Does Mr. Mom Exist?


mrmomJanice Min makes the big bucks and feels no need to apologize for it.  When she and her future husband Peter exchanged, “I do’s”, the young wife aspired to be a journalist, while hubby had his sights set on becoming a teacher.  Neither expected to become the sole breadwinner.

Flash forward twelve years and Min is Editor-in-Chief of Us Weekly,  bringing home a cool 2 mil.  While Peter had been successful professionally, his wife hit the journalistic Mount Olympus, at least in the monetary sense.

Ms. Min is truly a feminist.  No childhood dreams of fairytale weddings.  No knight, no white horse…no thanks. Yet when her spouse eventually quit his job to care for their two kids, certain things challenged her maternal side.  Why didn’t he wake up when the baby cried?  How can he possibly remember to fix lunch, but not go to the grocery store?

Sometimes it seems that every woman feels that the XX chromosome contains the only true nurturing gene and that XYs will always fall short even with the best of intentions.  Sure, they can heat up a can of Spaghetti-O’s, but they probably won’t  remember that your toddler likes his sandwiches cut on the diagonal.  Dentist appointments need to be remembered; play dates must be scheduled.  Will they be able to cook up a last-minute fairy costume for the school play? Doubtful.  The most powerful business woman in the world will still feel uneasy leaving her partner home with their precious kiddies.  Guilt and ego surely come into play, but maternal superiority plays a huge factor.

Can the XX’s and XY’s ever be truly considered equal in the world of childcare?  To me, they can.   I know a single dad who is able to bridge that chromosome divide.   He knows how to shop for groceries–his kid wouldn’t have been able to eat otherwise.  He has emptied backpacks, filled lunch boxes and stayed up all night with sick tummies.  He’s as good a mommy as any I’ve seen.

So what do you think?  Is there such a thing as a Mr. Mom?

Read more on Janice Min here.

Image:  Carleton, CA University Magazine