The rise of Mr. Mom is great, but not for my family!
For some weird reason it wasn't up until recently that I started noticing how many stay-at-home Dads there are in New York City. I have to admit, I do wonder how couples decide to have Dad in the traditional Mom role--and mostly--how they make it work.
I have been obsessively asking people around me (both men and women) about this and it seems that most people believe that for most couples it's a choice that comes down to economics, especially if you live in a big city where the cost of childcare has skyrocketed!
Many couples do the math and realize that it makes more financial sense for one spouse to stay home with the kids. While it used to be automatically assumed that mami decided to leave her job, things have radically changed over the last couple of decades cause, guess what? Tons of women make more money than their husbands. Even though the ridiculous wage gap between men and women persists, a growing number of women are out-earning their men and becoming head of the household.
Lynda Laughlin, a family demographer at the Census Bureau points out, "Fathers have become more available. It's a combination of mothers going to work and fathers being out of work as a result of the recession."
As much as I applaud this phenomenon, it's very surprising to me. Being Latina, it's hard for me to believe that this role reversal comes easy for our men. Some of them told me flat out that they would have difficulty assuming primary responsibility for their children, others even admitted it would make them feel "less of a man." I hate that argument, but at least they were honest.
When I think about how does this would make ME feel, I have to admit, I'm not so sure I would like it. Does that make me traditional or even ridiculous? Maybe, but when I picture my husband cooking, doing house chores, planning play-dates, helping with homework, or getting our kids ready for school, I'm pretty sure I want to keep my Mom job. Even if that means doing way more than I can sometimes handle. As women we we have proven to be geniuses at multi-tasking. I'm not so sure that men can handle as much. I'm sorry, but I'm not.
My mother always tells me that my husband is a good father because he is so involved! This makes me laugh, because while my husband is a GREAT dad, he's not involved in school or any of those other day-to-day things at all.
"Oh Sofia, your father never even knew where your school was, in fact he never met your pediatrician," my mom sighed.
Times have changed, not just stay-at-home dads, but fathers in general are participating more in their children's lives. I love that, but picturing my husband wearing an apron and watching daytime TV just gives me the creeps.
What do you think of the rise of Mr Mom? Would you want to switch roles with your husband?
Image via John Carelton/flickr