Being a Stay At Home Dad is becoming more common; Pew reports that as of 2015 there were roughly 2 million of them, or 7 percent of the American dad population, almost double the percentage from 1989. While 7 percent might signify a trend, or even a societal shift, it hasn’t been enough to overcome the stigma associated with being a hirsute primary caregiver. Stigma that starts with one of the more unfortunate acronyms ever: SAHD.
A great acronym can do wonders for perception — if lasers were commonly referred to as “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation,” Star Wars would’ve made zero dollars. SAHD is not a great acronym. It is a sad acronym, and irredeemably so. It’s impossible to reclaim, as Mary Louise Parker did with MILF, because there’s no power to take back. Flashing a look that says, “I know you find me surprisingly hot for a woman who’s had kids, but I’m not attracted to you, little man” is empowering. Flashing a look that says, “I know you think I’m an unfulfilled failure sinking in a sea of despondency, but just wait, I’m considering doing P90X®,” not so much.
Of course, being a Stay At Home Dad isn’t inherently sad, or even inherently SAHD. Just because the acronym is irredeemable doesn’t mean the life choice is. The obvious need is to change the acronym so men can embrace the possibilities of the role free of E.N.C.U.M.B.R.A.N.C.E.S. Here, then, are 15 suggestions covering all manner of devoted, new style dad.
Office-Phobic Poppa (OPP)
It’s not a Treach to say that dads who came of age in the ’90s will be down with this handle.
Señor In The House (SITH)
Clearly you have too many important lessons to teach your kids to be away at the office all day.
Dad Really Into Nurturing Kids (DRINK)
“Mmm, look at that DRINK,” is the desired outcome, though there’s a slight-to-excellent chance this acronym could end up referring to your (wrongly!) presumed daily activity.
Hero Of Future Fathering (HOFF)
A bae watching out for his kids all day long.
Caring Husband Overseeing Offspring’s Childhood (CHOOCH)
Dads from Queens know what this one’s all about.
Gentleman Who Adores Rearing (GWAR)
If you want this one, you can’t be a poseur — you better be all-in with your stay-at-home dadding.
Gender Rebel Opposing Institutional Norms (GROIN)
For the stay-at-home dad writing a PhD dissertation on being a stay-at-home dad.
Patriarch Raising Incredibly Cool Kids (PRICK)
This could legitimately take off amongst friend groups who use blunt epithets as terms of endearment. Given the right tone of voice, “Hey, ya PRICK!” would be a heartwarming greeting to hear as you walked into a bar at 3 p.m. with your toddler in tow.
Master Of The House Raising Adolescents (MOTHRA)
You’re not a monster, just a guy retaining traditional status while tackling modern challenges.
Man Who Adapts Heroically (MWAH)
Especially during the financial crisis, becoming a stay-at-home has often been the result of an abrupt change in employment. The MWAH overcomes the initial shock and befuddlement and emerges as an even stronger parental figure.
Dad Relishing Opportunity to Parent (DROP)
Hopefully this will be used to indicate recognition of your enthusiasm, not your incompetence.
Permanently Off-site Pater (POP)
You actually have an office job, you’re just working from home today. And tomorrow. And the next day. And the next. If your boss in any way resembles whatever the New York Times thinks a millennial is, you can probably keep this up forever.
Sire Tending to Urchins at Domicile (STUD)
Just because you’re ensuring they don’t get kidnapped doesn’t mean you have to bathe them.
Husband At Peace Preparing Youngsters (HAPPY)
Man I’d Like to Fund (MILF)
You’re not going to an office like a traditional breadwinner, but it’s not because you couldn’t land any job you wanted, it’s because you’re working on the business plan for a can’t-miss startup. SAHDly, you’re probably going to have to give this nickname to yourself.
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