Role reversal here to stay

Role reversal here to stay

Bangalore is literally a home away from home for expat dads. Preferring to be called trailing spouses, they have no qualms in consciously choosing the  cosy comfort of the home and let their wives build a career for themselves. It’s a common thing in the West; so why the hullabaloo here, these house-husband expats wonder.

The ‘homely’ expat dads say it’s nice to take a break from the rat race once in a while and experience a life that is altogether very different. The home is their world. They claim immunity to the drudgery of domesticity. And they say their kids simply love having them around because they’re a lot more flexible and less fussy as compared to their wives.

Gordon Howell has been a stay-at-home dad for a few years now. He says he has slipped into the routine pretty well. He has his own circle of close-knit friends. He plays golf and travels in his spare time. He used to be into the business of construction back in his hometown in London. But in Bangalore he thinks he just can’t replicate the same. “I miss being at work but I’ve acclimatised to the City and I think it best to provide
maximum support to my wife,” says Gordon. He hates the directionless traffic in Bangalore and thinks people in the City lack the basic sense of driving.

Ram Ramakrishnan was one among the very few Indian stay-at-home fathers who was willing to talk. He had lived in the United States for more than 15 years, when he decided to relocate to India after his wife was recruited to a high position at Cisco. The couple has two kids: one four and the other eight years old. They moved in one and half years ago and the kids were much younger then.

Ram initially managed the home with the help of a maid and now he is working toward starting up his own venture. “I never wanted to leave our children in a day care, I always wanted that they grow up in the company of one of us. They’re young only once and neither me nor my wife want to miss out on those days,” Ram says and adds, “my kids are surprised that other dads go to work and think it’s unusual for them to do so.” Ram feels that couples must try role reversal once in a way and that surely helps recharge
batteries and helps focus on careers better.

A geologist and photographer James Leacock from London followed his wife to Bangalore after she got an offer to work with an Investment Bank. “I have no regrets about spending time with my kids while my wife is away at work. One of us must be free to build our career and be successful. Every man here in India talks of wanting to spend a lot of time with their kids but they walk the walk, talk the talk but hardly make time for that. If one genuinely wants to one can,” says James.  How well has he adapted to the City? “Move to Bangalore if you think you’ll like it. I have no advice to give to individuals as it is an individual choice. There are pros and cons but you have that everywhere. Personally I enjoy it and have adapted well to the culture. I think that India is wonderful place and look forward to the opportunities it presents,” reasons James. Denis Haton,
another stay-at-home dad swears by what he’s doing. He  too does his bit of travelling but says that his family takes priority most times. His wife works long and hard and he manages just about everything at home. It does become a little tedious sometimes but he still enjoys it.

Comments (+)