Even Millennials Fall Into Traditional Roles

Even Millennials Fall Into Traditional Roles

Good news: the youngest generation of adults is the most egalitarian generation of adults. Gender roles have gotten blurrier, the restrictions on women working and men helping around the house have been discarded, and there are undoubtedly more “equal” marriages than ever before.

At least in theory.

In practice, women are still more likely to handle domestic and child-related activities within millennial marriages. According to a study in the American Sociological Review, “men and women, ages 18 to 32 have egalitarian attitudes about gender roles, across education and income levels. But when faced with a lack of family-friendly policies, most fell back on traditional roles.”

The article attributes this partially to policies that give women maternity leave, while men don’t get paternity leave – nor are they willing to take it in most instances.

What I found even more interesting was how people’s perceptions changed after having kids.

Gender roles have gotten blurrier, the restrictions on women working and men helping around the house have been discarded, and there are undoubtedly more “equal” marriages than ever before.

“Only 35 percent of employed millennial men without children said they thought men should be breadwinners and women should be caregivers…But of millennial men who were already fathers, 53 percent said it was better for mothers and fathers to take on traditional roles.”

“It’s not that they’ve thrown over their ideals, it’s just enacting those are much harder given the workplace and cultural structures they’re encountering,” said Pamela Stone, a sociologist at Hunter College.

Makes sense to me. I firmly believe that men and women can do whatever they want. My wife had the option of continuing with her job of 16 years. She started with 3 months maternity leave, got a 3 month extension, and then declared it “eternity leave.” We’re fortunate that she gets to do what she wants and I get to do what I want.

But for young couples who can’t afford to live on one income and can’t afford a nanny, someone is most likely going to have to sacrifice his/her career for the good of the family. So far, that sacrifice continues to be made by women, as only 8 percent of millennial men are taking on primary child care responsibilities.

Your thoughts, below, are appreciated.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    L

    Nice in theory but what happens if things don’t work out.  I hate to be a Debbie downer but if the marriage doesn’t work, a lot of professions don’t really allow for resume gaps.  I found balancing career and a job tough but since I was the primary earner, opting out of the workforce wasn’t an option.  Then, when my ex and I split up, I was fortunate enough to have a high paying job I could depend on to support my kids.  Had I left my job, I would have been financially ruined and I would not have the job I do today.  Not to mention, I worked too hard for my degrees to shelve them because I am a mother.

    You never know what the future brings so my advice to women is to never relinquish your  job or financial independence!

    1. 1.1
      L

      Can’t edit!  I meant balancing a career and kids!  That was tough.  Being a single mother is tougher!  Being a financially strapped single mother would be harder still!

    2. 1.2
      BLINGBLANGGANG

      Well said.

  2. 2
    Kitty

    It’s true that if a married mother takes a long break from the workforce to raise kids she is gambling that her marriage will last.  And of course that her husband won’t be fired or laid off.  But divorce rates have gone down, in large part because people are marrying less.  Modern people are a lot less likely to marry due to pregnancy if the relationship isn’t strong.  Of course this means more never married mothers.

    1. 2.1
      L

      Divorce rates may be going down but they still happen.  To a lot of people.  It is arrogant to assume that you (broadly you, not you Kitty) won’t be one of those people.  You seriously have no idea whether your spouse will have an affair and leave, develop an addiction.  Or, maybe he will get into a car accident and die.  I think it is very foolish for women to give up their livelihoods and stay home with the expectation that she has this great spouse that will support her forever.  It is impossible to regain the lost time – financially in lost earnings, experience wise, and many career paths, as I mentioned, do not allow for reentry at all.  The harm can be life long.

      1. 2.1.1
        Christine

        L, I think your posts on this subject are very realistic and practical. I personally want to retain my job and income, if I ever marry my boyfriend (and he fully supports that decision).  I’ve only recently gained more financial freedom, and want to keep building on that, after paying off my student loan debts (hooray!)

        I wonder about women who have the same types of preexisting debts that I did, and still have those debts after marriage.  Can they really stay home?  If they don’t work, how do those loans get paid?  They alone are legally responsible for paying off any debts acquired before marriage.  I guess a husband could pay those off for his wife (if he had the means and willingness to do so).  But there’s no law (I know of) requiring him to do so, so I wouldn’t count on that!   But even without those student loan debts, I’d still want to keep my job, for the reasons you stated.

        I suppose women stay home for kids, but then, what happens when those kids eventually go to school, and are gone for hours a day?  I hope this doesn’t sound flippant (in that “what do you do all day?” way) or disrespectful of stay at home moms, who I’m sure work hard and are often under appreciated.  But I really do wonder what they do to occupy their time while their husbands and kids are away.  I personally think I’d go stir-crazy spending so many hours by myself in an empty house, and would need the structure of a job to fill that time.  That’s just me!

        1. Kitty

          Cleaning, food shopping, laundry, keeping everyone’s things organized.  Taking your husband’s suits to the cleaner’s.  Walking the dog, waiting for the refrigerator repair man.  Meditating/destressing so that you’re fully present when the kids are home.  Kids are VERY emotionally demanding of their mothers.  Taking them to doctor’s appointments and post-school lessons.  It is a LOT of work.

        2. Skaramouche

          LOL, the what would you do with your time question never occurred to me and I’m a career girl so I’ve never actually been in this situation.  As Kitty said, children and house work would take up a lot of the day and if I was lucky enough to have spare time left over, I have SO many hobbies and interests in which I don’t normally get to indulge.  I have always wanted to take up gardening but don’t have the time.  I can’t remember the last time that I crocheted or knitted even though I enjoy both.  I read voraciously but in stolen moments…I can’t imagine the luxury of hours dedicated to reading.  I’m an avid MMORPG gamer and that is a full time job if you let it become one.  This is barely a scratch in “hobby mountain”!  Besides all of this, there are so many charities out there worth supporting.  I’m personally passionate about animals and even a few hours of my IT expertise a week would help some of the smaller organizations immensely.  No disrespect at all to you Christine but if you have imagination, you shouldn’t have trouble filling your hours, even without the structure of a job!

        3. Christine

          No offense taken Skaramouche–actually I’ll take this as a sign that I’ve been “married” to my job too long and need to expand my imagination!

    2. 2.2
      Randy

      “She is gambling”?  You have that wrong when women initiate over 70% of divorces and win 100% of the Family Court battles!  A man getting married is in real danger of losing his children and half his current and future financial assets if his wife becomes unhappy for any reason.

      1. 2.2.1
        It's you

        Which has nothing to do with how she’s going to be able to support herself. Do you have any data on how many get alimony and whether they are able to live off alimony and assets?

        Now I’m not saying they should. But a higher percertage of women initiating divorces and getting the kids does not automatically translate to cashing in as you suggest (cause you know, kids actually cost money to raise).

    3. 2.3
      Joe

      Marriage rates don’t affect divorce rates.

  3. 3
    Morris

    I’m sure family friendly policies have a lot to do with it. But it’s pretty obvious until women start choosing and accepting SAHD, as much as men support SAHM, things aren’t really going to change. It can’t just be an option available for women. Policies or not.

    1. 3.1
      Chance

      That is pretty much the long-and-short of it.  There’s really no point in discussing this topic any further until most women don’t inflexibly hold men to traditional gender roles.

      1. 3.1.1
        Karmic Equation

        Chance,

        Men run most corporations and most BODs are comprised of men. If there are father-unfriendly policies that prevent men from taking paternity leaves and the like (because they don’t exist), you have other men to thank.

        Additionally, it sounds as if most men wouldn’t take that leave even if offered.

        So until MEN demonstrate that they are as equally vested in child-rearing and household responsibilities as women, as in “Honey, you go take a hot bath while I call a babysitter and interview housekeepers.” “Baby, I’ll ask my boss if I can leave early to drive Emily to dance class.” — Yeah maybe then you can stay on your high horse that men won’t accept SAHDs.

        Men don’t make this offer very often, particularly if they’re in high-earning jobs, because their MALE BOSSES would probably fire their asses.

        You can’t lay all this on women insisting on traditional gender roles.

        Until corporations (run mostly by men) have equal policies where both moms and dads can take parental leave to care for newborns without worrying about job security, both genders are stuck in traditional roles.

        Women do need time to recover from childbirth. And often, it’s much harder for moms to leave their children to go back to work than men, so this has less to do with women “wanting” men to stay in traditional roles, but rather that most women’s bonds with their children make it really really difficult for them to go back to work quickly (not to mention all the inconvenience for women to use breast pumps during the work day, etc) when they’re still nursing.

        Women being insecure, wanting tall, educated, rich men, yada yada and not finding fulfilling relationships – you rail at that and I’m with you. But when you bash women on corporate policies and biological imperatives (not wanting to leave their children) — you’re simply railing at the wrong gender. Rail at men making corporate policies and other men for looking down on SAHDs instead.

        Also, I think you’re just twisting everything into gender-warmongering like crazy in your last few posts. Is your live-in gf pressuring you for marriage or something? Why are you all of a sudden so unreasonably biased (I consider most of your other posts biased, too, lol, but at least they were reasonable).

        Hope all is well with you.

        1. Morris

          Not sure what male bosses have to do with anything. The article wasn’t just about maternity/paternity leave. Although that is important as well. The way I read it. Basically if both partners didn’t have a flexible schedule(and/or ability to work from home) women wanted to be the primary caregiver and men the breadwinners. Most jobs aren’t that flexible or can be done from home. It’s a pointless argument to say business should just offer that.

           

          So when push comes to shove women choose to cutback on hours and or quit while men to choose work.

           

          That the gist. But I’m highlighting something all men know and I suspect women know as well. Women don’t what a SAHD. They aren’t attracted to them(on average). Women want men with jobs and make at least as much as they do. We’ve all heard that. But why would that need to be the case if women equally cared about men staying at home while they worked?

        2. Morris

          On top of that. Men have a different way of raising children. It’s been well documented that women don’t like to be questioned on child rearing and like to have it there way.

           

          Men are interested in raising children. But aren’t allowed to do it their way without women criticizing them. It’s not as clear cut as you make it seem.(Men needed to be equally vested in raising children.)

        3. Karmic Equation

          “Not sure what male bosses have to do with anything.”

          Written like a man who’s never had to ask his boss if he could leave early to do something with/for his child.

          Ironically, though once a man is DIVORCED he seems to no problem finding the guts to ask his boss for time off to do something with/for his child. And the boss is usually very understanding.

