Feminist Housedude

feminist housedudeSo I’m sitting in my office reading this article by Lisa Miller from New York magazine about “feminist housewives” that just came out a couple of days ago. And I’m feeling annoyed. Not because I think feminism and housewifery are somehow at odds – not at all. I have quite a few feminist friends who stay at home with their kids. And, to be perfectly honest, if I had the option of hopping off the tenure track for a year and then hopping right back on, I would probably opt to do that. This idea of progressive moms who choose to stay home is old news to me.

[And can I just take a quick aside to say that I’m feeling really hemmed in by terminology here. So let me say, loud and clear, that I fully believe all moms are working moms and stay-at-home moms don’t just stay at home like weird recluses all day and working moms are fulltime parents, too. Sigh. We seriously need some new monikers that don’t automatically catapult us into Mommy Warzones.]

Anyway, I’m annoyed at this article. You are encouraged to read it for yourself, but for those who trust my interpretive lens, I’ll recap a few salient points for you. Miller’s article primarily focuses on a self-proclaimed feminist named Kelly Makino, who:

believes that every household needs one primary caretaker, that women are, broadly speaking, better at that job than men … The maternal instinct is a real thing, Kelly argues: Girls play with dolls from childhood, so “women are raised from the get-go to raise children successfully. When we are moms, we have a better toolbox.” Women, she believes, are conditioned to be more patient with children, to be better multitaskers, to be more tolerant of the quotidian grind of playdates and temper tantrums; “women,” she says, “keep it together better than guys do.”

The article goes on to describe how, despite the fact that “college students of both genders almost universally tell social scientists that they want marriages in which housework, child care, professional ambition, and moneymaking will be respectfully negotiated and fully shared,” those egalitarian aspirations typically remain unrealized. By and large, we continue to live in a reality in which the bulk of domestic labor is left to women, regardless of who is working outside the home.

We’ve all heard of the second shift, a nickname for the phenomenon of working mothers coming home to an additional “shift” of domestic duties. The second wave of the feminist movement unleashed a surge of women into the workforce (so much so that we’re now at the point where women actually account for more than half of that workforce), but there has not been a parallel pendulum swing going the other way. Work on the home front continues to align with traditional gender roles, despite the destabilization of gender roles outside the home. There may be a balance of male and female laborers in the workforce now (speaking in terms of numbers only), but there has not been a corresponding rebalancing of labor in the domestic sphere.

And guess what, chicas? It’s partially our fault. According to Miller, both men and women police these gendered lines. Women fall into ‘gatekeeping’ behavior by not trusting men to adequately perform domestic duties. We’re afraid they won’t do it “right” — i.e., like we would do it — so we just do it ourselves. This creates a feedback loop of gatekeeping on the part of women, and learned helplessness on the part of men, until voila, you have a huge imbalance.

I used to balk at this gatekeeping argument as a way of explaining the inequity of domestic labor. It seemed a little like blaming the victim. But then I began to catch myself doing it. I noticed, for example, when Michael would dress Julian for the day in clothes that I had neatly categorized, in my own mind, as pajamas – and I was annoyed. I wanted to correct him. I probably did a few times.

While I was on maternity leave for three months, Michael and I were both at home full time, and because I was breastfeeding around the clock, we fell into a pattern where I did the primary childcare duties, and Michael handled most of the other domestic stuff, like cooking and cleaning. (I literally cannot remember the last time I cooked a meal. It’s been months.)

So Julian and I developed a nice rhythm, we were pretty in sync with one another, and when the time came for me to go back to work, it was somewhat of an adjustment for Michael to suddenly be on all-day baby duty three times a week.

The first day after my leave ended, Michael called me that afternoon to say that Julian had been crying inconsolably for the past half-hour. “Do you think he might be hungry?” He asked. I’m not sure what I actually said, but in my mind I bitchily replied, “Hmmm, you think? Maybe try feeding him before calling me and asking me to intuit his needs from afar.”

Those first few days were a bit rough on the home front, and I began to wonder if perhaps Julian and I did indeed share some mystical, unique bond that Michael wouldn’t be able to match, because he didn’t, as a man, have access to that oh-so-magical maternal instinct.

