The Perfect Man?

After 42 years of searching, I've found the perfect man. My apologies to the most important man in my life: It's not you, honey. It's a total stranger who took a year off to care for his daughter and lived to tell the tale of playgrounds, playdates, the joys of having a glass of wine with the stay-at-home mom crowd, and surviving interrogation from his hard-charging doctor father (What do you do all day? When are you going back to work? I never changed a diaper -- why are you?).

I spied Brian Braiker's October 8 Newsweek article Just Don't Call Me Mr. Mom over the shoulder of a gray-bearded gent on an airplane last week. I was prepared to hate Mr. Braiker, a Newsweek staffer and father of two. Did he expect glorification for attempting, for 12 measly months, what millions of women do every day for our entire lives?

He disarmed me only a few sentences into the piece by proclaiming that no, he did not want a medal. And his descriptions of stay-at-home parenthood made me laugh out loud. Because as we all know, taking care of children full-time is more hilarious than any sitcom. And at times boring, frustrating and stinky, which he also admitted. And a blow to one's self-esteem and bank account. And the most glorious experience on earth. In other words, Brian Braiker became a mom for a year. Like all my favorite moms, he loved it -- and was candid about how excruciatingly hard it can be. Although he does really hate being called Mr. Mom.

More dads are experimenting with full-time parenthood. In the last decade, the number of stay-at-home dads tripled. Dads, in general, are spending nearly three times as much time with their children as their own fathers did. University of Maryland research shows that in 1965 men spent just 2.6 hours a week with their kids--today that number is up to 6.5 hours. This is great for kids -- studies show that involvement with dads raises children's self-esteem. It's good for dads, too. They benefit from the intrinsic joys of being the center of kids' worlds, and dads who've done it understand full-time childcare realities better, with important long-term societal implications.

And the Mr. Moms out there give us Ms. Moms the freedom to work a few extra hours, to go to career-building classes or conferences, or at least to occasionally make it to yoga or have one uninterrupted phone call. Because when there is someone else to whom we don't pay half our take-home salary lovingly tending to our kids, it breaks up some of the intense responsibility of full-time parenthood. In other words, the more involved dads become in daily childrearing, the more balance we can all find in our lives.

Have you tried being Mr. Mom? Do you have one in your life? What do you think about dads who want to be their children's primary caregivers? What can we do to support them?

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  October 22, 2007; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Dads
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"What do you think about dads who want to be their children's primary caregivers? "

What do you think about moms who what to be their children's primary caregivers?

WHO CARES!! As long as it works for the family, who cares.

Oh, and first.

Posted by: r6345 | October 22, 2007 7:25 AM

SHUT UP

Posted by: obblehit | October 22, 2007 7:31 AM

In sharkland, after the birth, both Mrs. Mako and I take equal responsiblity for the little Makos. But then, every day is a potluck dinner day and the little makos come out biting.

BTW, obblehit, feeling ugly this a.m.?

Posted by: nonamehere | October 22, 2007 7:59 AM

Is it me, or is Mr. Mom kinda hot?

(On to actually read the article . . .)

Posted by: WorkingMomX | October 22, 2007 8:17 AM

This guy isn't the perfect man to me. The perfect man is someone entering a marriage who is willing to frankly discuss issues without resorting to biases, who thinks outside the box, who encourages me to think outside the box, and who has a sense of humour. This guy was a stay-at-hom Dad for a year. He writes well about his experiences. That is about it. He is a good showman. I'm just not into showmanship, but rather, I'm into reality.

Posted by: dotted_1 | October 22, 2007 8:27 AM

"What do you think about dads who want to be their children's primary caregivers?

1. He's a fruitcake. (Not that there's anything wrong with that)
2. He's landed in a situation that's less than optimal, (like mom not there physically or mentally) and trying to make the best of it.
3. Wife or girlfriend has higher earning potential.
or, most likely:
4. All of the above.

Posted by: GutlessCoward | October 22, 2007 8:32 AM

Okay, I've read the article, and hotness aside (and the photograph isn't the author, I learned), I'm with Dotted on this one. I think the author needs to be a dad for a while longer, though I do certainly applaud his efforts thus far.

My own perfect man took turns with me over the weekend as we held our 3 year old upright while she slept at night so she could breathe (she's got a hideous head cold, and of course there's no more OTC cold medicine available at her age). And he insisted I sleep in on Sunday after all that. He's a great partner and a wonderful dad.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | October 22, 2007 8:39 AM

First thought: He's a cutie, looks like Chris Cornell. Sad to hear it's not him, WorkingMomX.

I have to say, I love the thought of hipster NYers putting Sex Pistol stickers on their $800 strollers. I can't get over people buying $800 strollers! It would have to act as a car seat, jogging stroller, changing table, crib, and high chair and weight less than 5lbs for me to spend that kind of money. On the other hand, I happily put a Tool sticker on my junker minivan. It wouldn't be nearly as punk rock to put it on a shiny new mommy SUV.

Posted by: atb2 | October 22, 2007 8:56 AM

Tried being Mrs. Mom, and hated it. He tried being Mr. Mom, and loves it (most days). What do I think of him for it? I love him all the more for being willing to try something "outside the norm", for doing something with finesse that I found so hard, and for admitting that it's often hard. (I think I'd hate it if he said it was completely easy.) We often say that each thinks the other has the harder job: makes for wonderful opportunities to take care of each other, and find ways to let each other do the hobby or downtime things that we each find enjoyable.

Posted by: tina | October 22, 2007 9:02 AM

The perfect Dad is the guy whose wife died of breast cancer at 8 o'clock Saturday night. He pulled the girls out of school the last week or so so that they could spend their mother's last days with her. Sixteen and thirteen years old. Fortunately, he's always been close to them - softball coach, band volunteer, volunteer homework mentor, and more. They're gonna need every bit of that closeness to get by.

He's the second one of my friends whose wife has died this year (the other one was from liver failure in March), leaving a 12 year old daughter and 8 year old son.

Life stinks. Balance that.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | October 22, 2007 9:04 AM

The article is nice and all, but Leslie...why do you insist on calling him and others Mr. Mom? The same way most wome are insulted these days if you call them a housewife...it is insulting to call dads who stay home Mr. Mom. Do you call wone who work Mrs. Dad? I sure hope not. If you want the dialogue about balance to be a fruitful one I suggest that you refrain from using the term so casually. It does a disservice to all the dads who stay home with their kids and those who are equal partners in the parenting game. I will be co-oping at my son's school next week for the first time and I sure hope no one refers to me as Mr. Mom.

