Thursday, December 22, 2011

Review of The Myth of Mr Mom By: Jeremy Rodden

The Myth of Mr. Mom
By: Jeremy Rodden

Summery from Amazon:
The Myth of Mr. Mom is a collaborative non-fiction essay anthology written by stay-at-home dads that shares the personal stories of eight men from around the world.

My review:
Being a stay-at-home parent hasn't always been looked down upon. However as more women willing choose to join the work force and a career path that involved brief cases and meetings instead of binkies and nap times;stay-at-home parents began to get bad rap. For women who chose to stay-at-home, they were looked at as being soft, since they stayed home all day, or even worse as naive, since they let their "man" do all the work and make all the decisions. For men who chose to stay at home, the reaction was even worse. Men were long considered the bread winners of the family, so when they decided to stay home not only were they considered lazy, it was even looked at to the point that there was something inherently wrong with them. That they couldn't "cut it" in society or worse that they were purposely manipulating their poor wives into working, while they stayed home and did nothing.
For women the original opinion has changed greatly. In today's economy if the woman is fortunate enough to be able to stay home, they are no longer looked at as naive or soft. She is no longer pictured as sitting at home watching soaps and eating bon-bons all day. More people have come to realize that running a household can be similar to running a business, with coordinating schedules, house hold budgets, etc. It is no longer assumed that just because a women isn't working that she doesn't have an equal say.
However while women have been able to shed the majority of negative connotations, men unfortunately have not. The majority of people still view stay at home dads as lazy or selfish or both.
I really liked this book. The essays gave great insight into a new family dynamic that is on the rise, and shines a spotlight on the biases that are still prevalent in today's society towards it. They take the reader inside a world that they may not be wholly familiar with, often with humor, but always with honesty. I feel it's a great read whether you have children or not. I think that it should be required reading if you have a significant other who has decided to stay home with the kids. (whether they are male or female) I have been on both sides of the fence, and I know that when I was the main bread winner for my family it was hard to understand what my husband went through. I think that this book would have also been of great help to him since it would have helped him to see that there were other stay-at-home dads too.
One of the few things that I noticed though was that all the men had jobs that they could do from home. I would love to find out if this was from boredom and wanting to have something to do outside of the home, or because of today's economy and they needed to find a way to help the family finances, OR if they felt compelled to find work because they were tired of people looking down on them because they weren't working outside the home. I know in at least one of the writers cases, he needed to provide an income for himself and his daughter and that he was lucky enough that he could work from home and his daughter's mother wasn't involved in the financial equation for the household.
Anyway, I really liked this book. There were parts that made me laugh out loud, parts that had me nodding my head in agreement, and parts that had me wanting to find some of those people who had the gall to say degrading things to these fathers and smack them upside the head. If there was any problem I had with the book it would be that it was short, and I wanted to read more. As a side note to all stay-at-home dads may I commend you on your choices. I'm not saying that all dads should stay home, that is something that should be decided on an individual basis, but in a world that gives you grief over your choices remember that what it comes down to is that the people that matter, your kids, your significant other, (and you!) are happy in the end.

*****In compliance with FTC guidelines, I'm disclosing that I received this book for free through GoodReads First Reads. ****
(I recommend everybody should go check out all the awesome first read giveaways they have!)

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