          Corporations (run mostly by men, yes, I’m repeating myself ad nauseum) don’t make it easy for men to do the running around for/with his children and men don’t really want THAT part of child-rearing. He wants the decision-making part of child-rearing not day-t0-day running around part of child-rearing.

          So yeah, if women are going to average doing over 80% of the child-rearing/soccer-momming activities she gets to make the majority of the decisions about child-rearing.

          If you’re saying men would automatically work his FT job AND do all the child-rearing/soccer-dadding activities if only his wife would let him, so that he could be the decision-maker of how to raise his children, you’re lying. That man doesn’t exist.

        4. Morris

          I’m totally confused at your point. Did you read the article?

        5. Morris

          You mention male bosses this, men need to vested that. But we don’t ask for time off from CEOs. We ask time off from managers. And in middle management women are very well represented.

           

          And my second point is this.

           

          If women can work. They expect men to share 50/50 at home.

           

          If women can’t work and raise the child. She stays home or cuts back and the man works. Sometimes extra.

           

          How are we suppose to be 50/50 work/home if it seems the decision is really made by the woman. And woman are choosing to work if they want/can/have to. Stay at home if they want/can/have to?

           

          If the goal isn’t be actually be 50/50. No need to look into it further. But the article was highlighting it as if that is the goal.

        6. Karmic Equation

          It appears we’re NOT reading the same article, Morris. Where did you get “Basically if both partners didn’t have a flexible schedule(and/or ability to work from home) women wanted to be the primary caregiver and men the breadwinners. Most jobs aren’t that flexible or can be done from home. It’s a pointless argument to say business should just offer that.”

          This is from the study:

          Eighty percent of women and nearly 70 percent of men had egalitarian ideals. But when asked what they thought would realistically happen, there was a gender divide. Women said they would choose self-reliance, while men chose a neotraditional relationship.

          To ME this means that men, given a choice would rather be the breadwinner and have the wife stay at home, while women, given the choice, would rather be the breadwinner.

          One of us is misreading the article. I don’t believe it’s me because on this topic I’m not interested in blaming women for why there are so few SAHDs.

        7. Chance

          KE, the numbers you quoted represent feelings based on what would realistically happen.  The point Morris and I are trying to make is that men don’t feel that being a SAHD is realistic because women will not tolerate it, which shouldn’t be a controversial assertion.  Our point is proven in the comments posted below.  Men already contribute more hours to the well-being of the household than women (when you combine work, spending time with children, and chores around the house).  How much more can men do without cutting back at work?  Women – generally – aren’t interested in seeing this happen.  They certainly aren’t interested in gender role reversal where the man becomes a SAHD.

        8. Morris

          You’re highlighting responses when asked in an ideal situation. I’m highlight what actually happens.

           

          “The research shows that when something has to give in the work-life juggle, men and women respond differently. Women are more likely to use benefits like paid leave or flexible schedules, and in the absence of those policies, they cut back on work. Men work more.”

           

          “Yet in the face of constraints that made equality difficult, their choices aligned with traditional gender roles.”

           

          How is that not pretty much what I said? Not saying you’re wrong. But I don’t take much stock in what they might SAY in a survey. We tend to be PC. What we actually do mean more to me.

        9. Morris

          At the end of the day. If you’re telling me women are attracted and supportive of SAHD as much as men are of SAHM. We just live and a totally different reality. We’ll just agree to disagree.

        10. Karmic Equation

          “How are we suppose to be 50/50 work/home if it seems the decision is really made by the woman.”

          These are two independent decisions.

          A woman deciding to work or not work does not have to impact whether her man does 50/50 at home.

          If both work, why can’t a man do 50/50 work/home. That’s what SHE’s doing.

          If the man works and the woman is an SAHM, and asking 50/50 when he gets home is actually quite reasonable. She ALSO worked during the day, caring for the child, doing housework, and probably cooking. Unless you’re of the opinion that staying at home and taking care of children is NOT work and doing housework counts for nothing? And the 50% she asks from him under this circumstance is to do the dishes, most likely, and maybe changing the baby’s diaper. I don’t think that’s too much to ask of dad.

          If it means so much to a man that he be part of the decision-making process of whether his wife will be an SAHM or working mom? Well, maybe he should have discussed this with her BEFORE he proposes. That would have been the smart thing for him to do. Put it into the prenup, if he must. I understand that most prenups will be challenged if there is a divorce. Just like men might cheat even if there’s a clause against cheating in the prenup. Or that men will hide assets before his wife is aware that he’s ready to leave.

          Marriage has inherent risks for both parties, should either party behave with lack of integrity. The first rule of protection is to marry a person with integrity. The second rule is to treat that person with respect and consideration throughout the marriage.

          Odds are, if those two rules are followed, should divorce ensue anyways, the likelihood having an amicable divorce is pretty high.

        11. Chance

          KE, I can see that my initial post pushed your buttons.  At least you didn’t need to get an afternoon cup of joe at The Dunk.  See, I saved you a couple of bucks :).

           

          ” I think you’re just twisting everything into gender-warmongering like crazy in your last few posts. Is your live-in gf pressuring you for marriage or something? Why are you all of a sudden so unreasonably biased”

           

          Not quite, but a somewhat similar situation.  The result has been a stressor that has produced numerous Bill Burr-style rants for anyone I know within earshot during the past couple of months.  Annoying and/or entertaining for all, I’m sure.  I don’t think that my points are unreasonable, but I’ve definitely been guilty of overstating my case.

           

          “(I consider most of your other posts biased, too, lol, but at least they were reasonable).”

           

          No doubt.  If I ever seemed unduly unbiased to you, then you must have misunderstood what I said :).  If it’s any consolation, I agree with quite a bit of stuff on here where the man is in the wrong, women have a point, etc.  However, I don’t post because guys get slammed all the time.  The last thing that is needed is one of their own piling on.  You can interpret any blog entry where the guy is at fault and where I don’t post as me being in agreement.

        12. Morris

          I guess I just don’t get where you’re coming from. It doesn’t seem related to the study anymore. We see it differently.

        13. Al

          One of my close friends is a SAHD and his perspective is that women are always very accepting of him. He says it’s other men who say inconsiderate things and treat him as inferior for not being the breadwinner.

           

          I think Karmic is right about this. Most company policy IS set by men, not women, even if they are well represented in “Middle Management.” That’s not where policy is set. In several European countries, especially Scandinavia, men are given paternity leave and most take it. There isn’t the same stigma there regarding men being nurturers either, which I’m sure helps.

        14. Kristyn - with a Y

          Well said, KE

        15. DeeGee

          In response to the many posts here regarding maternity and paternity leave, I am personally 100% against it if it is paid for by the state/country.
          In the country where I live, paid maternity and/or paternity leave can be from 17 to 52 weeks for either or both parents.
          Sounds great, right?
          Except I, a person with no kids, have to pay for it out of my pocket as well!
          Why the hell should I have to pay for the raising of someone else’s kids?
          And don’t bother replying with the crap that “it helps all of society”.
          If any parent can get a free year-long paid time off from work, then so should I, after all, I’m paying into it.
          In my opinion, if a couple can’t afford to have kids, then don’t have kids.  Stop relying on the state (ie Joe and Joanna Public) for free handouts just because you don’t know how to use birth control.

        16. Morris

          Al – I wasn’t implying men don’t set the policy or that policy wouldn’t help. But on your view of Scandinavia. You should double check and see if that is what women want here.

           

          First. It is leave with pay. But it’s use it or lose it. So yes. I can see that men would take it.

           

          Second. Women still took all or most of it. So they instituted mandatory leave for men. 3 months have to be taken by men. Rest can still be split. Guess what? Women took the rest.(Close to year and half.)

           

          So, now they are looking into increasing mens portion to 4 months. The reasons is they want equality. Otherwise women fall behind at work progress etc. But do you not see a pattern here?(Men still excepted to work and women end up taking leave longer.)

           

          Third. Try looking for this stat. Full time stay at home mom to dad ratio. It’s hard. The notion of full time stay at home parent is rare. The indented or unintended consequence of this kind of social engineering is that BOTH parents must work.(High cost of living, high taxes etc.) The option of a woman being a SAHM(like here in the USA and not just during the paid leave part) is rare.

           

          I think women in the USA like the idea in theory. But if you pointed out that it meant women won’t have the option to be full time SAHMs? Not sure anymore.

        17. Karmic Equation

          “If you’re telling me women are attracted and supportive of SAHD as much as men are of SAHM.”

          Again two different behaviors that you’re combining into one to try to strengthen a losing argument.

          1) Are women attracted to SAHDs?

          The answer would be no, unless the guy was hot, like Chris Helmsworth hot. Most SAHDs are not hot, never “that hot.” lol

          All joking aside, the real question is would a woman date a stranger who is a SAHD, i.e., a man who has full custody of his kids and lives off his alimony and child support from his wife?

          No, why would a woman do that if she has other self-supporting, childless options to date?

          For that matter, why would a man date such a woman. Yup — either easy sex or she’s very hot. Certainly not BECAUSE she was a SAHM, and certainly he wouldn’t date her SOLELY because she was a SAHM. There has to be other reasons for him to be attracted or not attracted to her. SAHM is really irrelevant to that attraction. So why do you make it a litmus test for women?

          2) Are women as supportive of SAHDs as men are of SAHMs?

           

          I had to give this a lot of thought. I had to imagine myself married, leaving for work every day, and then coming home to a vacuummed and dusted house, with the kids bathed and happily tucked in bed, and dinner ready on the table, every day.

          My imagination failed me. I can’t imagine any of the men I’ve dated or the one I’m dating doing all of that every single day…and not get bored.

          And then does that mean I would have to mow the lawn and take out the garbage too? Or would I be asking him to do that as well?

          When I was married, my husband lost his job about year 5 of our marriage and happily went into early retirement (at age 38 btw). I went to work every day. We didn’t have kids, but we did have four dogs. I was the one who fed and watered them every day. I was the one who took them to the vet’s 9 out of 10 times. I was the one who ran the dishwasher (he did the emptying). We ate out a lot, but if we got take out, I was the one who drove to get it. We ended up hiring someone to do the dusting and vacuuming and yard work. He did do the laundry and he drove me to and picked me up from the train station every day.

          So he was a SAHD, without being a dad, essentially, and I still did a lot of running around. I didn’t exactly resent that, but I wasn’t exactly thrilled either.

          Was I “supportive” of him? Sure. I never demanded he find a job. He didn’t look too hard.

          Our marriage didn’t end because of his SAH status. It was amazing how fast he found a job once we separated, though.