Posted by: happydad | October 22, 2007 9:05 AM

"University of Maryland research shows that in 1965 men spent just 2.6 hours a week with their kids--today that number is up to 6.5 hours"

I wonder if the study factor out fathers who don't live with their kids (i.e. divorce, dead, knocked up a girl and left town, etc). That could skew the number of hours downward significantly.

Posted by: r6345 | October 22, 2007 9:06 AM

Oh, ArmyBrat, that's tragic. What a thing to happen. And really something to make all of us think.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | October 22, 2007 9:07 AM

Am I the only one who is bothered by the term Mr. Mom - Is the wife of a Mr. Mom a Mrs. Dad? We need to get past the assumption that Mom = primary caregiver and the Dad who does this is fullfilling the Mom's role instead of just being a parent and doing what is best for his particular family. Even if this is never as common as a SAHM we need to get past the assumption this is a Mom's role/job so that the option is there based on circumstances and these men are not looked on as somehow different or this is less than optimal (see gutless cowards comments)

Posted by: mom_of_1 | October 22, 2007 9:09 AM

No, you're not the only one who is bothered by the term. As long as Leslie and others insist on referring to a father who is the primary caregiver as "Mr. Mom" instead of "Dad", the gender stereotypes are going to be perpetuated.

I think it's sad that women keep saying they want equality in the workplace and at home, and then the same women use terms like "Mr. Mom".

Posted by: dennis5 | October 22, 2007 9:26 AM

If I ever have a child (not married), after the first few months - where the Mom should stay with the baby - I will stay home and take care of him/her - because I want to. She can go to work.

Posted by: cmecyclist | October 22, 2007 9:30 AM

I agree with the previous posts. I don't like the term "Mr. Mom" at all. A pet peeve of mine is when Dads seem to congratulate themselves for spending more than an hour/day with their children.

Growing up, a few of my friends lost their mothers at early ages for tragic reasons (one was murdered coming back from church; another died of cancer). ArmyBrat is right - these Dads are the heroes. But so are single moms.

That said, I applaud men for trying out the SAHD thing. If nothing else, it helps reshape traditional gender roles.

Posted by: londonmom | October 22, 2007 9:35 AM

Life stinks. Balance that.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | October 22, 2007 09:04 AM

ArmyBrat, how awful. I can't imagine how tough it is to be either of your friends, their now-motherless kids, or you - trying to be a good friend to all through a pain that won't end. Thanks for the perspective-check on a Monday morning. No whining today.


after the first few months - where the Mom should stay with the baby - . . . .

Posted by: cmecyclist | October 22, 2007 09:30 AM


WTF??

Posted by: mn.188 | October 22, 2007 9:38 AM

Mr. Mom is an awful term...almost as inaccurate as stay-at-home mom. But I think it does capture the fact that this guy was a MOM for a year. He fit our culture's stereotypical "mom" job description -- responsible for all facets of daily childcare, with the burdens and benefits of being a "mom." I loved that he was so honest about hating the term Mr. Mom. I would hate it too if I were a guy, just like I loathe the term stay-at-home mom. Because as we've gone into before, labels like that can be dehumanizing...

Posted by: leslie4 | October 22, 2007 9:45 AM

Off topic... but... workingmomx, you can still buy Children's Sudafed, which should be fine for a 3 year old. I bought it yesterday at Target and gave it to my 3.5 yo last night. You just have to buy it behind the pharmacy counter (that hasn't changed). If you're not sure about the dosage (should be 1 tsp unless your 3 yo is very small) you can double check on askdrsears.com . I don't think that the meds were found to be dangerous except in the event of an overdose... and irrespective of what the studies say, I find that my kids' congestion clears up when I give them Sudafed. I hope that helps! ajs

Posted by: ahj7019 | October 22, 2007 10:01 AM

According to the article, he was only home with his daughter for nine months, and returned to work when she turned one. Any mom can tell you it's that first year which is indescribably delightful. The stay-at-home burnout begins sometime in year two---and then, in year three your child gets a little less adorable and a lot more willful. So good for this guy for wanting to be there for his daughter, but . . . the perfect guy? Let him stay at home for four more years and then I'll applaud him.

Posted by: chantooz | October 22, 2007 10:02 AM

"I think it's sad that women keep saying they want equality in the workplace and at home, and then the same women use terms like "Mr. Mom."

Agreed. And why is it that women pushed for "getting it all" and now that they have it, can only gripe and complain? Is it strictly a yuppy thing? I'm not sure, but either way, it annoys me to no end. And I am a woman! It just seems that the point has been lost from those who were truly fighting for something several decades ago.

Posted by: marsha.b47 | October 22, 2007 10:03 AM

For the record, I can't stand "Mr. Mom" either. In just five letters, the phrase manages to suggest that parenting is somehow exclusively women's work and that men are some kind of interlopers if they play a primary role in the caretaking.

Posted by: rebeldad | October 22, 2007 10:11 AM

"In other words, the more involved dads become in daily childrearing, the more balance we can all find in our lives."

This part, I agree with.

My husband is just over 40 and falls somewhere in Gen X. He is only now in year three of our son's life getting used to saying things like "I have to leave now to go get my son." But he is. The other dads on his team do too. It's kind of nice to hear (which I do... through endless weekend conference calls on the speakerphone... so much for balance there!)

Last week all our childcare fell through while my son was sick and he was the one who did the most staying home - which was a huge boon to me professionally, since I had a week of presentations and meetings that would have been bad to postpone.

That is real support and balance right there. I'm not sure it has to be any more complicated than that. There was no assumption that I, as the ovary-enhanced individual, would be the one staying home.

I totally am supportive of SAHPs of any sex, and I think highlighting SAHDs does help fathers "come out of the closet" so to speak as primary caregivers of their children (how sad that they have to). I think the best support though, is the same as for a SAHM - a partner who walks through the door, picks up a child, and says, "Go have a cup of tea on the deck, and I'll get these guys some cucumber while I help with dinner."

Posted by: shandra_lemarath | October 22, 2007 10:13 AM

Come on, mn. It wasn't eloquent, but you get the point. That's the preferred scenario in our house: I take off the first 3 months, and he takes off the second 3 months. I've never heard of the reverse scenario, as the mother has to recover from childbirth and establish breastfeeding. You're just being contrary.

------------------------------------------

after the first few months - where the Mom should stay with the baby - . . . .

Posted by: cmecyclist | October 22, 2007 09:30 AM

WTF??

