The Myth of Mr. Mom
An anthology by Portmanteau Press
Edited by Jeremy Rodden
Written by Jeremy Rodden, Sonny Lemmons, Christian Jenson, Shawn Scarber, Toby Tate, Leo Dee, Charlie Andrews and Gerhi Fueren
The Myth of Mr. Mom was a very enlightening read for me. It made me realize many men are the primary caregivers in their families, but we as a society stigmatize them, as though there were something wrong with men who choose to be stay at home dads. We never question a woman who states her occupation is “a wife and mother”, but we tend to wonder why the guy who says his occupation is “a husband and father” can’t find a job. There is something essentially wrong in a society that declares itself to be in favor of equality but is judgmental of something that is a choice for individual families to make – who will work and who will stay home with the kids.
I applaud the fathers who share their stories in this anthology. It made me realize that I needed to learn to look at fathers as primary caregivers. I realized that some fathers took care of their kids full time, I even know a few who do, but somehow it had never dawned on me that it’s just as voluntary a choice as it is when a mother decides to stay home with the kids.
These men are setting examples and opening up to tell their stories in a frank way. At times it is humorous, but at other times you can feel the frustration these fathers feel at having their work devalued. Their children are their work and it is a job they are wholeheartedly committed to. They have chosen to put their children and making a home for them above personal ambitions, sometimes at great personal cost, but they have joyfully made the decision based on the love they feel for the tiny person entrusted to their care.
I would really recommend The Myth of Mr. Mom to anyone it helps shatter a stereotype that has been allowed to persist too long. I would also recommend it families who are having the debate about who is going to stay home with the kids, because, frankly, the father should be as much of an option as the wife is. I think The Myth of Mr. Mom will really help to both open up discussion of the subject and also give these fathers a realistic view of what’s in store for them. Also, each of the contributors to this anthology: Jeremy Rodden, Sonny Lemmons, Christian Jenson, Shawn Scarber, Toby Tate, Leo Dee, Charlie Andrews and Gerhi Feuren have left contact information so other fathers who are either acting as primary caregivers or who are considering it can get in touch with them. This resource is worth far more than the price of the book, which is negligible. I definitely recommend The Myth of Mr. Mom.