           

        18. Morris

          KE-We are on totally different wavelengths. I didn’t mean attracted to a current SAHD with kids. Not sure how you could have interpreted that way. I’m only talking in the context of the article and increasing work/home balance. And how that won’t happen with policy only. Since women don’t look for SAHD material so she can be the breadwinner.

           

          And since we don’t even interpret the attracted to SAHD thing. It would be pointless pointing out the whole losing argument thing. There was no argument. It wasn’t even a question. Women want men to provide. Not be SAHDs.

        19. Karmic Equation

          I don’t believe that the SAH status is what makes men unattractive to women.

          After giving it some thought, I believe it is more that working women don’t want to be “forced” into the masculine role at home. It’s one thing to have masculine “energy”, it’s another to be “guy” in the relationship, you know?

          Because basically, if the husband does “womanly” things, like take care of kids, cooking, cleaning etc, then what is the woman supposed to do? Mow the lawn? Do the handy man things around the house? And most women who are the breadwinners are not likely the ones who can mow the lawn or put up pictures.

          So, I don’t think working women lose attraction for SAHDs, but rather that working women no longer feel feminine, as essentially, there are two females in the household.

          I suppose if SAHDs were taught to not lose their masculine edge or at least were taught how to make his breadwinner wife feel feminine when she got home, the attraction between the couple would remain.

        20. It's you

          Wish I could upvote this.

        21. It's you

          Karmic – you started off strong but then contradicted yourself by ending with women feel too masculine if they are the breadwinner. You just inadvertently supported Morris’ and Chance’s point. 

      2. 3.1.2
        Karmic Equation

        Oops. Typo

        “Yeah maybe then you can stay on your high horse that men won’t accept SAHDs.” 

        Should read:

        “Yeah maybe then you can stay on your high horse that women won’t accept SAHDs.” 

    2. 3.2
      Kitty

      How does one define a stay-at-home-dad?  I have a friend who is a freelance writer and his wife works a full time job.  He takes care of their baby and does the laundry and cleaning while his wife is at work.  OTOH another friend lives in a (mostly) working class town.  Unemployment is very high there, especially for unskilled men.  Most of the young men have children and girlfriends (rarely wives).  If they’re lucky their cohabiting girlfriends work often two jobs.  But although they stay home with the kids they don’t do much in the way of childcare or household chores.  Or much of anything.  They mostly watch TV, drink or smoke weed, and sleep.  That’s why so many working class young mothers are not marrying; they don’t want to support a useless husband.

      1. 3.2.1
        Morris

        Talking in the traditional sense here. Couple has kid. They talk about who should cutback and spend more time with kid. Who should work more hours to help makeup the difference. And for some reason it’s the guy who ends up working and woman staying home. Which is ok. I just find it odd that more women aren’t stepping up and taking on the work load and letting more dads stay at home.

        1. Kitty

          I just find it odd that more women aren’t stepping up and taking on the work load and letting more dads stay at home.

          Do you think lots of men really want to stay home with the kids and are thwarted by their wives’ refusal to go along with it?

        2. Morris

          Not directly. Of course not. Women choose men with the understanding men are providers. Happy wife happy life. If they tossed a coin(to decide) and the woman had to work. I’m guessing on average she would be unhappy with the outcome.

           

          Part of it is that men want to work. Women tend to want to stay home if given the chance. Societal.

           

          Is this really news? I’m not at all saying this is a bad thing. But we(men) all have mothers, daughters, sisters, female friends etc. We see it all the time. Women tend to want the option to stay home for themselves. Not to take care of a SAHD.(Again, on average.)

        3. Morris

          Just did a quick search. 3.5% of stay at home parents are dads. 3.5%! Heck even if it was 20% it would still be sad.

           

          No amount of policies are going to impact that number. It’s not by accident. And I guarantee more than 3.5% of dads WISH they could be the ones staying home.

           

          If a guy said he wanted to be a SAHD during dating or on their dating profile. I’m guessing it would workout so well for him.

        4. Kitty

          Men are interested in raising children. But aren’t allowed to do it their way without women criticizing them. It’s not as clear cut as you make it seem.(Men needed to be equally vested in raising children.)

          Sounds like it is more the problem with an individual woman.  Find a woman who appreciates your different-but-equal child rearing methods.  Anyway most women don’t see men who want to stay home and take care of babies as masculine.  That’s the greater issue, not lack of appreciation of fathers.

           

        5. Randy

          “I just find it odd that more women aren’t stepping up and taking on the work load and letting more dads stay at home”

          In every poll and article I have ever seen on what women want in husbands, dad’s that stay at home with children is not even on the list and number one is always that he has a steady job.

          I think it is a very rare women that really wants, or would respect, a husband that relies on her for money and stays at home with their kids.

        6. Morris

          Kitty-That was a response to a comment about men needing to be vested in childrearing. It’s silly to assume men aren’t. Even if childrearing is different from what women expect.

           

          And I agree about finding the right woman. Or it being individual. But I wasn’t talking individuals. That would be like saying find a woman that doesn’t care if you’re shorter than her. True but not very helpful if the vast majority of women don’t feel that way.

           

          If we want 50/50 work/child balance. More than policies have to change. Men have to change too. But women have to change a lot more. That’s the point I was making.

           

          Now if we don’t really care about 50/50. Doesn’t really matter.

        7. It's you

          I took a year and a half off after I had my son. I re-entered the workforce with no problem. We talked about my husband staying home after we had another baby, but for medical reasons, we couldn’t have any more children.

          In all of our conversations, the thing that made the prospect of a SAHD frightening was not me feeling negative about it (I didn’t and don’t), friends or family judging or ridiculing (they’re not paying the bills!) or even money. It was the bias he would face when trying to return to the workforce. SAHD I know pretty much resigned themselves to the fact that it’s a permanent decision, whereas just about every SAHM I know went back into the workforce at some point.

          This is my experience and I’m not claiming it’s representative. But you cannot ignore that if society doesn’t make the SAHD scenario feasible for the vast majority of people, it’s unreasonable to blame women for being hesitant and assume it’s she’s being a hypocrite who really wants traditional gender roles.

      2. 3.2.2
        stacy

        But although they stay home with the kids they don’t do much in the way of childcare or household chores.  Or much of anything.  They mostly watch TV, drink or smoke weed, and sleep.  That’s why so many working class young mothers are not marrying; they don’t want to support a useless husband

        This has nothing to do with class. This perfectly describes my white collar college educated ex-husband.  As they say, a stay at home woman cleans the house and makes dinner,  a stay at home men eats everything in the fridge and makes a mess.

      3. 3.2.3
        DeeGee

        Kitty said: “How does one define a stay-at-home-dad? … That’s why so many working class young mothers are not marrying; they don’t want to support a useless husband.

        And conversely, how does one define a stay-at-home-mom?

        I was married in ’87 at 25 years old.
        I worked one full-time job Mon-Fri 9am-6pm and one part-time job evenings and weekends, I also did 50%+ of the housework, laundry, cooking, yard work, house maintenance, etc.
        My (ex)wife?  She doubled in size and laid on the couch watching soap operas all day.  That is not an exaggeration at all.  Yes, she has problems, and plenty of red-flags that I didn’t heed before marrying her.
        I divorced her in ’97.
        So instead of the myopic and one-sided “men are useless” line you might want to be a bit more balanced in your posts.

        1. Kitty

          DeeGee, see my comment below where I criticize a lazy SAHM.  If you’re looking for philosophical consistency.

  4. 4
    Chester

    The study and conclusions are biased at best, and silly nonsense at worst. Perhaps the reason more couples end up following traditional roles is not the lack of government policies to help them do so, wherever that idea came from, but nature. I hate to break it to the sophisticated minds behind the so-called study, but men and women are different.

     

    1. 4.1
      L

      Nature?  I’m sorry if I’m not understanding but why would having XX chromosomes make women more likely to stay home than me?   I can tell you that “nature” made it harder for me to bounce back after having kids compared to my ex.  I did 95% of the childcare and breastfed while he just kept up doing his thing.  That certainly can make return to the workforce harder.  But once the breastfeeding stage is done, no, there is no biological reason why I would stay home.  Believe me, there were moments when I wanted to throw in the towel (and a lot of it was social pressure), but I thank my lucky stars it wasn’t in the cards because now, I can support myself and take my kids on vacations and drive a new car and own a home without a man to help.

    2. 4.2
      Shaukat

      @Chester,

      Biological difference does not automatically generate a hierarchy of roles and a  division of labor in all aspects of the public/private divide in the modern world. Not even scholars who approach such issues from an evolutionary perspective would argue this. For example, there is no biological basis for the disproportionate representation of males in politics vs females in certain countries, or, say for the fact that women may do more of the cooking. As to ‘where people got the idea’ that a lack of relevant government policies could explain the adherence to traditional gender roles in particular societies, simple cross-sectional analyses would tell you this. Compare any country which adopts comprehensive, proactive social polices aimed at promoting gender equality in specific roles (Sweden) with those that have fewer such laws/programs, and you will see this for yourself.

      1. 4.2.1
        Kitty

        “Compare any country which adopts comprehensive, proactive social polices aimed at promoting gender equality in specific roles (Sweden) with those that have fewer such laws/programs, and you will see this for yourself.”

        Seems just as likely to me that the Swedish government has those policies because Swedish people want them.  Outside of Scandinavia most people don’t want social policies that promote gender sameness and the government policies reflect that.

      2. 4.2.2
        Chester

        We are fooling ourselves if we believe biological differences do not have an enormous impact on our roles. It might feel good and enlightened to say those things, but it is absolutely wrong. Look around you, we do not need this study to know that even in modern prosperous societies, women mostly take the lead on domestic and child rearing matters. So why is that, if not nature? Why are people so reluctant to acknowledge that men and women, while absolutely equal, are different in significant, and wonderful, ways? Ways that impact our ability and our desire to take on different roles?

        1. It's you

          I don’t think anyone is saying that women don’t biologically have a stronger desire to be the hands-on primary caregiver.

          But the point is this: we’re not living in caves anymore.

          The traditional model — while you may be in love it and committed to preaching it fire and brimstone to the rest of us — does not work universally anymore.

          Fewer families — particularly in large metropolitan cities– can survive on one income.

          Unemployment is the higest it’s been since the Great Depression (2 incomes provide at least some insurance against being out on the street).

          Advances in technology have vastly reduced the time needed to maintain a home.

          Divorce is no longer shunned but the family courts haven’t evolved, leaving men with a higher risk in marriage, which is even greater if he’s the sole earner.