Posted by: mn.188 | October 22, 2007 09:38 AM

Posted by: atb2 | October 22, 2007 10:14 AM

Post #1: Leslie, you're easy to please. He's a writer for a magazine, so his schedule is going to be inherently more flexible than someone within the traditional white or blue collar world. That he could take the time off and that his schedule now allows him one weekday at home is not surprising. (I'm more in awe of ArmyBrat's example, myself.)

Here's another kick-butt example of a father who is an exceptionally active parent. A good friend of mine who lives in the general Tidewater area of Virginia recently decided to get a graduate degree to help her career. She applied to several schools in the area, as well as one in the Research Triangle area of NC. She never expected to get into the last program (which is very prestigious in her field), but she did.

She and her husband talked it over, figured out the finances, and came to this solution. She has moved out for *two to three years* to live in graduate level housing in NC. For that time period, she will only be home from late Thursday night to about Sunday noon, while he holds down the fort at home with two kids (7 and 3) as he works full time as a teacher at a magnet school and still tries to get some freelance work in to help cover the bills her loss of income represents.

He has also always been heavily involved with child care. Her job frequently entails overnight hours, so he has always had to make sure he's home by X hour so she can get to her job. He knows the doctor appointments and shoe sizes and where all the sippy cups are - probably more so than my friend herself some days.

There are many Dads like this out there - they just don't have jobs at a major weekly magazine to publish their stories. (And oh yeah - my friend's husband IS actually quite adorable - he wouldn't need the Getty Images stock photo to headline his article ;) )

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | October 22, 2007 10:23 AM

Check out http://metrodad.typepad.com/

Been doing the dad thing for awhile. I think the dude rocks and is a model for raising children. Of course I question is liking Gossip Girls on TV... it is a bit suspect but what the heck

Posted by: jolu32339 | October 22, 2007 10:23 AM

I don't know about MN, but my reaction was the same as hers. "should" stay with the baby? There is a lot of judgemental in the word "should". Yes, there are a lot of reasons to stay home, but there are lot of reasons for some to not stay home. I support all those reasons and let each of us establish her own priorities within her own situation.

Posted by: dotted_1 | October 22, 2007 10:24 AM

Post#2 - The part that interested me in the article was that they quoted research done at both a Minnesota university and a survey performed by Minnesota Department for Families and Children's Services.

I moved to Western Wisconsin (about 90 minutes from the Twin Cities) 3 years ago now. And even in the more populous and urban Twin Cities metropolitan area (of which my area is an exurb), the way of life out here is far different than anywhere I ever lived on the East Coast (mostly DC).

The work ethic out here is certainly hard working....but it's also very important that people go home and spend time with their families. (Best Buy - now famed for their flexible telework schedule is based in Minneapolis.) And traffic and real estate prices are far more manageable here. (The 35W Bridge collapse? While traffic is a little bogged down around downtown Minneapolis, traffic still moves pretty well.)

So it doesn't surprise me that people out here would say child care is more important than a hefty pay check. When houses are still affordable and good day care is easier find and affordable (at least where I am, I admit I haven't looked around in The Cities proper), you're not going to worry as much about whether or not your paycheck is enough to keep up with the over-sized mortgage and commuting costs incurred in a place like DC.

Not to mention the status game isn't quite as vicious out here - people are more interested in the whole Vikings/Packers or Gophers/Badgers rivalry ;)

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | October 22, 2007 10:24 AM

"Come on, mn. It wasn't eloquent, but you get the point. That's the preferred scenario in our house: I take off the first 3 months, and he takes off the second 3 months. I've never heard of the reverse scenario, as the mother has to recover from childbirth and establish breastfeeding. You're just being contrary."

atb, Sorry you take an honest difference of opinion and values as contrariness. I call it thoughtfulness. Whether or not that was the scenario in your house, or you are familiar with people who have made different choices, is entirely different from what "SHOULD" occur as designated by a childless person with a bunch of gender-based preconceptions to foist on himself and the rest of us. Each family SHOULD be free to determine for itself what makes sense.

Would that each family had the financial resources to make this choice based on what it wanted and not which person, if either, had paid leave available. Unlike you, I know several moms who had to be back it work within 7 - 10 days and who had husbands who were self-employed as contractors and had more flexibility. Regardless, telling families what they SHOULD do based on what anyone of us has experienced is naive and ladles guilt, particularly on the poor. If you find realism contrary, so be it.

Posted by: mn.188 | October 22, 2007 10:27 AM

Isn't it about time that we got over the novelty factor of male primary care-givers? My husband was our daughter's primary care-giver/stay at home dad for the first 4 years starting in 2000; we found that there were plenty of other dads doing the same thing at that time.

What did seem to be unusual about our situation was that it was planned; most of the other at-home dads transitioned into that role after a layoff. In our case it was a family decision made before we conceived; my job paid enough to support us while his did not.

My husband found only one real disadvantage vs. a woman as the at-home parent. He said he felt awkward arranging play dates or starting conversations with moms of other kids because he didn't want anyone to think he was trying to hit on them.

Other than that, I think people treated him very positively. He ate lunch out with our daughter almost every day and restaurant staff fussed over the two of them to an extent that wouldn't have happened with a mom and child.

Posted by: SolontheGreat | October 22, 2007 10:31 AM

I think true equality will have been achieved when both spouses spend some time working full time, some working part time, some taking care of kids, etc. without any hoopla. Just like we've already discussed the fact that SAHM is a stupid term because most women don't stay home exclusively for thirty years, but cobble together various arrangmeents for various pieces of time, it would be nice ideally if our kids could look back on their childhoods and see some combination of "there was the time mom stayed home, the time dad stayed home, the times I stayed with grandma, the bits where I went to daycare and camp" and so forth. My husband's talking about taking some time with the kids (we're calling it a sabbatical although he's not an academic) after he retires from the military and before he gets a civilian job. We live near Norfolk and there are a tremendous number of people (male and female) transitioning out of the military at any given time, and it seems like it's becoming common for the dads to take at least six months, often longer, before getting a civilian job to stay home with the kids. What's nice is there's nothing remarkable about it. It would be nice if THAT became the norm in our society.

Posted by: justlurking | October 22, 2007 10:32 AM

"A pet peeve of mine is when Dads seem to congratulate themselves for spending more than an hour/day with their children."

I agree. And at the same time, women are as guilty of "congratulating" dads as men are.

Posted by: dennis5 | October 22, 2007 10:36 AM

Mr. Mom is an awful term...almost as inaccurate as stay-at-home mom. But I think it does capture the fact that this guy was a MOM for a year. He fit our culture's stereotypical "mom" job description -- responsible for all facets of daily childcare, with the burdens and benefits of being a "mom." I loved that he was so honest about hating the term Mr. Mom. I would hate it too if I were a guy, just like I loathe the term stay-at-home mom. Because as we've gone into before, labels like that can be dehumanizing...