Well, fast forward four weeks to today. Actually, we don’t even have to go that far. Within one week or so, ladies and gents, my husband had transformed into a bearded, tattooed Donna Reed. These days, I come home from work to see a cute little baby boy cuddled in the Moby wrap with his dad, who is cooking something awesome for dinner.

daddy moby

Michael has mastered the art of putting him down for naps, feeding him with a bottle full of breastmilk, and, hardest of all, the art of intuiting when Julian is hungry, tired, or just needs to cuddle. Michael is a cloth-diapering wizard, an amazing cook, a master gardener. He’s established a seamless rhythm with Julian that is simply beautiful to witness.

One of the unforeseen benefits of me returning to work has been this: Julian is now deeply bonded to both of us. He is just as content to be in Michael’s arms as he is to be in mine. This means that when I’m at work, or at lunch with friends, I feel completely at ease because I know Michael is fully adept at caring for our son.

I’ve also realized that those initial glitches we experienced didn’t have anything to do with the fact that Michael is a man; they had EVERYTHING to do with the fact that he hadn’t yet been forced to be primarily responsible for Julian’s daily care.

I told you earlier that I was sitting in my office while I was reading this article. Let me flesh that scene out for you a bit more. I’m in my office, sitting at my desk, pumping breast milk. My shiny new iPhone is next to me, and it keeps buzzing because Michael is sending videos of Julian, just up from a nice long nap, honing his elephant-grabbing skills on the play mat. In the foreground of the video is a happy baby, rested and fed; in the background I can see a row of clean cloth diapers ready to be folded, and off-camera is Michael, with joy and ease in his voice as he eggs Julian on, telling him that pretty soon he’ll be in Cirque de Soleil.

What annoys me most about Miller’s article is that it ostensibly calls women out for reinforcing the idea that men are inept caretakers, yet by framing this caretaking conflict as a woman’s dilemma, the article subtly perpetuates the myth that dudes can’t hack it on the home front.

The woman interviewed in the article, Makino, sees her choice to stay home as revolutionary. “The feminist revolution started in the workplace, and now it’s happening at home,” she says. But I don’t see her choice as revolutionary. Totally legitimate, absolutely — but not revolutionary. I don’t think it’s a giant leap forward for women to opt to stay at home simply because they are women.

What WOULD be revolutionary would be to stop seeing the home as a gendered space. That’s where the revolution still needs to happen. Not with women continuing to be responsible for the bulk of domestic work, but with both sexes letting their domestic Gods and Goddesses shine forth by actively choosing to home-make and co-parent together.

This means that, yes, men need to be left alone with their own children and forced to fend for themselves on a regular basis. And if this means that your baby has mismatched socks, or that he wears pajamas all day, that is totally fine. YOU WILL ALL SURVIVE. Not only that; you’ll be better off.

****

[Am I giving the article a bad rap? Do women make better caretakers? Are domestic gender roles a positive thing? Comment and share your thoughts.]

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40 comments

  1. Melanie

    Haven’t read the entire article, but the part you quote makes my blood boil. What stupid generalizations. (And FWIW, my husband handles the “quotidian grind” of playdates much better than do I.) You also do a great job of exploring the reasons why we are apt to make these generalizations. I’ve often said that 1) co-parenting as we do is a gift to my kids, as they know their dads more richly and deeply than do many of their friends, whose contact with their dads is limited to evenings and weekends (that seems somewhat judgy, but I’ll stand by it); and 2) sometimes women enable the gendered space at home by struggling to cede control. We have to be willing to give that up. Like you, I used to get annoyed when Ron would let the kids wear what I had labelled “only at home, and to bed” clothes (I was appalled when Ben showed up at work one spring day with an orange Halloween shirt on top of a green PJ top). At some point, if I wanted to let him co-parent, I had to let stuff like that go. I’m still trying . . . At any rate, thanks for a thoughtful and interesting post!

  2. Becky

    It has been hugely helpful for my control issues regarding parenting to go away for awhile. Even a few hours makes a difference, honestly, especially if I can bite my tongue about giving lots of instructions. But a few days away is really good, because it allows my husband to get into his own groove. Still, after 6.5 years of co-parenting where he’s spent (in certain seasons) significant time at home caring for children so I can work, it does not come easily to either of us. He still gets flustered by how much there is to do and multi-task, I still worry that the kids are going to have to feed themselves raisins for breakfast and that I’ll come home to an enormous mess. He misses things, and I struggle to be okay with that. I know they’re not going to die or anything, and that he’s a wonderful parent, but it does feel like those little things matter for their stability and overall well-being. Do I have more control I need to let go? Absolutely. Am I enabling his learned helplessness? Likely. Do I also have a point? Maybe???