          Men are allowed to take a more active role in parenting and shocking as it may be, many would prefer less time at the office and more time at home if didn’t mean trading income or respect from bosses and colleauges.

          Not are families today fit the standard heterosexual Mom and Dad model.

          Evolution means humans adapt characteristics as our enviroment changes, not that we try to live in the past when it’s no longer pratical.

        2. It's you

          I don’t think anyone is saying that women don’t biologically have a stronger desire to be the hands-on primary caregiver.
          But the point is this: we’re not living in caves anymore.
          The traditional model — while you may be in love it and committed to preaching it fire and brimstone to the rest of us — does not work universally anymore.
          Fewer families — particularly in large metropolitan cities– can survive on one income.
          Unemployment is the higest it’s been since the Great Depression (2 incomes provide at least some insurance against being out on the street).
          Advances in technology have vastly reduced the time needed to maintain a home.
          Divorce is no longer shunned but the family courts haven’t evolved, leaving men with a higher risk in marriage, which is even greater if he’s the sole earner.
          Men are allowed to take a more active role in parenting and shocking as it may be, many would prefer less time at the office and more time at home if didn’t mean trading income or respect from bosses and colleauges.
          Not all families today fit the standard heterosexual Mom and Dad model.
          Evolution means humans adapt characteristics as our enviroment changes, not that we try to live in the past when it’s no longer pratical.

        3. It's you

          I don’t think anyone is saying that women don’t biologically have a stronger desire to be the hands-on primary caregiver.
          But the point is this: we’re not living in caves anymore.
          The traditional model — while you may be in love it and committed to preaching it fire and brimstone to the rest of us — does not work universally anymore.
          Fewer families — particularly in large metropolitan cities– can survive on one income.
          Unemployment is the higest it’s been since the Great Depression (2 incomes provide at least some insurance against being out on the street).

          The divorce rate is high. You may end up needing to support yourself and your children (or end up supporting a second household, depending on your situation). 

          Advances in technology have vastly reduced the time needed to maintain a home.

          Men are allowed to take a more active role in parenting and shocking as it may be, many would prefer less time at the office and more time at home.
          Not all families today fit the standard heterosexual Mom and Dad model.
          Evolution means humans adapt characteristics as our enviroment changes, not that we try to live in the past when it’s no longer pratical.

      3. 4.2.3
        Randy

        I know for certain that when my son is hungry, he definitely prefers my wife and her breasts than me and my breasts!   And he prefers them about every three hours day or night.

        I think discounting biological differences in men and women is naive, counterproductive and and detrimental to child development.

        And to be clear, my wife and I are equals.  I change diapers every day, administer vitamins, clean dishes and clothes as needed, etc….. But she is better at some things, I am better at other things so we take advantage of that, as human beings have done since the beginning of time.

         

  5. 5
    popee

    Ok let’s get real here for one second. Do ANY women out there find the idea of a stay-at-home dad even remotely attractive? I remember when I was online dating and there was a man’s profile tat stated he was a “stay-at-home” divorced dad.

    In all honesty I can’t think of anything less attractive than a man who stays at home and does not have a job or an occupation, or worse, a man who is supported with alimony from an ex wife. That to me negates the masculine aspects that make men attractive (to me anyway): decisiveness, ambition, the ability to be a protector, status.

    1. 5.1
      L

      I don’t find it attractive.  A SAHD messaged me on match a few weeks ago and frankly I had no interest.  I am interested in men with careers.  But that isn’t because he has a Y chromosome.  It is because I find people with jobs/careers more interesting.  My close female friends are all employed.  I don’t have much in common with the SAHMs in my neighborhood.  I don’t do play groups or mommy clubs, I have no time for 2 pm yoga, I wear dress clothes and heels every day, not sweat pants, I spend my own money, not my husband’s money.  It’s a different lifestyle.  I like talking to my female friends about work life balance, job stuff, how to fit in exercise and dating and all of the stuff relevant to my place in the world. I couldn’t see myself being attracted to a man that lives a fully domestic life.

       

      I also tend tend to be attracted to workaholics, so that’s another story!

      1. 5.1.1
        Christine

        I personally don’t think a SAHD would be compatible with me.  My boyfriend works like I do and we have very similar lifestyles as a result.  I never expected to have a man pay for me–I’ve worked hard all my life to stand on my own two feet.  At the same time, though, I’m just not in a position to support someone else either.

        I’ve never personally seen a SAHD/working wife marriage that I would actually aspire to, to be honest.  I do know some SAHDs with wives with lucrative salaries.  However, those SAHDs just don’t seem very happy, for whatever reason.  In fact, one of them wants to work again once those kids start school (although his wife’s salary really is enough to cover everyone)

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          If we’re going to say that men and women are both equal and the same (as so many commmenters do), I think it’s in our best interests to tell women to date like men do – for love, not money.

          Many financially successful men marry intelligent, successful women, who choose to stay at home – not because they’re stupid or lazy, but because they feel a stronger connection to their children than their work, or because the husband has higher earning potential.

          So if she’s a high powered lawyer making 300K and working 55 hours a week, and her husband is a middle manager making $75K somewhere, that doesn’t mean he’s stupid – it means her job pays more and there’s a case to be made for him staying home or working part time, as opposed to hiring a full-time nanny.

          We have to stop looking down on stay at home dads, for they are really no different than stay at home moms. To suggest otherwise is a double standard, no?

        2. Christine

          Fair enough Evan.  Truth be told I don’t relate to stay at home moms OR stay at home dads that much, simply because I’ve been career-oriented for so long (and both my parents always worked, up until their retirement).  But if that arrangement works for some people, then more power to them.

        3. popee

          Evan, I don’t think most women actually *want* the idea of equality. Maybe a woman who is a CEO/JLo/Madonna type is going to want a man who will take care of her home and so forth. For the average woman, that is TRULY unnattractive. I am reading the man’s profile and thinking, I don’t have kids and I am not in a position to be the main breadwinner. Yet this guy expects me to take care of him financially? Obviously he has no source of income other than alimony. h

          In poor communities that is actually the norm, the female takes care of the man and the man does nothing, sometimes is unemployed  and does very little or nothing around the house (I am latin so this is not prejudice, I have seen this happen IRL) so I see this and to me that’s a step back.  I have a brother who is like that, he is good looking and finds women who sort of take care of him financially because he is “artistic” and needs support for his passions (he’s 28). That is OK in South America but that does not fly in the US because American women are a lot more demanding and generally speaking prefer being along than with a man who brings nothing to the table financially.

    2. 5.2
      Skaramouche

      My instinctive reaction is to say “no, I don’t find that attractive” but I have to acknowledge that this reaction is a result of conditioning and assumptions.  In an effort to be fair, I tried to picture my husband as a stay-at-home dad and I realized I would be okay with that.  He wouldn’t change as a person…he would just apply his incredible intelligence in different ways and he would be MUCH happier for it.  Right now, he works as a highly paid IT consultant and he hates his job.  Is he driven?  Yes.  Is he intelligent?  Extremely.  Is he masculine?  Yes.  He’s not the typical macho alpha but he would absolutely “stand his ground and protect his woman” which is what what we want from alphas anyway ;).  So I change my answer.  With the right guy, yes I could be attracted to an SAHD.

      However, I admit that getting into a relationship with an SAHD who earns nothing (rather than him turning SAHD based on mutual agreement within our relationship)  is another matter entirely because I would be asking the same question: how are you okay with living off your ex-wife with no income of your own?  I would ask the same question of an SAHM though and as a guy I would be leery of dating her so this particular thing is not gender-specific.

      1. 5.2.1
        Christine

        Skaramouche, I’m just wondering–do you think he’d be happier as a SAHD, or working in another job?  Sorry he’s so miserable at his job and hope he finds a way out of that situation one way or the other.  I used to be in a similar situation with a job I hated.  I was so much happier once I quit and found another one.

         

        1. Skaramouche

          Fair question, Christine.  I should clarify…I didn’t mean he would necessarily be happier as an SAHD rather than working.  I was just saying that I could see him being happy as an SAHD.

          You’re absolutely right…he needs to find a more satisfying job but that will mean a fairly big pay cut without guaranteed satisfaction.  In his line of work, all corporations are mired in the same political bullshit so moving from one to another wouldn’t help.  He could join a start-up which is where he would fit best culture-wise but again, big pay cut, still working for someone else and could be a crapshoot.  What he needs to do is strike out on his own and he has been trying.  Let’s just hope that succeeds, haha.

        2. Christine

          I know what it’s like to work a miserable job mired in political b.s.  He has a lot to think about and I hope he finds the right solution!  What got me by my miserable job was looking towards the future to my next job, and reminding myself that this situation was just temporary.

    3. 5.3
      Kitty

      We have to stop looking down on stay at home dads, for they are really no different than stay at home moms.

       

      Evan I’m not sure who that comment was directed toward but I respect SAHDs who really do all the same work of a similarly situated mother.  However as I said in comment 3.2, and Popee said an another comment, most of the men I have observed who stay home while their wives and girlfriends work don’t do much of anything.  They watch TV, play video games etc.  Cooking, cleaning, child care etc. is usually done by their female partners or other female relatives who live in the household.  In my observation it is the norm.  My friend who is a genuine, does-the-chores, stay at home dad didn’t start out that way.  He and his wife agreed to it based on her job.  The idea of a SAHD doesn’t fill me with passion or give me a sense of security but if circumstances arose that made it a good decision for my (theoretical) family I’d be open to trying it.  But because sit-on-their-butts laziness is the norm among the non-working men I’ve seen supported by working female partners I’d be VERY suspicious of a man whose life goal was to be a SAHD.  I’d think that he was in all likelihood looking for a sugar mama.  FTR when I was a kid there was a mother in my neighborhood who was a lazy SAHM.  She sent her two toddlers to pre-school with extended day care so that they were gone as often as working mothers’ kids.  She had a cleaner back when it was relatively uncommon for middle class people in that area and unknown for SAHMs.   Neighbors who’d eaten at her house said that she always served frozen dinners, and other SAHMs said that she spent most of the day watching TV and doing her nails.  I wouldn’t blame a man for not wanting to support a lazy SAHM.  But from what I’ve seen women are much likelier to take the job of stay at home parent, and it is a job, seriously.

      1. 5.3.1
        It's you

        Perhaps it’s more instructive to look at the age of the children.

        If they’re infants or toddlers, there’s no way a SAHP who’s not neglectful is spending all day playing videos games and watching TV.

