INTECOM (Paper 1)
Choi, Daryl Lorraine
Does being more of a father make one less of a man? This question is connected to the phenomenon that as more women work, more men take up responsibilities in the home that lead many to coin the word â€œhouse husbandâ€. As more dads stay home while moms go to work, questions regarding old notions of masculinity begin to creep up in Philippine society. This kind of happening has been observed in western civilizations for quite some time and now we ask ourselves if this is also applicable to Philippine society.
These incidents are not limited to stay-at-home dads but include those moms who make more money than the dads. More and more women now leave the house and work outside their homes; studies have shown that increasing number of Filipino women working abroad as Overseas Filipino Workers have contributed to the growing observation of house husbands.
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Stay-at-home dads contribute by guiding the children thru example and the moral incentives of having children and at the same time being a stay-at-home dad is that, the children can comfort him and make him happy and they can also give encouragement when he is down. Fathers can teach his son/daughter wisdom that they would not learn from school. He can instill important values in their hearts and anything that would mold them into a better person.
For the social incentives, they can have more quality time for bonding. Fathers tend to promote independence among their children and the children will be more compassionate when they grow up. Moreover, he gets personally involved in taking care of his children to be able to understand them more.
One financial incentive will be that the family can save money from hiring housemaids. But more important than saving money would be the examples set by dad and mom regarding family budgets and the values parents instill upon their children regarding the importance of money.
For me, it is not purely an altruistic decision but more of an economic reason with tradeoffs and opportunity costs. Most of the time, men become house husbands when wives earn more than the men and having household helpers would sometimes mean additional drain on their finances. The husband in this case gives up his job, does the work of the wife in the house, to save on expenses.
The husband here would rather choose to stay at home and take care of their children instead of going to work not just for financial reasons but more for social and moral progress. Questions on ego and masculinity are placed behind as the stay-at-home dads give importance in nurturing the growth of family ties and relationships.
The potential stigma attached to being a house husband would always exist in Philippine society. But I believe that it does not make a person less of a man even when he is not able to pursue his own career when the trade off results in being able to impart the value of money to his children, to spend more time and create deeper family bonds, would be the opportunity cost that a househusband has to face.