    • Abigail

      Yes, I think it is so important for moms to get some away time, both for themselves, and for their partner to be forced to realize that the home is his domain, too. Co-parenting can be really hard, sometimes, I think; we’ve absorbed such rigid expectations about what women should do, and what men should do — and more importantly, we’ve learned to value those things differently. So it’s not just up to women to shift the balance; men need to begin to really see the work they do at home as valuable, essential, and just as vital to the wellbeing of their family as earning a paycheck.

  3. Paula Hampton

    Thanks for the great post. Didn’t read the quoted article (I DO trust your interpretive lens).
    #1 – Thanks for the side comments about the restrictive language we use. I chose to be a “stay-at-home” mom for 20 years; I felt blessed that my husband’s salary gave me that choice. But I’m almost hesitant to admit that to today’s young moms, because I don’t want to be lumped into a one-size-fits-all category. I hope I was a “progressive” mom in some ways nearly 25 years ago.
    #2 – Women DO perpetuate the “gendered space” by being control freaks. What guy would WANT to take responsibility if his attempts were always met with bossy instructions on “the right way to do it”? Sheesh. Give up the perfection.
    #3 – my story: when I went back to work part-time after our first child (a daughter) was born, my husband and I agreed that we would not pay for childcare on days he was off from school (he was teaching then). Spring break that year he took care of Kelsey while I was at work, and that was that. Same thing that first summer. He even took her along to wrestling practices a couple of times during Christmas break. They continue to share a strong bond. I hate it when I hear dads say they are “babysitting” their own kids! ARGH. They’re PARENTING.

    • Abigail

      Yes, totally agree on all counts! I didn’t mention this part, but the Miller article talks about how, in France men and women profess to have egalitarian ideals, but when French men have the option of caring for their children, they will often opt to pay for childcare instead. That idea REALLY bothers me.

  4. Mariah Carrillo

    Oh praise God you wrote this. I read that article and was pissed off for the whole day. I especially loved the privilege that was so easily tossed off, talking about how “[the Makino family] would live off [Alvin’s] low-six-figure income” and “[Kelly’s] sacrifice of a salary tightened the Makinos’ upper-middle-class budget, but the subversion of her personal drive pays them back in ways Kelly believes are priceless.” Really? A six figure salary is low? Or a sacrifice? And as you mentioned, the stereotypes about women being better at parenting than men were just so tired and awful.

    • Abigail

      You are so right about the privilege thing — I noticed that, too. Being able to make it on only one income IS a privilege, and it’s unrealistic for many families. Michael and I live very simply, but we have had to dip into savings for him to be at home these past few months; let’s just say that I make NOWHERE NEAR a six-figure salary!! (And probably never will…)

  5. b

    “I noticed, for example, when Michael would dress Julian for the day in clothes that I had neatly categorized, in my own mind, as pajamas – and I was annoyed. I wanted to correct him. I probably did a few times.” This has totally NEVER HAPPENED in my household…um, I mean to say, it has happened…This is all so complicated though—because why shouldn’t the person who had typically dressed the baby during infancy not have or develop feelings about what is appropriate in that area? You’re not saying s/he shouldn’t, but why would we see gender as the determining fixation in that interaction? I guess because dressing the child is traditionally not the father’s role. But for me, the problem comes in when just normal life and figuring things out becomes always conflated with these kinds of problems. It’s everywhere. Anyway, all this is just to say: we’ve been there with the clothes thing, that’s all!

    • Abigail

      That’s a great point. The “gatekeeping” stuff isn’t always about gender. I think as parents we get so invested in the work we do; we HAVE to believe that the way we do things is the best for our child, so it can be really hard when a partner does it differently.

