"Are you really going to do housework? Do you seriously think a man can handle a baby on his own, let alone two?! Will you be okay asking your wife for money?" said Lahar Joshi. In 2015, he made the decision to become a stay-at-home dad after his wife gave birth to twins and he hasn't looked back since and despite battling negative opinions from those around him.
If couples are in sync, then what society thinks is immaterial
The widely held belief in India is that a woman must be able to juggle both her personal and professional life with elan and if she can't then she must give up her career. However for Lahar, "The choice of balancing those aspects or giving up one to pursue the other solely falls on the individual, be it the wife or the husband. And if the couple is in sync with each other’s choices, the question of what society will think is immaterial." However, when he first told people that he was going to become a stay-at-home dad, a majority of them laughed him off, thinking he was joking around, however when they realized he was serious, they would repeatedly ask him if he could manage two young kids. Would he be able to do the housework, was an oft-occurring question. Moreover, people were worried that he would be emasculated by asking his wife for money.
Childcare and one's career have little to do with gender
Although he is part of a very small community of dads in India who made the choice to stay at home and bring up their children, he has no regrets today even as he has gone back to work now that the twin boys have grown. In 2013, Lahar started his own branding and advertising firm, PinkElephant Disruptions LLP and decided to put his career on hold to bring up his sons. According to him childcare and one's career have little to do with one's gender and that parents must share the caregiving and various roles at home. Though not surprising, few share his opinions in India; a study conducted by Ipsos MORI revealed that 30 percent of Indians believe that a stay-at-home father is less of man. India ranked 2nd just after South Korean among 27 countries of the world.
Image credit: Manorama News