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Samuel Clot, author of Stay-at-Home Father: “We still expect the woman to stay at home and the man to bring in the money”

2024-02-26T05:23:19.806Z

Highlights: Samuel Clot is a stay-at-home father. He left medical school in his third year to take care of his son full-time. Clot: "We still expect the woman to stay at home and the man to bring in the money" He shares his experiences with his nearly 200,000 subscribers on social networks and in a book (1) "I am no longer ‘just’ a mother and I sometimes have the impression of being nobody’"


Married to a business manager, became a father at 21, this former medical student interrupted his studies to take care of his son full-time. And invented, over time, a daily life far from gender norms or stereotypes, which he shares online and in a book.


He seemed destined for a clear path: years of study to access a prestigious profession and a comfortable salary.

However, Samuel Clot threw everything away to stay at home.

Married at the age of 20 to an influencer who became a business manager, becoming a father a year later, he left medical school in his third year to become a stay-at-home father when his baby was six months old.

“I had a lot of trouble finding meaning in my studies, which made me unhappy,” he says.

The arrival of my son triggered a questioning and the beginning of a reflection.

It was long and difficult, but the second I started to imagine quitting, I already felt a form of joy.”

To discover

  • The keys to supporting women in their working lives

Also read “I am no longer “just” a mother and I sometimes have the impression of being nobody”: these women who left the world of work when their children arrived

Let him explore even more at home, one-on-one with Gaspard, his son, while his partner goes back to work, as much out of passion as because she alone supports the family.

A model that goes against the norm and gender stereotypes, which Samuel Clot explores and shares daily with his nearly 200,000 subscribers on social networks, and today in a book (1), which offers him the opportunity to 'a review.

Madame Figaro.

- How did those around you react to your decision to become a stay-at-home dad six years ago?


Samuel Clot.

-

My wife and I met at 15, married at 20, and became parents at 21.

Those around us were therefore already used to surprises and a somewhat unusual daily life.

But this decision was difficult to accept for my parents, who attached great importance to the idea of ​​securing themselves through studies and a secure job.

I sometimes felt like I was committing sacrilege in the eyes of some, who pushed me to hang on, reminded me that at least, after all that, I would be a doctor.

Only, I didn't want it!

Also read “They turn away from a clear path”: these thirty-something CSP+ who give up everything to live with friends

Did being a man play a role?

Of course.

It is expected that if one parent stays at home, it will be the mother, while the father earns to support the family.

I have experienced very questioning looks from some people, surprised that I like this life.

As if we, men, were not equipped with the “taking care of my child makes me fulfilled” box.

The whole of society is not designed so that the father takes his full part, but only so that he is there from time to time to “help” his wife, an expression that I hate.

Also read: New fathers: these men who do not want to earn more money, but more time with their children

How did you organize yourself financially?

My wife is lucky enough to have worked since her baccalaureate, first alone then at the head of a company, and to be passionate about her activity.

His income gave us comfort: we did not need an additional salary.

But it made us ask ourselves a lot of questions.

First to make sure he was okay with me not making any money, then to both of us agree that any money that came in was 100% joint.

All this, linked to the idea that the work I carried out for three years at home, although unpaid, has value.

You have adopted a very rare role for a man...

Yes, but without difficulty.

I see how depending on your wife, or owing her a lot, can cause great suffering for some men.

But that was never an issue with me.

I believe I have no problem with my manhood...I was raised at what I would call the borderline of deconstruction.

Let's be clear: I have played rugby all my life, my father was a coach and director of a club for years, I knew the virile atmosphere of the locker room and the bawdy songs.

But my parents also and above all passed on to me the idea that the only difference between a man and a woman is the one that we establish.

I am lucky to share my life with a passionate and hardworking woman, and that is not a problem for me.

Apart from, once again, this worry, which took me a while to get rid of: what weight did she shoulder by being solely responsible for our financial security?

The only difference between a man and a woman is the one we establish

Have you given up on the whole idea of ​​a career by becoming a stay-at-home dad?

I planned to remain a stay-at-home father at least until Gaspard was 3 years old and he started school.

The first year went into

survivor

mode  : we did what we could, day after day.

Then, a routine is established.

I had then completely integrated my role.

But, as a consumer of social networks, on which my wife works, I was struck to find so much content and information on parenting, but no male figures.

When Gaspard was 1 year old, I launched an Instagram account to share my daily life, quite naively.

It grew very quickly, precisely because it filled a gap, I believe.

I devoted myself to it very moderately until he started school and I now work there full time.

How has this changed the family balance?

This allowed me to build a more mixed pace of life, to work and to remain very present for Gaspard.

I still take care of school and the house, I still like managing meals or going to the park but, with my job, the community that I bring together or this book, I nourish myself and recharge my batteries from others things.

Not to mention that my salary allows us to gain freedom.

I can now invite my family to a restaurant or on weekends and my wife can relieve the pressure, devoting herself to more risky or less remunerative professional projects in the short term.

Beyond a business, your job is also about activism: you defend positive education practices...

I never considered that gender should influence education.

All of this relates to patriarchal and psychoanalytic concepts to which I have never given any value.

Behind positive education, a catch-all term, I put the desire to raise your child without violence and giving ample room to the expression of emotions.

My son and I are very close, we talk a lot, we cuddle and we say “I love you” ten times a day.

But I also learn, by raising him, to be a different man, capable of expressing and understanding his feelings without difficulty.

Allowing yourself to be vulnerable and sensitive seems to me to be a valuable asset and strength, it allows you to resolve problems more easily.

Much more than storing up until it explodes, as men are trained to do.

Masculinity seems to me to be one of the most epidermal subjects of the moment

Are these values ​​easy to share on social media?

Oh no, I'm the giant punching bag of education!

I was even targeted by a fairly well-known internet user, a masculinist and white supremacist, which earned me death threats.

The first online insults really hurt me, but I learned to shield myself and keep in mind the goodwill of the community that I brought together online.

I expected it, anyway: education is as intimate as it is political and masculinity seems to me to be one of the most sensitive subjects of the moment.

At least I'm letting people hear a different story.

Also read: The Dr Becky phenomenon: the New York psychologist who boosts parents' morale with her ultra-concrete advice

And how does your son experience all this?

That I am also present seems perfectly normal to him.

We actually had a big discussion recently after he told me “your job is to take care of me”.

I had to explain to him that I also had a job.

At school too, all his friends know me, I sometimes accompany them all to the park and none of them are surprised by anything.

I'm everything except the weird house dad on duty.

(1)

Stay-at-home dad: How has positive parenting changed my life?

, by Samuel Clot, Hachette Pratique editions, 120 pages, €15.

Available on leslibraires.fr.

Source: lefigaro

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