Posted by: leslie | October 22, 2007 09:45 AM
------------

If you think Mr. Mom is such an awful term and dehumanizing, then why did you use it? The fact is he wasn't a mom for a year (unless he had a sex change that he didn't mention), he was - and still is - a dad.

Posted by: dennis5 | October 22, 2007 10:39 AM

YUKKK!! A feminist's perfect man maybe. He stays home while she pursues her oh so important career. Barf

Posted by: pATRICK | October 22, 2007 10:44 AM

My wife and I are raising our first who's about to turn one and I don't know what it takes to be considered Mr. Mom. I help change his diapers, feed him, and take him to the doctor when he's sick. This weekend, I was at both Giant and Safeway on my own, buying him baby food and other things we need for the house. Also, I am tickled pink to get an hour of playtime in with him before he goes to sleep at night. Is that enough?

Posted by: bobh1967 | October 22, 2007 10:44 AM

I find Leslie title and tone offensive. Let's see I found the perfect woman after 42 years, she wants sex whenever i want, she fetches me a beer and wears a nightie all the time. she doesn't talk unless I allow her, she let's my friends come over and watch football and she spends her time cleaning the house. She's the perfect woman. Same kind of demeaning tone that this topic has.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 22, 2007 10:50 AM

"YUKKK!! A feminist's perfect man maybe. He stays home while she pursues her oh so important career. Barf"

Patrick: last of the cavemen believing women should stay pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen.

Posted by: johnl | October 22, 2007 10:52 AM

Posted by: johnl | October 22, 2007 10:52 AM

Johnl , The first in line to buy an empathy pregnancy bag................

Posted by: pATRICK | October 22, 2007 10:54 AM

"Whether or not that was the scenario in your house, or you are familiar with people who have made different choices, is entirely different from what 'SHOULD' occur as designated by a childless person with a bunch of gender-based preconceptions to foist on himself and the rest of us. Each family SHOULD be free to determine for itself what makes sense."

Posted by: mn.188 | October 22, 2007 10:27 AM

Way to to, MN! Why listen to someone who hasn't "been there"? Or, as Mrs. Paroo tells her daughter Marian in "The Music Man,"

"But darling, when a woman's got a husband
And you've got none
Why should she take advice from you
Even if you can quote Balzac and Shakespeare
And all them other hifalutin' Greeks?"

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | October 22, 2007 10:55 AM

I guess I didn't take exception with the "should." Not every man and woman has the option of staying out 12 weeks, but I think if you CAN it's best to do so. Leaving a few weeks in the bank for emergencies seems resonable, but I honestly don't understand choosing to go back to work a week after delivery if you don't HAVE to. I'd like to hear from someone who made that choice.

My husband and I can both take 12 weeks, so we do. It makes more sense for me to take the first 12. I'd also be interested in hearing anyone who thinks it would be best for the father to take the first 12 week shift.

This is all just common sense stuff, not a value judgement. Yes, a father can do a great job, but he can't breastfeed and he's not recovering from a pretty tough event. I know everyone wants men and women to be equal, but not all things can be equal. This is not a notion I struggle with.

Posted by: atb2 | October 22, 2007 10:56 AM

Btw Johnl, You ducked out the other day before I could respond to your incredibly stupid post that I also believed that 11 year old girls get what they deserve if they get preganant. Off the chart stupid, even for you and that says a lot....

Posted by: pATRICK | October 22, 2007 10:57 AM

Any mom can tell you it's that first year which is indescribably delightful. The stay-at-home burnout begins sometime in year two---and then, in year three your child gets a little less adorable and a lot more willful.
____________________________

Not true for me. The first year was anything but delightful. Sleepless nights, teething, diapers, vomit - paradise! I am in year 7 of staying home and its the best its ever been. I much prefer children who can walk and converse to a baby. Frankly, I think the first year is what you put in to get the second year. There is almost nothing more wonderful that years one to two and two to three IMHO.

Secondly, I reluctantly (haha) agree with Patrick on the tone. Everyone's perfect is different. That said, I love SAHDs, they tend to have a vibe and attitude that is refreshing.

Posted by: moxiemom1 | October 22, 2007 11:25 AM

A Man are many, many times more likely to commit an act of violence against a child than a woman. Do we as a society really want more men to participate in a child raising role just to satisfy a preconceived notion of equality between the genders? It doesn't make any sense to me.

Posted by: GutlessCoward | October 22, 2007 11:29 AM

"Mr. Mom is an awful term...almost as inaccurate as stay-at-home mom. But I think it does capture the fact that this guy was a MOM for a year. He fit our culture's stereotypical "mom" job description"

-------

Leslie, I agree with dennis5. You say you despise the term yet you use it anyway. How much can you really hate it. The sterotypical lawyer is a white male, how would you feel if I said that a woman who went back to work for a while as a lawyer was "Mr. Man" because she is doing something stereotypically male. Clearly I would get lambasted here for saying that.

A man who stays home with his kids is a Dad plain and simple. If you want to get rid of sterotypes and encourage more people to take on parenting responsibilities regardless of gender you have to treat them as such. Using a term so willingly that you say you "despise" just perpetuates the stereotype and makes less men want to be stay at home dads because they essentially will be subjected to name calling.

Posted by: happydad | October 22, 2007 11:29 AM

I honestly don't understand choosing to go back to work a week after delivery if you don't HAVE to. I'd like to hear from someone who made that choice.
Posted by: atb2 | October 22, 2007 10:56 AM

I went back to work full-time one day after I gave birth. Ex-DH went back to his job and I was home with a new baby and a 20-month old. Tell me that wasn't work! I WISH I could have sat at my desk instead of chasing a toddler -- who incidentally would NEVER nap at the same time as the baby. Uncanny that way. Plenty of other moms out there who've done the same thing!

Posted by: anne.saunders | October 22, 2007 11:32 AM

The term Mr. Mom -- and the negative reactions to it -- make the point I was trying to mak by using it. To me, the Newsweek writer was making the same one. Let's get past the labels, because parenthood is one of the most personal things we do in our lives, and it totally defies labelling.

It is great that there are a lot of SAHDs out there. But I disagree that they are commonplace on a national basis. The official number is 150,000 stay-at-home dads in a country of 300 million people and over 6 million stay-at-home moms. Once the term "Mr. Mom" is totally eradicated, and a dad showing up at the playground at 10 am on a weekday is NOT cause for all the moms to look up, then we can call it a day.