  6. Ryan Blanchard

    When I lost my job last summer, I volunteered to be stay at home dad to our son, partially because I was terrified of trying to get back into the work force..actually it was mostly that. I hated the infant phase with our oldest, but I had five months to get ready for baby #2, and it seemed like it would help our family grow closer. What I’ve learned since #2 was born in January is that the reason I hated the infant phase with #1 is that I never had to be in charge. The most responsibility I ever had to take on was a 2 hour period where my wife went shopping alone. And those 2 hours were terrible! But when I really had to handle him by myself all day, it went better than I ever imagined it would. He slept way more than he does when mom is home (because bottles let him eat more food quickly – at least that’s my thesis). He only seems to cry when he’s hungry, and lately he’s even giving me 15 minutes of floor time so I can fold laundry. It’s been a really great experience for us. 2 days ago I got the kind of job I’ve wanted for a long time, and I’m surprisingly sad about having to give up my stay at home dad status. But at least I know that if I ever have to do it again, I can handle it, and will enjoy it.

    One huge benefit to me has been the Portland stay at home dads group (Portland Dads At Home on Facebook). A group of us dads have been meeting once or twice a week for coffee with our kids since last fall, and it’s been a great sounding board, both for parenting ideas (which don’t remotely resemble the mom coffees , or so I hear), and for general adult conversation that is greatly missed after the baby comes.

    Anyway, I completely agree with you – forced full time parenting will produce good results, and it doesn’t really matter who stays home. The benefits are the same, and either parent is capable.

  7. Susiemessmaker

    Love your take, Abby. I am now coming to the realization after co-parenting with Brian for the last 3 1/2 years, that he is actually better at all this stuff than I am. I still get territorial, you can ask him. But now I admit, he is better at grocery shopping, getting the girl to school on time, cooking meals, keeping the house clean, and pretty much everything else. He and I have often talked about how we think our relationship is better because we do all of these things together and have pretty much refused to make our home a gendered space. When I told my friends in college that I wanted to marry a feminist, they thought that I was going to marry a woman. I believe that my daughters will grow up to see their father as the best example of a feminist that they can find.

    • Abigail

      Love this! Michael and I have had similar conversations, about how he, in some ways, has a personality better suited to be the at-home caretaker. I honestly think my personal and professional lives would be hell if I didn’t have a partner committed to co-parenting.

  8. Daniel P. G.

    Awesome! Kudo’s to Michael’s kickass pompadour in the second picture–a quiff or ragged pomp befits him. I’ll just throw in that it really goes without saying, but this kind of mentality is engendered by common sterotypes. Remember the sitcoms of the 80s and 90s, where fathers or husbands played bumbling idiots who couldn’t operate at home without a woman stepping in and reaffirming her strength (this is also metonymically conceptualized as place) in the house. I don’t see anything wrong with the strength model, I think it’s a positive image with unintended consequences e.g. bumbling idiot husbands. I think it has potential to be negative when conceptualized as place, I think that depends on whether the person is at home their or not. People rarely feel stuck in their strengths.

    It bothers me though when we treat household labor like a job. I know that sounds nutty. I realize that it is ‘literally’, and I understand that socially the move to do so brings awareness to the inequality of economies and the division of labor. I just think it also brings in management and superiority related conceptualizations. I think this is probably one of the most common problems in all households even those reconstructing roles. A relationship where one person manages another is not equality. The language of standards plays into this because standards are treated like rules. They become mechanisms of control in some sense. An example of this is our bathroom. Recently, CPG cleaned it. I have a different standard for how the bathroom is cleaned, and I teased CPG comparing my standard to hers. I say I teased her because I knew she was getting ready for work that day, and also because I planned on cleaning it later. I’ll admit that this preference is only a recent development. For a long time, I would randomly (as in rarely) clean our old bathroom to my standard. It took me some time until I developed my preference and put it into action. I basically had to stop drinking beer in the morning and burning my toast with power tools and instead prioritize the bathroom. Now I clean it regularly, and I appreciate it when CPG cleans it to her standard, but I don’t expect her to do it to my standard. I think preferences allow you to recognize someones labor without comparing them negatively to your own. A standard, however, is a rule and it’s hard to operate with unmet standards save lowering them. That kind of language is the language of superiority and inequality. I think if you consider your position as a preference than you won’t have to feel like you’re lowering your standard, and some of the messy arguments that develop out of trying to manage each other or feeling superior won’t be as likely.

    Here’s a question, and I don’t mean for it to sound like an apologists question, but I’m curious about the unintended consequences of gender and housework? Specifically, whether their are any jobs that our partner does that we tend to ignore in our discussion about workload because they don’t fit into our model of what counts as housework. I think this relates to some extent to that tricky puzzle roles that develop out of strengths as positive although not necessarily structured from gender (as your post points out). I’ll admit that this is influenced from a disagreement CPG and I once had where we realized that there were jobs we were doing that the other didn’t consider ‘housework’.

