By Hagalaz AOR
Having been laid-off from a company I had vested over 6 years of my life- without severance pay or unemployment opportunities- provided a myriad of tribulations, depression, financial hardship, sacrifice and personal growth. Being forced to be home bound and to switch roles as a provider with my wife was a hard truth to have to face. But what I soon had to realize was that what I’m providing is truly invaluable to my kids & to my family.
Sure, my in-laws may view me as a “bum”, but if the tables were turned and it was their daughter who was staying at home would they view her the same way? Many hold on to the “traditional” view point of the man makes the money and the wife holds the house. But, as many can clearly see, by our economy, and 7.3% unemployment rate in the U.S., times have changed. More and more men are becoming unemployed and they are forced into roles they normally wouldn’t have placed themselves in before.
I don’t view my unemployment as a hardship or even a challenge, It’s more of an opportunity to give something to my kids and family I couldn’t before. I’m fortunate to be able to provide this for them in the fashion I am because of my new found role.
Being an Odinist, we set high standards to our way of life; it isn’t just a faith we follow, it’s a life style. We honor this by living our lives according to the Nine Noble Virtues. This is by no means a small feat to accomplish, nor is it simple. On the contrary, it can be very difficult indeed. Now I have accepted my fate of unemployment and take this opportunity to work on raising my children, teaching and promoting my faith within my family and honoring the 9 noble virtues in my fullest capacity of my being. It is with that I review those virtues and how they still apply; though my position as the provider may have changed it still stands in my new role.
1.) Courage: The bravery to do what one knows to be right at all times.
As a stay at home parent you hold the courage to continue on with your responsibilities as a parent and not giving up on yourself or your family. You stay strong and carry on with your role, regardless of the trials or tribulations that attempt to hold you down or try to prevent your success or advancement. You maintain the courage to press on, unscathed by the hardship of the events. You continue to be the pillar of strength within your family.
2.) Truth: The willingness to be honest and say what one knows to be truthful and right, always!
This is not only representing Honesty vs. Lying, but being true to oneself. Being a stay at home dad there are many truths you have to face, more so within yourself than with words. Coming to the realization that this is the path you’re on and accepting your fate. But also regarding honesty, being honest to your children and not raising them with delusions of grandeur or sheltering them from the harsh realities of this world, but rather educating them; teaching them all aspects of this life and world we live in.
3.) Honor: The feeling of inner value and worth, from which one knows that one is noble of being and the desire to show respect for this quality when it is found in the world.
Living with a code of honor and pride in everything you do and are, being that positive role model your kids need during their development and growth. Recognizing, realizing and accepting that very crucial role in raising your children, and what a true honor it is to hold that position- being their dad; to be able to provide for them within your very home on that level.
4.) Fidelity: The will to be loyal to ones Gods/Goddesses, to ones folk and one’s self.
As a stay at home dad you will be honoring this code by stepping up to the plate, by taking care of the responsibilities your given by honoring the title of ‘Dad’ for your kids. Being loyal to your family means never walking out, or giving up on your wife/marriage. Just because you’re depressed from the situation of unemployment or being forced into a role reversal and becoming a stay at home parent, doesn’t give you a pass to skip out on your family/marriage. Man up and be faithful to yourself, your kids, your wife and your life!
5.) Discipline: The willingness to be hard on one’s self first, and if need be, with others in order that greater purposes can be achieved.
You would think this may be the simplest of the Noble codes to follow while being a stay at home dad because you’re home all the time and can lay down the law of the land, but laziness can quickly conquer this. As a stay at home dad you must be hard on yourself by setting goals, creating a healthy routine, for yourself as well as your children. Providing the proper guidance and teaching/instilling morals and ethics as the very foundation and structure towards a happy, healthy, productive and noble way of life.
6.) Hospitality: The willingness to share what one has with one’s fellows, especially if they are far from home.
This seemingly speaks for itself, but being able to share responsibilities is often looked upon with closed eyes, or is simply taken for granted. You can show your wife hospitality, by asking her how her day was, preparing a warm bath after her long hard day at work, a note of thanks for being able to financially provide for the family, or even a nice warm cooked meal on the table for her to enjoy. You can’t forget that you can control the environment of your home, it can be as hospitable or as hostile as you make it for you and your family. A home needs to be your sanctuary, your hearth. It’s where you all come together under one roof. Shouldn’t we all treat our family as we would our most celebrated guests?
7.) Industriousness: The willingness to work hard, always striving for efficiency, as a joyous activity in itself.
Don’t allow your hands to become idle, always be productive within your home and within yourself. Exercise, make home repairs, clean, cook, and maintain the necessities of the family within the house. Don’t allow yourself to become lazy or unproductive. Just because you’re unemployed doesn’t mean it’s a vacation or a free-for-all within your house. Don’t fall to the destructive powers of laziness or procrastination or vice. Don’t gravitate towards things that hinder or prevent the advancement of your faith, folk & family; alcoholism, drug abuse, pornography, infidelity, abuse, laziness, chaos. Always strive for efficiency and order within yourself & your home.
8.) Self-Reliance: The spirit of independence which is achieved not only for the individual, but also for the family, clan, tribe and nation.
Don’t rely on other members of your house to get things done. Don’t wait to see who will pick up after the kids or yourself. Take the initiative to clean up the house. Don’t wait for your wife to get home to get something done or accomplished. Don’t rely on your kids to do what you as an adult should be responsible enough to do and take care of yourself. Again, don’t be lazy and rely on others to tend to your responsibilities, be self-reliant and get it done.
9.) Perseverance: The spirit of stick-to-it-ness that can always bring one back from defeat or failure. Each time we fail, we recognize failure for what it is, and if the purpose is true and good, we pursue it until success is won.
Don’t view your unemployment as a defeat or failure, look at it as an opportunity, to push forward as the best father and husband you can be by showing the rest of the world that being a stay at home dad is a full-time job.
Best of luck and warmest wishes to you & all those men out there who share the same fate. It’s up to us to be those Noble Kings we know we are and prove to our families and in-laws, you don’t need a job to be valuable to your family, you don’t need a pay check to define who you are, you don’t need a name tag to identify your importance or role within your home. Be proud, be noble, be a DAD!