Posted by: leslie4 | October 22, 2007 11:35 AM

YUKKK!! A feminist's perfect man maybe. He stays home while she pursues her oh so important career. Barf

Posted by: pATRICK | October 22, 2007 10:44 AM


Patrick, I don't know why you are so threatened by the concept that a wife might want to pursue her career. If it pays the bills, like mine does, then it REALLY IS very important, not only to the wife, but to the family that relies in it. Or perhaps you are threatened by it because you think, like Gutless Coward, that men are more likely to be violent to their children than their wives. Perhaps it runs along the same lines as thinking that men are also more likely to be sexual predators. Really, for a sexist pig, you really seem to think poorly of your own gender.

Posted by: Emily | October 22, 2007 11:40 AM

Emily, I know you don't let facts deter you from your opinions but here goes. Men are enormously more likely to be pedophiles than women, based on arrest statistics, men are much more likely than women to abuse women and children than women the other way around based on arrest statistics. I have no burning need to defend my own gender at all costs like you do regardless of the facts. Maybe since your husband is home you feel the guilty need to defend SAHD. A feminist like you calling me a bad sexist pig could actually be interpreted in my favor.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 22, 2007 11:50 AM

So I propose we eradicate the term 'Mr. Mom' on On Balance starting today. A man doing all the details of childraising is NOT a mother - he is a father coming into his own. Statistics don't make him a 'mom' just because mostly women hold the primary parent position in this culture.

My husband does parenting differently than I do, and as long as I'm able to remember that 'different' isn't 'less than', I get an equal marriage, equal opportunities, and a really fun life. My kids get the best of both worlds.

But in order for this arrangement to stick - to really stick for the long term - he has to be allowed equal standing as a parent. He can't borrow my label of Mom.

Tiny example from our house this morning: My husband, Marc, dressed our 2-year old in a really unmatched outfit. I was in a bad mood and so reacted by reaching into the closet and selecting a better matched choice. I handed Marc the new outfit. He left it on the floor and took our son downstairs to feed him breakfast. Marc was right; I was wrong. Our son was perfectly happy in his Daddy-chosen clothes, and Daddy has the right to choose them as often as Mommy.

Trivial example, but the idea extends to EVERY aspect of parenting in our house. And it's a good thing!

Posted by: violinline | October 22, 2007 11:50 AM

A great post VIOLINLINE! To many women, the perfect way to parent is for the dad to do exactly as mom says.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 22, 2007 11:52 AM

"It is great that there are a lot of SAHDs out there."

Oh yeah? What makes it so great?

If I said, "It is great that there are a lot of SAHMs out there.", would you agree?

Posted by: GutlessCoward | October 22, 2007 11:55 AM

"After 42 years of searching, I've found the perfect man. My apologies to the most important man in my life: It's not you, honey..."

"...I met him at a Passion Party (when you thought I was at a PTA meeting). He's quite attentive, and the only maintenance he requires are AA batteries every once in a while."

Sorry, couldn't resist. The tone here really makes me believe that one day, there will be a way for women to concieve children without men. Then they really will have it all, and do it all on their own!

Posted by: marsha.b47 | October 22, 2007 12:03 PM

Another opportunity for gloating. So, a guy who stays home with his kids for a year is the perfect man? What about the one who stays home from 1992 until the present? And who is planning to continue staying home until younger son, who is 10, has graduated from high school? And doesn't care if you call him "Mr. Mom" as long as you treat him like a human being when you see him with the kid at the playground?

Hey GutlessWonder, how about the guy who is less likely to be violent to his kids than their mother is?

How about the guy who began giving babies bottles of breast milk at 4-5 weeks old (once nursing was well established), so that the babies were familiar with bottles and the change of routine when mom returns to work at six weeks?

Boy can I pick 'em. He's 15 times more perfect than our article's author, and he's going to add eight more years to his perfection-quotient. If only more women could be as lucky as I am! Unfortunately, DH was an only son - no brothers.

But all you parents with daughters, maybe your daughter could snag one of my sons if she's very, very lucky!

Posted by: sue | October 22, 2007 12:16 PM

Patrick,

I hardly "ducked out" last week; I had other things to do than to continue arguing with a hardline, rightwing, opinionated caveman such as yourself. I also heed that old phrase about arguing with a pig, too. It must be difficult for you living in a world where you're the only person who's right all the time though, isn't it?

LOL about the pregnancy simulating bag, though.

Posted by: johnl | October 22, 2007 12:30 PM

after the first few months - where the Mom should stay with the baby - . . . .

Posted by: cmecyclist | October 22, 2007 09:30 AM


WTF??


Posted by: mn.188 | October 22, 2007 09:38 AM

"Come on, mn. It wasn't eloquent, but you get the point. That's the preferred scenario in our house: I take off the first 3 months, and he takes off the second 3 months. I've never heard of the reverse scenario, as the mother has to recover from childbirth and establish breastfeeding. You're just being contrary."

atb, Sorry you take an honest difference of opinion and values as contrariness. I call it thoughtfulness. Whether or not that was the scenario in your house, or you are familiar with people who have made different choices, is entirely different from what "SHOULD" occur as designated by a childless person with a bunch of gender-based preconceptions to foist on himself and the rest of us. Each family SHOULD be free to determine for itself what makes sense.

Would that each family had the financial resources to make this choice based on what it wanted and not which person, if either, had paid leave available. Unlike you, I know several moms who had to be back it work within 7 - 10 days and who had husbands who were self-employed as contractors and had more flexibility. Regardless, telling families what they SHOULD do based on what anyone of us has experienced is naive and ladles guilt, particularly on the poor. If you find realism contrary, so be it.

Posted by: mn.188 | October 22, 2007 10:27 AM

No, sorry. I think you were more "contrary" than "thoughtful." Never mind who's taking care of the baby. I don't think it's much of a stretch to say that a mother "should" stay home for more than 7-10 days after giving birth. Sure, families should do what makes sense for them. But most aren't going to think it makes sense for the mother to go back to work without recovering first, if at all possible.

Posted by: rockvillemom | October 22, 2007 12:31 PM

JOHNL, you remind me of the character in Bedazzled that was so sensitive, he couldn't sit through a sunset without crying. Guess that is more your speed.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 22, 2007 12:38 PM

rockvillemom - I was back at work within 10 days. Everyone is an individual in their response to childbirth. I was a peasant...you know, squat in a ditch with no painkilers and get right on up. I was lucky or else I have good genes childbirth-wise! There is no 'should'. You may think you 'should' stay home, but don't tell me I 'should' stay home. It is where you impose on me and my decisions that we cross swords.