  9. Shelly

    As the working mom to my husband’s stay at home dad, things like this article tend to make my blood boil. Feminism has afforded me the ability to be the primary bread winner, but the men who are primary caregivers seem to be lost in what society deems acceptable. Why is it that women can span the spectrum, but men are seen as less than equal when it comes to child rearing? My husband tends to get strange looks when he’s out with our daughter alone. At work, I get asked who is watching the baby – after stating my husband is staying at home, it’s usually met with “awww, dad is babysitting!” No, he’s taking care of our daughter, keeping up our home, and always has dinner hot and ready for me when I get home from work. That’s been met with “well, you found the perfect wife!” On the bright side, our daughter (and your son) will not grow up with gender role distinction – hopefully the next generation will not be so closed minded!

    • Abigail

      Ugh, yeah, the peanut gallery. My husband told me about how he went for a walk with the baby yesterday, and he was wearing a peach colored T-shirt, and a group of middle schoolers started pointing at him and saying, “look! He has a pink shirt and he’s carrying a baby!” Sigh. Hopefully when those kids are parents, that won’t seem like such an anomaly.

  10. Brian

    I don’t even think I”m gonna go and read the article – I’ve primarily been the stay at home parent for the better part of 2 years now and I can’t tell you how many rude and obnoxious comments I’ve heard from people about me being the man/dad and staying home with my kids. Right now that’s just how it works best. My wife and I certainly don’t have the “traditional” relationship (and I use that loosely, I suppose). We have our arguments sometimes about who is doing what – but we really sort of divide and conquer when it comes to household chores – I cook and do dishes, my wife does all the laundry (and there is so much more now with 2 kids) and from there we really trade off on things. Couples have to find what works for them and others need to stay out of the way of what works for others!

    • Abigail

      Amen to that, Brian! Good for you for finding the balance that works best for your family right now. And yeah, don’t read the article – not worth the blood pressure spike. :)

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  12. Déjà

    I love your take, but I also loved the article. Is that possible and/or okay? My story feels complicated, but basically I always thought I’d be a working mom, and I’m not (aside from freelance work from home), and I’m slowly embracing my role, and hoping there’s something to it. The article, to me, felt like a big pat on the head. It told me I can do what I’m doing, that I’m good at it, and I don’t have to lose my identity as a feminist or an intellectual. That said, the passages you quote are totally silly, and my husband is already way better at a lot of parenting stuff. I try not to let that make me feel bad. We talk a lot about him staying home and me going to work, since he really hates working and I don’t mind it, but honestly, I’m pretty sure (and he agrees) that he’d never do laundry or cook or clean. And there ain’t no way I want to work full-time and then come home and do that.

    But here’s what I really think: this working/parenting thing is insanely individual, and any kind of generalization is nearly pointless, so you’re totally right there. I think we’re all just looking for pats on the head. The article was one for me. And here’s one for you: your set-up sounds awesome and your husband is clearly rad.

    • Abigail

      That’s totally possible and okay! I was aware that, as I wrote the post, my main issues were with what the woman being interviewed said, rather than the article as a whole. I’m glad you felt encouraged reading it; you should feel encouraged! Being an at-home mom IN NO WAY compromises your identity as a feminist or an intellectual! You’re still totally legit. ;) And I completely agree that generalization is pointless when it comes to the work/life balancing act — every couple and family has its own unique skill set and needs. (And yes, my husband is rad!)

  13. Korie Buerkle

    Thanks for writing this. I’ve been a working mom while my husband has been home with the kids for 4 years now. I’m a librarian, so the budget is tight, but it’s been worth it. Working at a job with children and families I have received several less-than-gracious comments about our parenting choice. I often wonder if people are feeling defensive about their own choices, or think I’m judging them because we chose something different?

    There is a longish story behind our parenting decision, but over the years I’ve realized the truth is that my husband is a better stay-at-home parent than I would be. This was a hard truth for me to acknowledge. Especially full of new-parent and nursing hormones, and a thyroid catastrophe. But I’m finally at peace that I’m not less or more of a woman because my husband is better all day with the kids. I’m just a parent loving my family the best way I know how.

