Mr Mom becoming more of a household name in US

April 12, 2007 by
Filed under: Uncategorized 

Just so you know. Don’t call me “Mr. Mom.” I’m a stay at home dad. I own my masculinity. I’m not trying to be a “mom.” I’m a “dad.”

I’m not the hapless Mr. Mom from that crappy 80s movie. I’m a Problem without a Solution. I’m a SAHD. Hear me roar.

If you’re calling yourself Mr. Mom, I’d prescribe a night of hard drinking followed by a road trip to Vegas, where you should watch a prize fight from the first row. Total the car, hit on Marg Helgenberger, then hop a flight to that weeks NASCAR event.

Failing that, just hangout for a weekend with Ragin and Eamon.

(And if you call yourself a “Mommy Daddy,” I’m going to prescribe the road trip, and the weekend with Ragin and Eamon. Maybe a full week.)

Via Yahoo News

Mr Mom becoming more of a household name in US

by Jocelyne ZablitSun Apr 8, 11:18 PM ET

The day his daughter Olivia was born, as Mark Ruis puts it, was the last day of his career — at least for the foreseeable future.

On that day three years ago, Ruis joined a growing number of men across the United States who are bucking tradition and taking on the title of Mr Mom, or stay-at-home dad.

“I didn’t think I had it in me,” Ruis, 38, of the eastern state of New Jersey, told AFP. “To be a stay-at-home nurturing parent with patience, to be able to do all the chores, all the organizational stuff, I didn’t think I could do it.

“But lo and behold, when it came down to it, I was able to.”

According to the US Census Bureau, there are 159,000 stay-at-home fathers currently in the United States, a more than three-fold increase from 1996 when they numbered 49,000.

Researchers and associations that represent these fathers, however, estimate their number to be closer to two million, as the Census Bureau figures do not take into account fathers who work part time or from the home.

And they’ve come a long way in the quarter-century since the bumbling dads in the 1983 hit “Mr Mom” starring Michael Keaton. While it may have popularized the term, the film treated the species as an oddity, a stay-at-home dad who is there because he lost his job, struggling to cope with diaper-changing, meal-cooking home multi-tasking handled “easily” by women.

As the number of men who decide to become Mr Mom grows, so has the number of support groups, play groups, blogs and products tailored to their needs, such as outdoor jackets with inside pockets large enough to hold diapers.

There is even an annual convention for stay-at-home dads where they exchange ideas, recipes and tips on child rearing and how best to cope with the initial sense of alienation and loneliness that comes with the job.

Experts attribute the increase in the number of men who abandon the briefcase and high-powered business lunch for diaper changing, homework and housework to the fact that many women in the workforce today are earning more than their male partners.

They also say that there is less stigma attached nowadays to a man staying home to take care of his children.

Ruis, for example, said he decided to abandon his job in management because his wife, a high-level executive, was the primary breadwinner.

“More women are in higher paying and higher status positions than there used to be,” said Aaron Rochlen, associate professor in psychology at the University of Texas, who specializes in research on men and masculinity.

“So even if it’s difficult for some men to make the decision to stay home and take care of the kids, more of them are making it in part because of the practical economics,” added Rochlen, who just competed a study on stay-at-home dads.

He said that of 210 men who took part in his study, those that seemed to be struggling with their role were men who adhere to traditional norms of masculinity.

On the flip side, men who had a less traditional and less restrictive upbringing seemed to adjust well to their role as stay-at-home fathers.

Peter Steinberg, 42, who lives near Washington, said he and his wife decided about seven years ago that it would be wiser for him to abandon his job as a social worker to take care of their two daughters, now aged 10 and 12, as his spouse’s salary as a policy analyst was much higher than his.

“The first day I did this was probably the best because I woke up and it was almost like being on vacation,” he recalled. “The second day it hit me that not only was I responsible for these two kids but I was responsible for everything else that needed to get done.”

He said he now feels comfortable with his role although some people still assume when they see him with his daughters that he is a dad who has taken the day off from work so that his stay-at-home wife can rest.

Steinberg and several other fathers interviewed said apart from the gratification they get from spending time with their children, their Mr Mom role has also prompted them to have a newfound admiration for women.

“This has really made me appreciate my parents’ work on raising me better and on the real true work that women do, that over the ages has been unheralded,” said Howard Youth, 41, a stay-at-home dad near Washington whose wife is in the foreign service.

“When my mother found out I was planning on staying home with the kids, her eyes got wide and she had one piece of advice,” added Youth, who has a four-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter. “She said ‘just realize that whenever you get to see adults again, make sure you don’t cut up their food for them.'”

Comments

No Comments on Mr Mom becoming more of a household name in US

  1. Barrie on Thu, 19th Apr 2007 10:49 am
  2. just realize that whenever you get to see adults again, make sure you don’t cut up their food for them.’”

    ROFL! Oh my! I scolded one of friends the other day, they were over visiting and started yelling to their spouse in the back of the house, next thing I knew I was calling out “Inside voice, please!” So embarrassing!

    Gotta tell you this, because you will appreciate it: This morning Janey came into the bathroom with me and after I was done, handed me the TP and said “Clean your butt now!” I, of course, compled and she then said, “Good job, Bawie!”

    I feel so validated in my wiping technique. LOL

    Barrie R.

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