Posted by: dotted_1 | October 22, 2007 12:40 PM

"But all you parents with daughters, maybe your daughter could snag one of my sons if she's very, very lucky!"

Sue, do you think your son will ever get a job, or is that actively discouraged for the males in your family?

Posted by: GutlessCoward | October 22, 2007 12:45 PM

"A Man are many, many times more likely to commit an act of violence against a child than a woman. Do we as a society really want more men to participate in a child raising role just to satisfy a preconceived notion of equality between the genders? It doesn't make any sense to me."

Posted by: GutlessCoward | October 22, 2007 11:29 AM

"Men are enormously more likely to be pedophiles than women, based on arrest statistics, men are much more likely than women to abuse women and children than women the other way around based on arrest statistics."

Posted by: pATRICK | October 22, 2007 11:50 AM

"A Man" is many, many times more likely to commit an act of violence against a child? "Men" are enormously more likely to be pedophiles? Maybe so. But we're not talking about the general "Man" or "Men" today. We're talking about the child's own father. My understanding has always been that the place where a child is safest from physical or sexual abuse is living in a home with his married father and mother. From
http://www.stolenchildren.net/index.html?exhibits/Fatherless.html:

"The absence of a biological father increases by 900 percent a daughter's vulnerability to rape and sexual abuse (often these assaults are committed by stepfathers or the boyfriends of custodial mothers)."

So, it's both unfair and a logical fallacy to take a statement that may be true of "Men" in general and use that statement to imply that there will be more violence against children if their fathers do more of the child-raising.

That said, the only reason for fathers to participate more in child raising is if they genuinely want to. It doesn't make any sense to me to make *any* family arrangements "just to satisfy a preconceived notion of equality between the genders." That's the obsession of the Rhona Mahonys and the Linda Hirshmans of this world, based on envy and resentment of male privilege, and they can keep it.

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | October 22, 2007 12:47 PM

Sue, do you think your son will ever get a job, or is that actively discouraged for the males in your family?

Posted by: GutlessCoward | October 22, 2007 12:45 PM

No, they aren't discouraged from anything. Next silly question?

Posted by: sue | October 22, 2007 12:56 PM

"No, they aren't discouraged from anything. Next silly question?"

So you don't discourage them from drinking, smoking, or doing drugs? Great parent!

Posted by: GutlessCoward | October 22, 2007 1:03 PM

Yes, they are discouraged from doing things that are potentially dangerous. From the context of your previous question, I responded in terms of life plans and goals.

What's this apparent fixation with trying to pick a fight with me today, GutlessCoward?
(Sorry about getting your name wrong earlier.)

Posted by: sue | October 22, 2007 1:21 PM

Why is a SAHD a hero and a SAHM lazy? Same job.

Posted by: moxiemom1 | October 22, 2007 1:28 PM

Matt, I never said that. I was referring to Emily and her head in the sand notion that there aren't more men who engage in pedophilia than women.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 22, 2007 1:28 PM

"Or perhaps you are threatened by it because you think, like Gutless Coward, that men are more likely to be violent to their children than their wives. Perhaps it runs along the same lines as thinking that men are also more likely to be sexual predators. Really, for a sexist pig, you really seem to think poorly of your own gender"

Patrick, perhaps your ability to think in context is as impaired as Gutless Cowards. I questioned if you were threatened by the concept of a SAHD because you thought that perhaps, this posed a danger to kids (like pedophilia and sexual abuse). In the end, you affirmed this by responding:

"Emily, I know you don't let facts deter you from your opinions but here goes. Men are enormously more likely to be pedophiles than women, based on arrest statistics, men are much more likely than women to abuse women and children than women the other way around based on arrest statistics. "

So don't backpedal now and deny what you said, because Matt points out that your thinking is pretty stupid. You said it. Be a man and own it, or retract it.

Posted by: Emily | October 22, 2007 1:40 PM

I'm sure I don't have to tell you that if I (and I'm guessing many other working mothers, sorry if you take offense at the term) HAD to go back to work and leave my newborn with a father/grandparent/caretaker, I wouldn't be happily sending emails and attending important meetings. I would be a weeping useless mess dripping milk all over my post-pregnancy maternity clothes. You think that sounds like paradise compared to staying at home? And a SAHM with a toddler and a newborn is in exactly the same situation as a WOHM on maternity leave with a toddler and newborn: full time child care. In both scenarios I'd encourage your spouse to take 2 weeks off and get your mother/mother-in-law/sister/aunt/friend for the next 4 weeks.
----------------------------------------
"I went back to work full-time one day after I gave birth. Ex-DH went back to his job and I was home with a new baby and a 20-month old. Tell me that wasn't work! I WISH I could have sat at my desk instead of chasing a toddler -- who incidentally would NEVER nap at the same time as the baby. Uncanny that way. Plenty of other moms out there who've done the same thing!

Posted by: anne.saunders | October 22, 2007 11:32 AM"

Posted by: atb2 | October 22, 2007 1:41 PM

pATRICK - "Men are enormously more likely to be pedophiles than women, based on arrest statistics, men are much more likely than women to abuse women and children than women the other way around based on arrest statistics."

What difference does it make if a father is home all day or home in the evening and weekends? He still has access to a child, most likely without constant supervision of the mother.

Posted by: KLB_SS_MD | October 22, 2007 1:47 PM

Emily, here is what I wrote exactly and what YOU wrote. As far as YOU giving me advice on how to be a man, that's laughable. I know you don't like facts, but i was pretty sure you knew how to read at least.

" Perhaps it runs along the same lines as thinking that men are also more likely to be sexual predators"

AND my response

"Emily, I know you don't let facts deter you from your opinions but here goes. Men are enormously more likely to be pedophiles than women, based on arrest statistics, men are much more likely than women to abuse women and children than women the other way around based on arrest statistics. I have no burning need to defend my own gender at all costs like you do regardless of the facts. Maybe since your husband is home you feel the guilty need to defend SAHD. A feminist like you calling me a bad sexist pig could actually be interpreted in my favor"

Posted by: pATRICK | October 22, 2007 1:48 PM

I'd love to have a nice, long, face to face conversation with you, Patrick.

No doubt it would generate so much for me to laugh at I'd have enough for years into the future. I really thought old stereotypes such as you were long gone, or at the very least had just shut up. It would be really great to actually see one of your endangered species still living.