    P.S. We have a storytime for babies birth to 1 year on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. at the library :0)

    • Abigail

      Thanks for sharing a bit of your story; there are many similarities to our situation. And double thanks for telling me about the baby story hour at the library!!! Maybe I’ll come tomorrow. :)

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  16. Jussame

    When my husband started transitioning to primary caregiver for our son and was having a hard time with it he made some comment like “women are just better at this stuff,” to which I replied: looking after a baby is like playing a video game, and I’ve been playing it full-time for six months so I’m at a waaaay higher level than you. You just have to catch up.

    And he did, and then some…

  17. truthmills

    planning to be, but not yet a mom and defniitely saving this article for my hubby to read at a later date. what a perfect summation of the issue. last paragraph = priceless. thanks for this!

  18. Anonymous

    I appreciate your story. my dh is at home fulltime and hasnt worked since our kids have been born. However my youngest has never accepted me goibg to work. After two years we can only say it is something to do with her early bonding when dh spent a lot of time caring for her older sister and she sees me as hers. she likes to smell and squeeze me and cuddle and will not have a bar of daddy when i am at home, despite me havibg worked part tine since maternity leave and fulltime since she turned one. Our eldest didnt mind so much.

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  20. talesfromthescaffolding

    I grew up with a stay-at-home dad. He had a tax business that he ran from our house from before I was born until 4th or 5th grade, when he decided to change careers and finally started having to “go into work”. My mom was an elementary school teacher, so she had most summers off too (which meant we could take awesome vacations). My mom does much better when she has reasons to get out of the house, and my Dad was never as crazy his job and I think would have loved continuing to stay at home if they had thought that was feasible. Mom needed the social aspect of her job in a way that I think Dad never did.

    Anyways, I don’t know exactly how they divided the “parenting”, but my memories as a kid were of Dad making dinner most weeknights and Mom making dinner on the weekends. Dad made sure I got to the bus stop/school/etc, if I got sick “no, don’t call my mom, she’s at work. Call my dad, he’ll pick me up”. When I got home the first thing I would do is check in with Dad in his home office (I bet he did a lot of his work after we went to bed). Mom would make sure I got my homework done, but Dad would spend hours (well, what felt like AWESOME hours) reading to me as a child. We would read chapter books together at night; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will always remind me of my Dad. He would take me to baseball games and basketball games (when I was older), and took me to the park and we would play catch. At the same time, he wasn’t trying to make me a boy/tomboy at all, he was just doing things to bond with me and get me outside. Mom was always the moneymaker, but I KNEW they both loved me. Mom was a bit more of the discipline-er, but I think that just came with the “teacher” territory. I was always under the impression that they had good open communication about things “behind the bedroom doors”, so that they mostly presented a “united parent front” to the kids. (Again, that stuff’s a bit hazy, I was under 10, after all)

    Somewhere in my teen years it become much easier to relate to my mom, and I don’t know if that has to do with female bonding, the fact that Dad was no longer available much now that he had “regular job” hours, or to other factors. I do know that while it’s easier for me to talk to my mom these days, she judges everything much harsher, and is the one always questioning the “practicality” of my dreams. Dad was the one who was so thrilled about the idea of me being able to love my work, that he was excited when I told them I wanted to major in Theatre and do it professionally as my job. My mom just thought about the money I was never going to make, and tried to talk me out of it. Dad wrote cover letters for me to send to all the theatres in town to try to get a summer internship. Mom and I thought that it was silly, but sent them in to appease him. Sure enough, I did, in fact, manage to get a summer internship with one of those cover letters that turned into a reoccurring summer gig every summer of college. He is the one who has supported me instantly and unconditionally in many of my choices.

    All that to say, Dads are awesome, and I don’t remember a single “bad” thing about growing up with a “stay at home” Dad. I think I grew up pretty well, and am glad to have all of the memories that I do and to be able to say to the nay-sayers “My Dad stayed at home and I turned out fine”. And even thought sometimes I think he’s crazy, his ideas are actually awesome and I should listen to them more often.

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  22. squachi

    I think you are pretty much spot on… It’s nice to see a woman giving men a hand up at care taking with children, and not just claiming equality across the board while holding child raising as a female exclusive. Congrats on the munchkin… they are fulfilling.

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