October 28, 2005

The Househusband's Tale (In The Guardian)

Jon Absalom decided to put his career on hold to take care of his kid--to become a househusband, a word like 'lorry' and 'arse,' which I hope stays over there. [Besides, it always reminds me of The Housemartins, why not use that instead?]

He writes a long, sober, and kind of lonely (but not whiny, really) account of his experience in the Guardian:

Of course there are short periods when Jack entertains himself with pots or pans, or in his sandpit. But these periods cannot be relied upon, or scheduled round. The actual work of househusbanding may only take five hours a day but those five hours are smeared across the 13 hours that Jack is awake in a wholly unpredictable manner.

...

It is not exactly the same as being a housewife. For starters, the word "housewife" is loaded down with negative associations; "househusband" sounds New Man, experimental, softy-liberal, empowered - ludicrous, maybe, but an act of choice. I suspect that it's a lot easier being a man in a woman's world, than the other way around. But when you tell people you're a househusband, it is very much like telling someone that you are a housewife: there is no follow-up question. What do you do? I'm a househusband. Oh, they say. And that's it, end of conversation. Although I might then get asked what my wife does.

A data point for Rebel Dad to pick apart: there are 200,000 of these 'househusbands' in the UK.

The truth about life as a househusband
[guardian via dt reader christopher]

1 Comment

Before daycare started I spent a week at home with the boy and I was amazed at how LITTLE I was able to get done. I attempted to get some work done but that was almost impossible (he's a terrible napper). My wife and I have talked about one of us staying home and considering she makes about 1/3 more than I do it would be me. It does make us feel a lot better that he LOVES daycare and they adore him but it was like a slap in the face when we picked him up last week. Ari, the girl who watches him, mentioned how well he was "scooting around". The look on my wife's face immediately told Ari that we haven't seen that yet...*sigh*.

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