        If they’re school age, then maybe that’s more of a comment on the value of anyone staying at home once their children are older than it is on men’s supposed inherent laziness.

    4. 5.4
      Al

      I have zero problem with fathers staying home. If someone is divorced it  changes things, but that’s goes for either gender, IMHO. I’d expect men to have to the same level of aversion to dating a woman who sat home and didn’t try to work after getting divorced. Seeing that in anyone’s dating profile, man OR woman, says they’re waiting for the next provider to come and take care of them like a child. So, no. It certainly isn’t attractive in that particular situation because who wants to take on dead weight like that?

  6. 6
    Marie

    I think it is very hard for men to be stay at home dads or spouses because everyone looks down on them – it’s not just women – some of the harshest critics are other men.  Men’s identities are very connected to their job and how much they make.  One guy told me its a bit of a pissing contest between other men – that even if they already make a lot they want to make more than the other guy.  Their self worth seems tied up into it somehow.  I know of one stay at home guy and he feels incredibly alone – his guy friends don’t seem to get it and aren’t that supportive and he has nothing in common with the mommy clubs so doesn’t belong there either.  Stay at home women on the other hand at least have a social league to bond with and help out.  Let’s face it, as a society we make it very hard psychologically and socially for men to stay at home.  That is why when push comes to shove, often it is the woman who has to sacrifice her career whether she wants to or not for the sake of the kids.

  7. 7
    Mike

    It’s best to watch what women do rather than what they say. While many claim there’s something sexy about a man doing dish, the research on it claims the exact opposite. According to statistics, the more a Dad does around the house the more likely he is to end up divorced. Stay at home dads have much higher rates of divorce, even if he is working as well.

    1. 7.1
      Karmic Equation

      Well, I’m not sure if the research was using the right environment.

      SINGLE men who do their laundry, dishes, etc., ARE sexy. There is something very sexy about bachelor’s doing domestic things like vacuuming and dusting. As a single woman, I just love watching my guy do dishes, laundry, and vacuuming, even though we disagree on how he does his dishes or laundry. There’s only one way to vacuum, so there’s nothing to disagree about there. That said, he doesn’t own a flyswatter. So instead of swatting moths, he takes out his vacuum tries to suck them in with the wand, so he stabs at moths flying around with the vacuum wand, which actually seems really fun. I never thought to use a vacuum that way. LMAO

      Anyway, now contrast that to having having a hubby do dishes. This is just a part of life. She’s not getting a sneak peak at his (secret) domesticity. She and he are drowning in transparent domesticity if they’re married.

      What I’m saying is that yes, bachelor’s doing dishes is kinda hot. Hubby doing dishes is just another chore either he or wifey must do if they’re not hoarders. There is never anything sexy in chores. Unless you get the Drano guy when you buy Drano. lol

      1. 7.1.1
        Christine

        I’m just curious.  How do you disagree on how you do dishes or laundry?  I always thought those chores were pretty self-explanatory.  Are there really that many ways of washing a dish or doing laundry? Luckily for me, me and my boyfriend don’t argue about chores.  I’m slightly more clean when it comes to things like the bathroom mirrors–I have a weird thing about not liking to see spots and streaks (okay now I sound Type A lol!)  But I know it’s a very small thing not worth sweating over and won’t pick a fight if I see a spot!   In the end, these sorts of domestic roles just have to be divided in a way that feels right for each couple.

         

         

        1. Mike

          Women are their worst enemy in this regard, wives complaining how husbands do chores is one of the main reasons they stop helping, it ends up being “Fine, do it yourself”.

        2. Karmic Equation

          Well, let’s just say I offered to do his dishes and he didn’t like the way *I* was doing them (so 😛 Mike, I wasn’t picking on HIM, he was picking on ME! So there!)

          I like to wash dishes with running water and a soapy sponge. He likes to fill the sink full of hot water and some dish soap, let it soak a while, then wash the dishes in (what I consider) dirty water LOL and then rinse with warm water, thus diluting the hot water already in the sink.

          If he had offered to do dishes at MY house, I would have been happy however he did it. I would have been happy that *I* didn’t have to do them. But, noooo, he needs them done his way. So he told me to leave the dishes and he’d do them. lol. Fine with me. I won’t offer again. So his loss!

        3. Christine

          LOL I stand corrected, I guess dish washing is debatable after all!  🙂 I personally wash them in running water but to each their own.

      2. 7.1.2
        Mike

        I guess I can rest my case, if only single guys are sexy doing chores…The research was about married men and stay at home Dads….

    2. 7.2
      Kitty

      I am not so sure about that.  A woman whose husband doesn’t help out around the house is probably too exhausted for sex after the end of a long day.  It may not mean that the actual act of a man washing dishes is sexy but that his wife is more open to sex if she doesn’t have to do all the domestic chores herself.

      1. 7.2.1
        Mike

        That would make logical sense, but it does not work out that way. According to the stats the hubby that did the most chores around the house had the least sex.

        1. Kitty

          Mike, despite what many women wish they wanted few want a completely androgynous relationship.  I’ve seen this happen: they find a guy who goes for it, claim to be very happy, then get vaguely discontented without knowing why.  Although they vigorously defend the relationship to outsiders they are in private annoyed and turned off by the man and situation.

          However that doesn’t mean that a man who is still basically masculine but helps out around the house.  I’d guess that most women want that though obviously this varies from woman to woman.  But a husband giving up his masculine role to be a mother’s helper is sexy to very very few women.

      2. 7.2.2
        DeeGee

        Kitty said: “A woman whose husband doesn’t help out around the house is probably too exhausted for sex after the end of a long day.

        Yeah, because it takes so much energy to lay on her back…  😉

        1. popee

          if you see women as little more than dead fish lying on their backs,  I’d be surprised if have any real-life contact with females and if you do, if  you’re getting ANY action at all.

        2. DeeGee

          popee, Seriously? You didn’t see the wink emoticon at the end of the sentence? It was a joke.  Lighten up.  🙂
          And for your information, I had some action less than 2 days ago.  :p

    3. 7.3
      Kitty

      It’s best to watch what women do rather than what they say.

      Men too.  Especially men who claim that they really want women to pursue them and pay for dates.  Etc.

    4. 7.4
      Marie

      Mike not sure where you got the data but Evan had cited the opposite research – the best predictor of a successful marriage is that the husband is sensitive to his wife’s feelings and shares in the housework and childcare.

        1. Mike

          From your own links Marc, “Couples in counter-conventional arrangements had sex two and a half times less per month than egalitarian couples, Carlson said, and were half as likely to be satisfied with their sex lives”, which was my point, past a certain point more housework by hubby does not get him more sex, it gets him less.

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          You do know that the point of marriage isn’t “more sex,” right? You seem to have missed the happier marriage part.

    5. 7.5
      It's you

      Re men doing more housework having higher rates of divorce, I could point out that correlation does not imply causation. I’m pretty sure I know the study you’re talking about it and it didn’t explore why the couple got divorced, just noted that two factors are correlated.

      Of course the more I read the comments by women, the more I realize I’m fighting a losing battle.

  8. 8
    Skaramouche

    Guys, I’d like to make a completely off-topic comment but this is driving me nuts because several of you are doing it, LOL.  When you start the sentence with a plural subject, you have to end with a plural when referring to the same subject!!

    A sentence like this doesn’t work: “Stay-at-home dads should know that he won’t be respected if he rejoins the workplace.”  The sentence should look like this: “Stay-at-home dads should know that *they* won’t be respected if *they* decide to rejoin the workplace” or like this: “A stay-at-home dad should know that he won’t be respected if he decides to rejoin the workplace” but not a combination of both!

    Sorry and thank you :P.

    Disclaimer: the above is not my opinion, it was just a convenient sentence to use.

  9. 9
    stacy

    Why is it that everyone is taking about family friendly policies at work, and nobody is talking about family friendly communities. Or, more like, 2 people working family friendly communities. Lets face, the traditional American suburbs were specifically designed for a type of family where one person (usually a woman) is a full-time caregiver. Long commutes and distances between where kids are (home/school/kindergarden) and where parents are (work), unfriendly school schedules with bizarre start/end times, the culture of after-school activities that require chauffeuring kids around, etc., makes it increadibly difficult for both parents to work. If we lived in denser, more urbanized communities, where either parent could pop in at school or at home in case of emergency in 20 minutes rather than an hour, taking your kids to the doctors wouldn’t require taking a day off, and after-school activities would be accessible via public transportation and on foot, this dilemma wouldn’t exist for the most part. Of course, that would require some serious reprogramming of the large chunk of the population who just absolutely must have their own backyard and a 2 car garage… “americn dream”.

  10. 10
    Stacy

    “So if she’s a high powered lawyer making 300K and working 55 hours a week, and her husband is a middle manager making $75K somewhere, that doesn’t mean he’s stupid – it means her job pays more and there’s a case to be made for him staying home or working part time, as opposed to hiring a full-time nanny. ”

    Ok, I was that woman making $300k (except it required working far more than 55 hours of course) while being married to a man who in a good year made 70K and spent most of his time complaining that I was always working and never around. I am no longer married to this man, and with this experience  I can most definitely say that this model DOES NOT WORK. At least it didn’t work for me. In terms of money, his incremental 70k didn’t move the needle for us, the expenses associated with running a larger household were greater. As far as family goes, as a woman AND a breadwinner, I would end up working 80 hours a week while trying to get pregnant and going through fertility treatments, than do same while actually being pregnant, morning sickness and all, I would have i than move to the suburbs and commute 1hr each way because 300k per year do not buy a family friendly apartment close to work on my city, and I would have to do all that while having a newborn – as if I wasn’t sleep deprivated enough making that money to begin with. And, on top of that, I would likely have to listen to my husband complaining that he is being “abandoned” and that I was a “bad mother”
    What do I need all this grief for?? As George Clooney’s character said, “sell me marriage”. I challenge anyone here to sell me a marriage like this. And, a marriage where a woman is forced to be the breadwinner will inevitably turn out like this. I saw it happen and thank god every day that I got off before it was to late.

    1. 10.1
      Chance

      Your experience was basically what its like to be married as a man.  So, are you saying that no one should get married if he/she is going to be the primary breadwinner, or is it only women who shouldn’t get married under these circumstances?  If it’s the latter, why is it okay for men to do this, but not women?

      1. 10.1.1
        Stacy

        Not at all. My experience was what it would be like to be married as a female breadwinner, and bear the brunt of pregnancy, childbirth, associated health issues AND the stress and pressures of providing for a growing family all at the same time, all the while the husband is enjoying himself making his 70k in a stress free environment and sipping wine on the backyard.

