Kapow! Front page of the NY Times’ Sunday Styles section this weekend was a relevant article, She Works. They’re Happy, about the shifting role of the American Family. Moms are less frequently seeking to “marry up” financially or educationally. In this article, Tara Parker Pope discusses marital stability: “Over all, the evidence shows that the shifts within marriages — men taking on more housework and women earning more outside the home — have had a positive effect, contributing to lower divorce rates and happier unions.” Agree with this one – we have had a great relationship pre-baby & an even stronger bond post-baby. I absolutely attribute much of that success to being an involved father in the home as well as being comfortable with my male ego because my wife is the primary earner in this household.
Pope continues on, describing “the Rise of Wives…Based on a study of Census data, Pew found that in nearly a third of marriages, the wife is better educated than her husband. And though men, over all, still earn more than women, wives are now the primary breadwinner in 22 percent of couples, up from 7 percent in 1970.” With the current economic downturn, I have no doubt we will see this statistic continue to trend even higher toward 30%.
“My husband would dress our daughter for school, and I’d say, ‘Oh my God, she looks like a clown,’ ” Professor Duxbury recalled. “He would say, ‘That’s your hang-up. She’s happy in it. If you don’t like my choice, then you do it.’ ” This excerpt had me in hysterics. I have mentioned this in the past, but I email 3- 5 pictures per day to keep my wife in the loop on what my son & I are up to. My wife & I constantly battle on the topic of what outfit I dress our son in everyday. I get, “he is wearing that outfit again?” or “why is he wearing that shirt with those pants?” I dress our son almost everyday – therefore, I choose the outfit I want, even it has been worn too many times or is not perfectly matched. For example, the last 3 Sundays it was my decision to dress our son in his (our lucky) NY Jets Jersey, hoping the trend of wins would continue. To my wife’s satisfaction, I guess next Sunday, I can select a different outfit.
In closing, the at-home dad featured in this story stated, “I get the same reaction from all the moms,” he said. “They say, ‘That’s great, my husband wouldn’t be able to do it.’ I think they’re selling their husbands short. All guys could do it, just like all women can be the breadwinners.” Fantastic selling point! If you were too busy over the weekend like myself (Matt – thanks for pointing this one out), and haven’t had a chance to read this great piece, check out She Works, They’re Happy!