I’ve been a stay at home dad for a few weeks now. In that short time frame I have already started to exhibit some troubling tendencies. I now have difficulty remembering what day of the week it is, going to bed at a decent time, and most importantly, changing my clothes from day to day. Over the past weekend and into this week I wore the same shirt and jeans combination every single day. And it was a rather fetching combination if I may say so myself! I was looking good. But thanks to this newfound habit, I’ve been recently asking myself a few important questions, such as:
Why am I doing this? Is this unhealthy? And, am I a bum?
Let’s find out.
Before we delve into this further, please allow me to be upfront about a few things:
- I am changing my boxers, socks, and undershirts daily! All the articles of clothing that traditionally get the dirtiest are being switched out. We can all breathe a strong sigh of relief on that account.
- My hygiene is good! I’ve been showering with reckless abandon as of late. I am also shaving and trimming my beard far more frequently than in the past. I also got a haircut. All good clean habits like the good clean American boy I am.
- I finally changed my shirt today! Oh, I won’t lie and say I didn’t think about putting on the same shirt I’ve worn the past three days—I did—but I fought that urge and put on something fresh and new! You have to find pride in yourself somewhere.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s go back to my three original questions:
Why am I Doing This?
Here is where I’d like to say something noble like “I’m saving money by doing less laundry!” That may be a positive side effect, but I know that’s not what’s going through my head when I reach for the same pants and shirt each morning. The truth is I don’t really think about much of anything when I choose my clothes for the day. I just do it. And I keep reaching for the same stuff. Oh sure, I hate doing laundry, and my actions here definitely cut down on that, but that kind of thinking is not in the forefront.
Instead I’ve begun wondering whether it stems from the fact that I don’t really see a lot of people anymore. I see my wife and my daughter each day, I see a few friends from time to time, and that’s about it. Am I foregoing a fresh look just because I can? Because it won’t make a difference? Because these people will love me no matter what? That may be closer to the truth, but I know my wife will surely care if I keep this up. She doesn’t want to come home to a dirty, stinky, out of work husband. I don’t want that either.
So why am I doing this? If someone asked me directly, it’d be the laundry thing. But truthfully? I really don’t know.
Is This Healthy?
Sure, wearing the same clothes every day is a step in health above developing an addiction to alcohol or eating fast food. But in and of itself, is it healthy to drape myself in increasingly dirty clothing? Or, better yet, is it unhealthy?
I have two cats and they’re hairy. Very hairy, in fact. And naturally their fur ends up sticking on the furniture and floating in the indoor breeze. It also collects on my clothes. I might not always see it thanks to the clothing in question, but it’s there, and the more I wear the same stuff the more cat fur I’m collecting. This, in turn, means that I’m inhaling even more cat dander than I normally would be. That can’t be too healthy, right?
Verdict: Unhealthy, but not intervention-worthy.
Am I a Bum?
I have a quick answer to that: No! Not yet at least. As stated above, my hygiene is good and I have yet to take this habit to the point where I smell. But it’s still only been a few weeks. What if I’m still in this same boat a few months from now? Will I be worse? Will this habit have transformed into a full-blown way of life? I doubt my wife will let it get to that, and if it does my daughter will eventually blast away any last remaining shreds of dignity by saying something like “Daddy stinky.” To quote the great Hall and Oates, I can’t go for that. No can do.
Verdict: Not yet at least.
Looking at the three above verdicts, I’m inclined to believe that this clothing situation, while not be the best course of action for me, isn’t exactly something to get too worked up about either. Plus acknowledging it and addressing it here can only help the matter. And while I’ve thus far focused on some of the more negative habits that I have developed since I became a stay at home dad, there have been many positive ones too. I’ll get to those in the coming weeks, but overall the experience has thus far been an interesting one for me.
Clothing choices are just the tip of the iceberg for this stay at home dad.