        Married men who are breadwinners butt out of their house at 7am and when they come back at 7pm the kids have been taken care of and the dinner is on the table. And since they provided for all that, they are “good husbands”. Married women who ae breadwinners need to figure out how to take care of the kids and the dinner while leaving at 7am and coming back at 7pm. And if they don’t, they are “bad mothers”. See the difference?

        1. Chance

          No, all I see is that you had a bad husband.  Men already contribute more to a marriage on average (in terms of hours per day).  Stay single or find one of those men.  Good luck to you.

        2. L

          Sounds like my experience!

      2. 10.1.2
        popee

        @Chance

        I think it’s fair to say that if a man is the main provider he doesn’t have to get pregnant and run the household on top of that. That is what I am getting from her comment. She has the double-burden of being the breadwinner AND giving birth AND running the household which is something that male breadwinners don’t have to do.

        They basically show up to an adoring wife who has dinner ready and takes care of the children’s needs.

        In that sense,  the wife liberates the husband from the mundane tasks of day-to-day, so all she has to focus on is his career, something that men can’t or won’t do for women.

        Her comment above illustrates to me that her success (=more time at work) creates further burdens in the marriage because the husband wasn’t really prepared for the trade-off, whereas some women are raised to be “wives” and take care of a man’s needs.

        1. Al

          This is something every working mother I know complains about. When my ex and I first got together we both worked the same number of full time hours, yet he still expected me to do that lion’s share of the housework, cooking, cleaning, childrearing, etc… and would complain to me when the house wasn’t clean enough. My response was always, “Well, you have two hands just like I do. Clean it yourself.”

           

          He continually failed to see that, as long as we were both equal breadwinners, he was as on the hook for doing the chores as I was.

           

          We tried several different setups throughout the years, me staying home, both working, him staying home. He barely lifted a finger when it was his turn to be a SAHD. He spent all his time playing computer games and smoking weed.

           

          Mothers are always expected to have a larger role in the home than men, regardless of who is earning more money or working more hours.

        2. Chance

          I don’t know any wives that match your description.  You’ve provided one extreme, and the other extreme would be a man who comes home to a nagging wife who is waiting for him to take her and the kids out to eat.  I do know wives who fit this description.  The majority of marriages, undoubtedly, fit between these two extremes.

           

          Also, carrying a child to term and giving birth isn’t a big deal.  It isn’t that dangerous and it isn’t that big of a sacrifice.

        3. Kitty

          @ Chance

          Also, carrying a child to term and giving birth isn’t a big deal.  It isn’t that dangerous and it isn’t that big of a sacrifice.

          Do you seriously believe that or are you just trolling?  Leaving the reality of high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia etc. aside pregnancy and child bearing renders a serious hit to women’s bodies and sex appeal.  Why do you think magazines are full of tips on “how to lose the baby weight”?   I’ll let the mothers who comment here school you on the rest.

        4. Chance

          @Kitty – Respectfully, I understand that giving birth can be a stressful time (especially when it’s a first child and the father isn’t being sympathetic to a mothers’ concerns, isn’t being sufficiently helpful, etc.).  However, the health concerns you noted aren’t common, and the risks can be mitigated to a fair extent by living a healthy lifestyle.  As far as the more superficial aspects are concerned, plenty of mothers look just fine, and many women in their 30’s who aren’t mothers don’t.  Most people (men and women) experience a notable decline in their physical attractiveness from 28-35.

           

          My reason for originally commenting on the matter is that I’ve noticed a recent trend where some/many (certainly not all) women try to use the fact that they bear children as leverage for why men need to do all these things to help women out within the context of a marriage.  It also seems to be the one of their biggest (if not the biggest) points of justification for why women should have reproductive rights and men should not.  I have a hard time buying it.

      3. 10.1.3
        stacy

        And, my point is, nobody HAS to get married – neither men nor women. In the post-agrarian, post-industrial society we live in, marriage is no something that any of us need to survive. It’s something that we should do if it enhances our lives, makes us happier.  And if it doesn’t, that marriage has to go (or not occur in the first place). There’s no intrinsic value to marriage itself anymore.

        A female breadwinner is saddled with 2 roles  – that of the biological parent and that of the main provider. So unless men figure out how to carry a baby to term and breastfeed, they would have to do so much more in other departments to compensate for this lopsidedness. As a woman in that position, I want to never see dirty dishes in the sink or dirty laundry on the floor (and honestly its not so much work to make sure a housekeeper shows up). I want to never hear your complaints about how “bored” you are (get a job, work 60 hours and you wont be), I want to never be made feel guilty for working long hours and providing for the family, and I want my feet massaged when I get home, and I want to be driven to the train station every morning, and I want to have romantic dinner served to me on a regular basis. And surprise me with a trip to a spa on a weekend, not a trip to a supermarket. Etc. In the alternative, go and make more money than I do and I will scale back on my hours to make YOU a romantic dinner. Anything short of that would be coming up very, very short.

      4. 10.1.4
        Marie

        No, Chance, you don’t get it.  Married men who are breadwinners have one job which is to focus on their career and have their wives take care of the rest.  Married women who are breadwinners still have three jobs – pulling down money for the family, running the household and doing all the childcare.  This happens with virtually all of my male colleagues compared to my female colleagues who have the same high profile job.  The woman’s day never ends while the men can go home and relax. And why do you mean why would a man want to be the married breadwinner?  It a freakin sweet deal – they get to focus on their careers which they would do ANYWAYS married or not AND they get someone to wait on them hand and foot when they get home and take care of their kids. I can’t imagine a better deal than that. Women on the other hand consistently get the short end of the stick if they are career women.  I personally have a very balanced marriage where neither of us do any goddamn housework however when we have kids I am going to have to negotiate a sensible compromise or else I am just not going to have the kid.

        1. Chance

          Yes, Marie, I do get it.  Almost all of my male colleagues are breadwinners.  In many instances, the wives don’t work at all.  These men do a lot of work around the house as they are expected.  Many of these SAHMs don’t cook or clean, either.  I don’t know any situations that mirror what you speak of.  Sorry.

    2. 10.2
      popee

      I’d be curious to learn more about your situation. It’s not clear to me whether you have in fact had the child and moved to the suburbs or if you just imagined that? What happened in the end? Did you get a divorce and are you now a single mom? Or just single? It seems that you are the only person on the comments section who has actually lived through this situation so your feedback is greatly appreciated.

       

       

       

      1. 10.2.1
        stacy

        I interrupted an IVF mid-cycle, pulled out of a contract on a house and moved back to the city and filed for a divorce – when it occurred to me that things already sucked horribly for me and would only suck worse if I went ahead with all of that “marriage” stuff. So, I am single and very highly skeptical of the whole idea of marriage these days.

        1. popee

          Wow thanks for sharing! As a never-married single woman in her 30s I can now see why statistics indicate that unlike men, women are less likely to marry after a divorce. It seems that marriage clearly benefits men more than it does women, at least high-earning (300k+) professional women.

        2. Chance

          Popee, marriage is often a raw deal for the higher earning spouse regardless of gender.

        3. popee

          @chance

          Based on evidence and commenters who kindly shared details, I am inclined to believe that there are enormous differences and that women WILL pay a price if they are career women.  Your comments don’t seem to based on concrete evidence or experience.

        4. Kitty

          Money matters but marriage is a raw deal whether you’re a man or a woman, no matter who earns more, if your spouse isn’t meeting his or her responsibilities.

        5. Mike

          The number of women, or men for that matter, making in the excess of 300K is a tiny segment of the population. The top of the economic ladder is the so-called “1 percent,” or households that earn more than $250,000 annually.

          Nobody in that income range even needs to do much in the way of household chores anyway, one can hire a full time housekeeper for less than $20,000 a year.  Having a part time housekeeper come in to do the bulk of the cleaning is very doable for many people in far lower income ranges than $3000,000.  Angie’s List members reported paying between $100 and $150 for biweekly house cleanings, many independant cleaners work out to even cheaper than that. A friend of mine has one clean his 2800sq.ft. house for 85.00.

          I might add that I’m a single dad who had full custody of two kids, now grown, one on her own, the other 17, so I have first hand experinces with chores, school, daycare etc… The idea that household chores are so time consuming is a myth, it takes five minutes to load a dishwasher, washing machine or dryer, all run on their own and you’re free to do other things for an hour, like clean the house. If you clean and dust regularly and have not allowed the place to become a complete pig sty, cleaning a 1500 sq.ft. house can take less than two hours twice a week.

          Grocery shopping was a once every two week deal for us, list in hand, it took us an hour, drive time included.  Meal preparation is not a big deal either, I did a lot from scratch in bulk on weekends, eg chili, stew, soup etc..which could be frozen in two – four serving sizes, which reheated ready to eat in 15 minutes…

        6. Adrian

          Mike are you a stay at home single dad or a full time working single dad?

    3. 10.3
      Adrian

      Stacy I am curious about the issue of your ex complaining that you didn’t spend much time with him because of your job. In the future is there something that you would do to spend more time with your boyfriend or is this just a case of  to date you a guy would have to be okay with not seeing you much because your job comes first (I do realize that this could have just been a problem with your ex and not other men you date)? But your working 80 a week can’t leave much time for a social life.

       

      I only ask because before and during college, I only could dated women who were on my level (unless you are a very attractive, most <not all> women don’t date down financially), now that I have a high-end 6 figure job, I have tried dating professional women, but I have noticed that most of them treat dating like a 2nd option, a fall back plan B choice, or a hobby to their careers. But they all say they want love and romance, but none want to work for it, they want it to just magically fall into place, and none would dream of sacrificing their advancing their careers for it.

       

      This is hard for me, because I don’t think any woman should jeopardize her career for me, a guy who in the beginning stages of dating, is just a stranger to her, but at the same time, trying to date a woman who is always too busy to talk on the phone long because of working late to finish projects, or who replies back to texts late because she is always in meetings, or gets home late on week days and is too tired for me to come over, or talk long on the phone, or who just wants to pop into the office on a weekend to check on something and ends up staying their for hours because of some emergency, which causes us not to have much time together on the weekends, or she is always out of town on the weekends going to different conferences…

       

      I find dating these women hard. What attracts me to these type of women is their intelligence and their desire to have more out of life than just waiting on it to be handed to them, not their money or title, but how am I suppose to date someone who never finds time to spend with me and if Icomplain” then I am not being understanding, or I am being selfish, or I am just intimidated by strong, smart, successful women, or I am a beta male, or I am needy, or I just want a woman to be at my beckon call, or I don’t understand she has a life and a career too, or I want her to give up her life for me, etc. The list goes on and on

       

      I could not understand it before I became successful, but now, I honestly DO understand why so many successful guys would choose the attractive (sometimes younger) woman who works at walmart over the women who is a CEO at a company. It has nothing to do with wanting someone he can control or being intimidated by strong, smart women who don’t need a man financially… at least in my case.