Posted by: johnl | October 22, 2007 1:48 PM

dotted- Did you have to return to work? Did you want to? Did your husband stay home with the baby? Did you breastfeed successfully? You're lucky you had a great delivery. I felt turned inside out for about 4 weeks (the baby presented sideways with her hand at her face), and my milk dried up as soon as I went back to work, despite 3 different pumps and constant pumping. I also was a disaster if separated from the baby for more than an hour. I was not a candidate for returning to work early!

Posted by: atb2 | October 22, 2007 1:49 PM

I did not write to intend that SAHD are more likely to abuse their kids. I was responding to Emily. I guess that it was taken the wrong way. So for the record, being a SAHD does not have anything to do with pedophilia. SAHD are not pedophiles, they are not staying home to become pedophilias etc etc etc.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 22, 2007 1:51 PM

Posted by: johnl | October 22, 2007 01:48 PM

Me too, I always wanted to meet a real live metrosexual, just for a good laugh. You would no doubt fit the bill. Squeeze me in after your manicure and pedicure.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 22, 2007 1:53 PM

"What's this apparent fixation with trying to pick a fight with me"

Sue, you asked me for the next silly question. I gave it to you an you didn't even thank me. Sheesh!

I jess amis to please.

Posted by: GutlessCoward | October 22, 2007 1:55 PM

Speaking of pedophiles, there is a series in Slate on laws that are not enforced. One is on laws broken by alternative cultures, like the Amish and fundamentalist Mormons. There is an article referenced about the horrific abuses in the Amish community. I've always steered clear of their products because I know they run puppy mills. Now I have another reason to avoid them. They're worse than the Catholic church in the height of their shifting pedophile priests from community to community.

Posted by: atb2 | October 22, 2007 1:57 PM

Can we PLEASE get off the pedophila posts. I completely regret even posting on it. We all have so many better topics to talk about it.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 22, 2007 1:59 PM

New topic:
Nice weather we are having, isn't it?

Do you think it will rain soon?

When do you think it will turn to seasonal temperatures?

Posted by: KLB_SS_MD | October 22, 2007 2:00 PM

Posted by: KLB_SS_MD | October 22, 2007 02:00 PM

Yea! fall has finally come to Texas. 90 degrees yesterday, 55 today.

Posted by: pATRICK | October 22, 2007 2:02 PM

"He disarmed me only a few sentences into the piece by proclaiming that no, he did not want a medal."

Can we PLEASE get past this? I asked last week if anyone could substantiate the notion that Dads are being disproportionately congratulated just for being dads. The feedback fell into 3 categories:

1) Men (self included) noting that they had received little, if any, of these mythical kudos
2) Men saying they got the occasional kind word, not the glory or parades that most moms take for granted that men get.
3) Women citing hearsay evidence of how their third cousin's daughters dishwasher repairman is said to be showered with dad-related complements.

Relevant firsthand accounts of this "men [being given] a medal" behavior was limited to one spouse saying something kind to another and I believe someone mentioned a guy lauded for taking care of his kids solo while his wife is deployed in the military -- which is as much a "support our troops" issue as "congratulate the Dad."

When can we LET GO of the tired old saw about Dad's being showered with praise for making junior a bowl of cereal????

Posted by: ProudPapa15 | October 22, 2007 2:06 PM

You're right, I asked for a silly question and I got one. I suppose it was silly of me to you give straight answers.

Posted by: sue | October 22, 2007 2:06 PM

"Do you want a medal or a chest to pin it on?"

Posted by: KLB_SS_MD | October 22, 2007 2:08 PM

atb - I had to and wanted to return to work. Who was going to teach my classes if I didn't? (university level) I wanted to go back to work or else I wouldn't have earned tenure a few years later down the line Whenever I was at the office, my husband stayed home with the baby until at 6 weeks when he went to 2 days/week daycare. We continued parttime daycare until he started kindergarten. We split the remaining time between the two of us. We were both tenure track. I was a cow so milk-production wasn't a problem. My husband and I remember those years fondly. We each were the parent-in-charge. YMMV!

Posted by: dotted_1 | October 22, 2007 2:08 PM

When can we LET GO of the tired old saw about Dad's being showered with praise for making junior a bowl of cereal????

I agree, but frankly here the women starting with Leslie are hypersensitive to this subject so it gets skewed. The answer lies as usual in the middle. Some people will be amazed DAD doesn't burn the house down and give him kudos where others will not acknowledge anything even if he sprouts a breast and starts milking the kid. Such is life

Posted by: pATRICK | October 22, 2007 2:14 PM

"Do you want a medal or a chest to pin it on?"

Posted by: KLB_SS_MD | October 22, 2007 02:08 PM

LOL!

And dotted, you should have never gone back to work so soon! 'Peasant' moms like you are the reason that insurance companies try to kick us *all* out of the hospital before the ink is dry on the birth certificate!! ;)

Posted by: educmom__615 | October 22, 2007 2:25 PM

"When can we LET GO of the tired old saw about Dad's being showered with praise for making junior a bowl of cereal????"

Proud Papa, whith all the character and class you bring to this board, and I'm sure it's no different when you play with your kids on the playground, are you trying to tell me that you've never seen the eyes of the moms looking at you with stares of curious affection???

I rarely make diagnosis over the internet, but in your case, I seriously suggest that you make an appointment with a opthamologist. Your eyesight must be getting bad. Remember, it won't hurt a bit, and with increased vision, your game of hoops will significantly improve.

Posted by: GutlessCoward | October 22, 2007 2:32 PM

«They're worse than the Catholic church in the height of their shifting pedophile priests from community to community.»
«Posted by: atb2 | October 22, 2007 01:57 PM»

Names, must we call names? This is America. Cannot we all get along without calling names?

Posted by: abu_ibrahim | October 22, 2007 2:39 PM

That's not name-calling. Name-calling is if I called you a greasy terrorist. Or pATRICK a pig. Or Emily a no-armpit-shaving hippy. (not that I think any of that!)

Posted by: atb2 | October 22, 2007 2:58 PM

HAHA! Not that there is anything wrong with being a greasy terrorist, pig or hairy armpit hippie! Right?

Posted by: pATRICK | October 22, 2007 3:04 PM

As a Catholic, I am still embarrassed that the church tolerated -- enabled -- that kind of despicable behavior. I would even call what those priests did unforgivable, except forgiveness is up to God and the victims, not me.

But, having read the link in the Slate article, I can safely say the Amish make the Catholic priests look like, well, altar boys. Molestation is very, very bad, but I think incestuous molestation is much worse.

So, no, there was no name-calling, just an honest comparison.

Posted by: educmom__615 | October 22, 2007 3:09 PM

I left the Catholic church over the molestation issue. There is no place in my heart or conscience for an organization that implicitly condones and consciously abets such activities and continues in at least a small way to deny it.

