-at-Home-Dad. I find their acronym unfortunate (they are quite happy people in my experience, not at all SAHD). But I admire them and find common cause with them. I am not a SAHD simply because I work outside the home. It would disingenuous of me to pretend otherwise.
Nor am I Don Draper. Or even my own father. I am more involved than those dudes, the older generation of dads. So am I an Involved Dad? Dumb name, perhaps, though I like the acronym ID enough (reminds me of all them good eats in Seattle’s International District).
I have changed millions of diapers (or at least it felt like that many). So how about Diaper Dad? It is at least a distinction, because there are, weirdly enough, a fair number of fathers who somehow bully or whine their way out of diaper duty. I am not one of them (though I envy their complete asshole self-centeredness). Diaper Dad has two strikes against it, though. First, it’s gross. Second, it’s too close to Dick Vitale’s overused (are any of his phrases under-used?) Diaper Dandy.
How about something that captures the essence of my most important time as a father: mornings. It is my job to sleep after my wife goes to work (usually around 5:30a or 6a), until it’s time to get the kids up. I then feed them, dress them, brush their teeth and take my daughter to school while my son wails about being left being with the babysitter. Evenings I am often away drinking and networking. During the day I am at work. But I am a Morning Dad by all accounts. Perhaps, to spice up the acronym, I should call myself a Morning Assignment Dad (MADs).
Those fathers who have to take afternoon shifts could be After Work Ends Dads (AWEDs). Nighttime fathers could be Dutiful Evening Assignment Dads (DEADs).
This could go on: those who are selflessly raising stepkids or foster children could be the Not Even my Kid Dads (NEKKIDs).
Or the deadbeats: The No Alimony Ready Dads (NARDs) who duck the bill. The Where’s Ur Mom Dads (WURMs) who direct every chore or complaint to the mother.
Okay, I’ll stop there. But seriously: there’s a large group of us dads who land somewhere between SAHD and Don Draper. We need a name. Any suggestions?