       

      So Stacy, to you and the other professional female commenters, how do you balance this? I am asking this assuming that you are in very time demanding positions. How do you find time working 80 hours a week and still make sure your man feels desired by you? How do you two find time to bond and get to know each other?

  11. 11
    Marie

    Chance said “Also, carrying a child to term and giving birth isn’t a big deal.  It isn’t that dangerous and it isn’t that big of a sacrifice.”. Are you kidding me?  Of all the ignorant things you’ve said over the years this has got to take the cake.  You have the luxury to say that because you will never have to suffer through it. Women still die in childbirth.  And babies still die.  We in fact have one of the highest rates of infant mortality in the first world. this is not to mention the miscarriages.  Have you ever had a child you were carrying in your womb born dead or disabled?  Don’t you dare say it isn’t a big deal.  You don’t know what you are taking about. You want to be an uncaring misogynist who dies alone and unmarried fine but leave your unfeeling comments out of the discussion.

    1. 11.1
      L

      Seriously!  And aside from the health risks, he should try working full time while vomiting several times a day and completely exhausted due to pregnancy.  And, after delivering, I wonder how he would like working and pumping breastmilk multiple times a day, all while getting up 2 times a night to nurse an infant.

    2. 11.2
      Chance

      “Don’t you dare say it isn’t a big deal.”

       

      Having a child isn’t a big deal.

       

      In 2013, the maternal death rate was 18.5 per 100,000 births (0.000185, or 0.0185%).  The automotive crash death rate was 10.3 per 100,000 people in 2013.  Since most people drive a car every year, but most women do not have children every year, the lifetime odds of mortality from childbirth and car crashes are very different.  The likelihood that a woman will die in childbirth is 1 in 2,400.  The likelihood that someone will be killed in a car crash is 1 in 77.

       

      Driving a car is not a big deal.  Having a child is not a big deal.

       

      1. 11.2.1
        Stacy

        This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard in life.  After you are done telling women that having babies is not a big deal, may be you could visit a hospital and tell camcer patients thay chemo is a breeze.

        Being pregnant and having a baby takes out 2 years of woman’s life, destroys her body in many ways and it absolutely is and should be the reason why men should be doing more than 1/2 to be doing truly equal amount of “work” in the family. As other women here commented, this means bloating, vomiting, constant tiredness, low energy, hormonal shifts, inability to concentrate, losing hair, losing teeth, subjecting yourself to invasive medical treatments for pretty much the entire time, pushing a baby through one’s vagina, being a milk factory for another 9 months, constantly attached to pumping or feeding and unable to travel or enjoy a glass of wine for 2 years. This experience will wreck your body and career and life as you know it, so it better be with a right man. Certainly not the one who thinks that this is not a big deal and you just need to suck it up.

        1. Chance

          I’d like to see you go to a hospital and tell cancer patients that chemo is no worse than having a baby, and then run for cover.  That, above all, will provide you with a hint that having a baby probably isn’t that bad – relatively speaking.

           

          I would probably refrain from telling your kids that having them has wrecked your life, however.

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          Chance, you should know better. Never minimize what it takes to bear a child or raise a child. It’s more work than you could possibly imagine. The more you speak, the worse you sound.

        3. Chance

          First, I never said a thing about raising a child being easy.  I know I’ve been taking an unpopular stance, so I can understand where emotions can make it easy to project and respond to things that I didn’t actually say.

           

          As far as bearing a child is concerned, I’m not minimizing it, but I don’t believe in maximizing it, either.  I’ve acknowledged – on multiple occasions now – that it can be burdensome.  I’ve acknowledged that fathers should do everything reasonably possible to make the mothers’ lives easier while they are pregnant and right after the child is born.  I don’t agree, however, that fathers should do more than half of around the home in perpetuity, which appears to me to have been alluded to here in a couple of comments.

           

          I also don’t agree that it is as dangerous and hazardous to one’s health as it is made out to be these days.  It’s a complete farce to bring up the possibility that a woman can die in child birth when challenging the notion that giving birth isn’t that dangerous.  I could tell this was on the minds of some of these ladies when they kept bringing up that they have to give birth, and sure enough, someone responded with that.  I will acknowledge that you can die giving birth in the sense that you can die doing just about anything, but it’s incredibly rare in the developed world.  It is also not very common to experience the serious health concerns noted by Kitty, especially if one isn’t already unhealthy.  Finally, it’s completely ridiculous to compare people going through chemotherapy to being pregnant.

           

          Men already contribute more to the household in terms of hours per week, and I’m agreeing that they should contribute even more when the mother is pregnant and nursing.  They deserve sympathy.  What exactly else does everyone (including you, apparently) think that these mothers are entitled to?

      2. 11.2.2
        popee

        Don’t feed the troll you guys. He’s clearly enjoying the misogynistic ranting.

        1. Chance

          There’s no trolling or misogyny here.  I understand that pregnancy can be annoying and uncomfortable, and fathers should be as accommodating as reasonably possible while women are pregnant.  I am sympathetic to the pains of going through labor as well.  However, the idea that men should to more than women in perpetuity (which they already do, by the way) just because women provide the “miracle” of childbirth is crazy.  The idea that men should not have reproductive rights, while women should, for the same reason is also crazy.  If you and Marie think that is misogynistic, then the two of you have a very, very broad definition of misogyny.

        2. Karmic Equation

          Men think passing kidney stones the size of a grain of sand are a big deal. You would think he was on his deathbed.

          Yet passing something the size of a watermelon through the birth canal is “not a big deal”.

          Wow.

          Chance, really?

      3. 11.2.3
        Kitty

         Having a child is not a big deal.

        Get back to me after you’ve had a fistula.

      4. 11.2.4
        Kitty

        Chance, here’s some free advice: if you want to connect with the opposite sex learn to empathize with their problems even if they don’t seem like a big deal to you.

        One of the reasons I read this blog is to understand men better.  On my own I’d have never thought about how difficult it is to approach a woman, ask her out, pay for a date and then have her never return my call.  Sounds obvious?  Women’s experiences are (usually) very different.  Most of us don’t take the time to think outside of our experiences in love which is why men and women so frequently misunderstand each other.  Citing statistics about car accident deaths to “prove” that child birth is no big deal will not endear you to women, online or in real life.  If you can’t empathize with women’s problems learn to fake it convincingly.  Seriously dude this is Understanding Women 101.

      5. 11.2.5
        SparklingEmerald

        Chance at 11.2

        Driving a car and having kids are both “big deals”.  Big benefits and big costs to both.  Neither one to be taken lightly.

        My BF does 95% of the driving in this relationship.  I am rather a skittish driver, don’t really enjoy it, and the older I get, the smaller my “driving comfort zone” gets.  Don’t like to drive at night, in the city, anywhere where parking is a hassle, in an unfamiliar place or any car other than my own.

        On the other hand, my guy LOVES to drive, would prefer to drive than fly, and is practically my chauffer.  Even though he LOVES doing what I don’t particularly enjoy doing, I REALLY APPRECIATE that he does this for us and I let him know how much I appreciate him in this regards.  And on our last big trip, I just held my tongue, and remained calm while he was swearing and yelling trying to get used to the rental car, and dealing with his outdated GPS that steered us wrong on a couple of occasions.  I didn’t belittle him for venting his frustration,I didn’t tell him to just calm down or that yelling wasn’t going to do any good.  I just let him get it out.  I would never even attempt to drive in a unknown down town city in a rental car because I know how nerve racking it can be. So I appreciated his driving and let him do it his way.

        I think it is similar with women and having babies.  We (most of us) LOVE babies and children, and greatly desire them, but we also know that there is a lot of hard work and sacrifice bringing those little bundles of joy into the world and raising them until adulthood.  We certainly don’t want to be told that labor isn’t that bad, or that the day to day demands of caring for children are no big deal,   ordered to make dinner first day home from the hospital after giving birth or having post-partum EXHAUSTION being dismissed as laziness.

        In most households the mother is more involved with the children, especially during the very young years.  Our hard work in this regard should be appreciated, not dismissed as trivial.  When my son was a baby, I was mostly a stay at home mom.  So I was more involved with our son, and my ex appreciated my mothering.  He worked TWO jobs at times to make ends meet, which I really appreciated and I let him know it.  So I put more effort than he on the home front and he put more effort than I did in providing for our monetary needs.  Neither contribution was trivial,  both functions were vital, and appreciation was forthcoming on both sides.  The arrangement worked fairly well for us because we both agreed to it and we both expressed our gratitude towards each other (most of the time) for our part in caring for our family.

        I am guessing you do not want children.  Fine, don’t have them.  But don’t denigrate women for their biological role in continuing the human race.  It IS a big deal, very rewarding, but also a lot of hard work.

         

        I am guessing you really don’t like women that much either.  I don’t think you downright hate us, but you sure don’t seem to like us.  All of your “observations” about women are about how we all waste money, drive up mounds of debt,  & use men for money.  You seem to live in a world where you claim your male friends support each other’s desire for a relationship, yet they all seem to have the laziest “sit a home wives” who don’t cook, clean or contribute a cent to the relationship.  You claim that you have just “observed” that women are reckless with money, even though you have never dated these shop-a-holic gold diggers.  You even seem to have observed women putting less than $20,000 in their retirement funds, which for you is a requirement.  (the max one can put in a retirement account tax free was $18,000 last time I checked)  How you know the dollar amount a woman you don’t date puts away is beyond me, and why you would consider the dollar amount ones put into a retirement account an indicator of character is also beyond me.  Maybe that’s your issue with women who choose to be mothers.  It’s pretty hard to sock away $20,000 for retirement if staying home or working part time.

        You also seem to begrudge women a cup of coffee.  You see 2 women out in public enjoying a latte, and you make up a negative back story about them and call that an “observation”. (which it isn’t, it’s an assumption, and unfounded one at that)

        Chance, I was happy to hear that you had met someone and it seemed to be going well, so I am guessing that it didn’t work out for you.  Sorry it didn’t work out for you (if that’s the case), and if I’m wrong, if things are working out, why do you still come here to share your “observations” of how worthless we women are ?