Posted by: anonthistime | October 22, 2007 3:18 PM

Re: Posted by: GutlessCoward | October 22, 2007 02:32 PM

Unfortunately, I lost my game years ago after an ACL, MCL & Achilles reconstruction. I'm lucky I can hobble to the fridge these days but I try.

I do get some pleasant looks on the playground. But, I needn't remind that there are many folks who believe, as pATRICK does, that you can't trust your kids around another grown man. So I get suspicious/defensive looks too. Baby boy seems to like older women, and he does lots of flirting. Most of the positive attention goes his way, not mine.

I'm still plenty skeptical that this attitude ---

Why is a SAHD a hero and a SAHM lazy? Same job.

Posted by: moxiemom1 | October 22, 2007 01:28 PM

--- still exists to any significant degree. When it does exist I can't conclude that the "hero" notion is anything other than perhaps someone respecting another person who is taking some social risk to themselves.

Is the proportion of people who view the SAHD as a "hero" the same as the proportion of people who view the highly professional, highly-successful working mom as a "hero"? I have no idea. But I see no reason NOT to take issue with the assertion that men are viewed as heroes for active parenting.

Virtually no one has given any empirical evidence of this phenomenon. There is still a chance that a poster or Brian or Leslie will produce something substantial to back up this assertion that SAHDs are viewed as heroes.

I'll wait here....

Posted by: ProudPapa15 | October 22, 2007 3:21 PM

I'm sure I don't have to tell you that if I (and I'm guessing many other working mothers, sorry if you take offense at the term) HAD to go back to work and leave my newborn with a father/grandparent/caretaker, I wouldn't be happily sending emails and attending important meetings. I would be a weeping useless mess dripping milk all over my post-pregnancy maternity clothes.
Posted by: atb2 | October 22, 2007 01:41 PM

atb2, you make some good points -- and remind me of all those embarassing wet marks on the front of my shirt. I'd forgotten about that part! I guess it just sticks in my craw when people talk about mothers recovering at home after birth -- as if they weren't busy taking care of a baby if not other young offspring. Staying at home with my kids for two years was the hardest job I have ever had and I wouldn't impose that on either gender unless the job is chosen voluntarily. I love my kids but I love going to work too.

Posted by: anne.saunders | October 22, 2007 4:40 PM

"Me too, I always wanted to meet a real live metrosexual, just for a good laugh. You would no doubt fit the bill. Squeeze me in after your manicure and pedicure."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Patrick, your preconceived notions about me are so off base and incorrect they alone are enough to cause me to want to keep responding to you.

For the record, I've never been to a manicurist (or for a pedicure either) and am a LOT more comfortable in jeans than a sports jacket.

But hey, whatever niche you want to pound your ideas of me into, go right ahead. It's your (closed) mind after all, not mine.

Posted by: jlnsford | October 22, 2007 6:01 PM


JohnL, Once again you punk and post when everyone is gone,but hey that's your style......

Posted by: pATRICK | October 22, 2007 8:41 PM

Dotted,

I wasn't trying to say anything about what you should do. I was commenting on what I considered the ridiculousness of mn saying "WTF?" was a thoughtful response to cmecyclist saying mom should stay with the baby for the first 3 months. I do think women SHOULD recover from giving birth before going back to work. If you were ready, willing, and able to go back to work at 10 days post-partum, more power to you, but I don't think that's reality for most women. I also don't think cmecyclist was talking about anything other than his own situation and what he would consider ideal so mn was just choosing to be offended. People should do what works for them.

Posted by: rockvillemom | October 22, 2007 8:56 PM

hey rockville mom,
No worries. It wasn't a typical mn response. She is quite eloquent. Methinks it was a gut reaction to the word "should" only. I know my first reaction was "WTF" to *should*

johnl and pATRICK - why aren't you watching MNF? I'm up and connected only because I'm concerned one of my childhood homes could be going up into flames out in CA.

Posted by: dotted_1 | October 22, 2007 9:31 PM

dotted_1

When you ask why are johnl and pATRICK watching MNF, you are just playing to that sexual stereotype that all men are interested in football. Which is just as disgusting to me as saying Mr. Mom is to others that have posted in this blog.

Posted by: anonthistime | October 23, 2007 3:46 AM

anon-you obviously haven't read this blog much. I'm a huge sport fan. And I watched MNF...jeez get over yourself.

Posted by: dotted_1 | October 23, 2007 6:34 AM

dotted_1

I did not make any assumptions about your viewing habits but you made assumptions based on stereotypes on the 2 guys viewing habits. Just as many people have commented on the "Mr. Mom" stereotype and how we should not stereotype people. This is what I am pointing out.

Posted by: anonthistime | October 23, 2007 9:58 AM

Thanks rockvillemom for being on my side - since I just don't have time to be on the net for very long.

The studies show that children are more likely to be well adapted (healtiER -happiER) when they stay with their mothers for their first two years. The longer they stay with the mother early on - the better.

Anyway, it's so much better to have a extended family to help out so that parents aren't so stressed out having to try to do everything - but whatever we do the best that we can with whatever resources we have.

Posted by: cmecyclist | October 23, 2007 10:34 AM

I also don't think cmecyclist was talking about anything other than his own situation and what he would consider ideal so mn was just choosing to be offended. People should do what works for them.

Posted by: rockvillemom | October 22, 2007 08:56 PM

The studies show that children are more likely to be well adapted (healtiER -happiER) when they stay with their mothers for their first two years. The longer they stay with the mother early on - the better.

Posted by: cmecyclist | October 23, 2007 10:34 AM


so rockville mom, are you in doubt about what cmecyclist meant now?

Posted by: gcoward | October 23, 2007 3:51 PM

Any statisticians out there? How does anyone know how much time dads spent with their kids in the 1960s -- or how much they spend now?

Polling, maybe? My unscientific observations suggests people are hideously bad at knowing how much time they spend at a given activity. Does anyone know how pollsters correct for the Nielsen factor? (People who reported they watched PBS instead of "Fear Factor" because that's what they think they should have watched.)

Who are they asking? Moms? Dads? You might get different answers. Dad might say he spends X hours with Junior; Mom says he spends Y hours.

Posted by: gretel1 | October 25, 2007 8:20 AM

so rockville mom, are you in doubt about what cmecyclist meant now?

Posted by: gcoward | October 23, 2007 03:51 PM

Oh my gosh, I have been found out! It's all part of my on-line conspiracy to take over the world by having parents stay home with their kids! BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Posted by: cmecyclist | October 25, 2007 8:47 AM

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