        Your “observations” and complaints about women are getting increasingly worse.  Do you even like women ?  Why are you even on this blog since you seem to disdain women, marriage, family life (having children).  Are you here to learn ?  Are you hear to tear women down ?  Are you hear to teach us a thing or two ?  If so , what are you trying to teach us ?

        1. Chance

          Hi SE,

           

          No, I don’t dislike women.  I’ll acknowledge that my comments are getting worse.  There’s a reason for that I won’t bore you with the details, but basically it involves me wondering whether I should have a child over the past several months, and I have found it very frustrating how limited options can be for a man who wants to do this.  I’ll leave it at that.

           

          While this is technically a dating site for women, EMK does a good job of providing interesting commentary on subjects that are often controversial and are good material for debate.  This had drawn me in to commenting as I could freely challenge things on gender relations that I didn’t see as fair or right with the benefit of the anonymity that the internet provides.  Kudos to him for that and he has been very tolerant of letting me express my views/comments lol.  At any rate, I’ll stop commenting because I am really stressing myself out thinking about these things and some others sure seem to take it seriously, which doesn’t serve anyone well.

           

          With that, SE, can I please ask you for one favor?  Can you please read people’s comments carefully to ensure you respond to what they actually say?  I know you don’t mean to do it, but you often either respond to people on the premise that they said something that they didn’t, or you take on hyperbolic interpretations of what people said.  The comment you just posted above is filled with examples of that, from top to bottom.  Don’t do it for me ,or anyone else on this blog, but do it for yourself.  I can’t imagine that would ever serve you well in your relations with others.

           

          I will admit that I’ve been way overstating my case here in the comments section of this blog.  I have a very bad habit of seeing the worst in people – certainly not something that serves me well in my relations with others – and is something that I need to continue to work on for sure.  It had definitely influenced my commentary here because I tended to respond to the worst things women would say, and ignore the good and/or neutral.

        2. SparklingEmerald

          Hi Chance

          Thanks for your response.

          Good luck in your quest for a child.  Since you didn’t want to “bore” us with the details, I have no idea what avenue you are going down towards fatherhood.  I am assuming single parenthood but I could be wrong about that.

          Men DO have fewer options when it comes to having children, mainly due to BIOLOGY.  I know it can be frustrating, but biology limits the options for men all of their lives, and limits women’s options to about a 20 year window.

          I have no idea how adoption works for single moms, vs single dads, but I’m pretty sure even the non-biological adoption option favors MARRIED couples.

          And surrogate parenting definitely favors WOMEN, but that is due to biological factors.  It is far easier for men to sell their sperm to a sperm bank, than it is for women who wish to be single moms, to rent her uterus through a surrogate agency and then surrender the baby to a man who wants to be a single dad.

          And women can more easily “trick” men into fatherhood, than a man can “trick” a woman into motherhood.  Neither tactic which I condone. In fact, I loathe “tricking” anyone into parenthood.

          Fathers who divorce often get a raw deal when it comes to their kids, which is something I despise.  There might be an ever so slight biological component at play, (if the divorce happens when one of said children is an infant) But I DESPISE when divorcing mothers use the courts to screw a man out of a relationship with his children. It’s horrible for men, and even more horrible for children who have a right to a relationship with both of their parents.   Of course, none of this applies to your post or anything you said, in this paragraph, I am just speaking generally about the topic you brought up,  parenthood options for men and women.

          So, I understand your frustration, but the “unfairness” in parenthood options are MOSTLY guided by biology than anything else.

          I think the best solution, is for people who desire parenthood is to seek the co-operation of the opposite sex.  For men, even though they have more years to do this, they still have to secure the co-operation of a female of child bearing age, and this can become more difficult as men become older.  For women, that means taking their love life seriously sooner.

          Even though men and women are roughly 90% the same, those 10% differences based in BIOLOGY are routed in our reproductive functions.

          It is best to seek to understand and/or respect those differences with the opposite sex if one desires parenthood.  And isn’t that what this blog is about ?

          Many of my posts contain a mixture of a response to what the poster said, as well as my own views on the topic at hand or a point the post I replied to brought up.  I know it’s not always clear which is which.

          Good luck making your decision about fatherhood,  which ever route you choose.

           

  12. 12
    Adrian

    Would it not just be easier for women with demanding careers to not have children or to adopt?

     

    Also like Karmic Equation said in 7.1, during dating, don’t women evaluate how much a man will do around the house by how much he takes care of his own home/apartment?

     

    From the post on this site about living together before marriage, it seems that most women misunderstand that moving in together, should not be done only if he plans on marrying her, it should be just another level to see how a man is on a day to day bases around the home, then after some time living with him, if you can see yourself being okay with how he is unfiltered day to day, then you two should talk about marriage.

     

    If you dated a person for about 2 years then moved in with them and lived together for about 2 more years (without kids), then you would have a clear picture of the amount of time your partner would contribute to the daily household chores.

     

    I personally don’t think a woman should give up her job, if she wants both the time demanding professional job and her own children, then she needs to thoroughly vet her future husband, maybe they can babysit family members young children or something to see how he handles it.

     

    Or she could take Evans advice and date beta men who would be okay with doing a lot of housework, but like most of the women said, they wouldn’t respect that guy, they want the alpha or masculine man, but it is rare (not impossible) for those type of guys  leave work early so that they can cook, clean, and pick up the kids from school, so the wife can relax when she gets home.

     

    And just so you don’t think I am picking on women, it is also wrong for men to want a women to give up her job to do all the housework or raise the kids, but he doesn’t even consider quitting his job for the kids or cutting back hours so they both can work and equally raise their children.

  13. 13
    Mike

    Adrian, I am a single Dad who has his own business and works full time from a home office. All I basically did was work chores into the day, eg. First thing before breakfast ( table set the night before) I’d throw a load of laundry in and while I was at it grab a roast out of the freezer to thaw for dinner. The kids went to school and I had six straight hours with an empty house to work before I picked the kids up at 3:15 PM. I’d get some more work done in the evening after the kids were settled for the night.

    Major house cleaning was done every Sunday, minor tiding up was ongoing, took less than an hour if done everyday. The kids helped as soon as they were able, clearing the dinner table, loading unloading the dishwasher, folding laundry, simple yardwork and tiding up. Meal preparation, which seems to be a big deal with some women I never had a problem with. It only takes 20 minutes to prep a pot roast for the crock pot, a meal which leave plenty over as leftovers for another meal and meat for sandwiches. Lunch prep was easy as well, often the left over stews, chili, soup went into thermos, my kids rarely went to school without a hot lunch..

    I might add none of these skills seemed to be much of a plus as far as my dating life was concerned, I learned early to omit any mention of my kids, culinary or domestic skills. It generated no “Chemistry” and quickly got me Friend Zoned.

    1. 13.1
      Kitty

      I guarantee that if you ask single moms about their romances you’ll discover that their dates are no more intrigued by their tales of childcare and cooking than yours are.

      1. 13.1.1
        Mike

        My point is that many women complain their X’s never helped around the house, but really do not place much value on one who does. A man that truly stimulates women can get away with all sorts of bad behavior and they’ll make all sorts of excuses for staying with him until he dumps them… Then of course he just becomes just another in a long line of “Assholes” followed by a rousing chorus of “Were have all the good men gone”…

        1. Kitty

          Uh…a whole lot of men will tolerate all manner of bitchiness, nastiness, mental instability etc. if a woman is beautiful and good in bed.  Whereas those same men will never even consider a girl who is ugly even if she has the soul of an angel.

        2. Not Jerry

          Kitty, even if she’s good in bed?

        3. Mike

          It’s a simple matter of biology Kitty, men are not initially attracted to how angelic a woman’s soul is, what degree she has or how much money she makes, those are just a bonus if she is also attractive. Some men through lack of experince will put up with a lot of crap from an beautiful, but unstable woman, most guys have one like that in their past. For most experienced men she’s just a short term fling or a one night stand.

        4. Dio

          It’s the same for women though. Men will go for  a woman who’s exciting, is passionate about her hobbies, and is independent (not in a ‘I don’t need a man’ way, but in a non clingy, noncodependent way). Then, they complain because she doesn’t have time for them and write her off as a selfish bitch, but when a woman comes along who has the same qualities as you, she gets overlooked…unless she’s hot. Then you have websites full of men complaining about how there are no ‘good girls’ left anymore. There seem to be a lot of people who lose all sense of reality when they date and don’t think long term. I feel like the new dating apps are making it even worse.

          I do hope that when I get ready to settle down, I find a guy can and likes to cook. And doesn’t mind folding laundry. Goals.

           

    2. 13.2
      Karmic Equation

      It sounds like you need Evan’s e-Cyrano’s service for your profile, because written the right way, culinary or domestic skills could sound hot:

      “No one can make Peking Duck they way I can; and dust bunnies are no match for me and my trusty vacuum. Only the 7-minute Drano guy can unclog a drain faster than I. I believe slow and steady wins the race in relationships as well as drain unclogging and many other activities ;)”

      You know what I mean. Put some energy and flirtatiousness into your online profile. If you can make a woman smile when she reads it, you’ll have a shot. As long as you’re decent looking.

      1. 13.2.1
        Mike

        I actually did a lot research on online dating for articles I was writing for my own website, including testing of various profiles and images. Of all the photo’s I used, the favorite by 25 to 1 was of me dressed like Terminator, in shades and battered black leather jacket, glaring menacingly off to the left. The profiles that got the most response were the most ridiculous eg..

        “I live by myself, I pay my own rent, I wear socks that match and I love my mom. I do stunt work. Have you ever seen it in a movie when a hot actor has to reveal his naked ass? That’s my job.

        The most private thing I am willing to admit: I wear a special cologne. It’s called Sex Panther by Odeon. It’s illegal in nine countries…and it’s made with bits of real panther, so you know it’s good. Text me.”

         

        1. Karmic Equation

          Yeah, and the responses were from sex-hungry, desperate women, right? Not that that would be a bad thing if they were good looking. The would women like me would consider the Sex Panther sentence too aggressive and the “text me” thing.

          I know I would have rolled my eyes and passed. Flirty is different from “aggressive”.

          What did you happen to write for about your cooking and cleaning?

          You probably didn’t take have as much fun writing about that.

           

        2. Mike

          Nope, most of them responded because they were entertained by it and curious, not sex hungry. The profiles written by the seemingly level headed guy who mentioned he was a Gourmet /Connoisseur only got one tenth the amount of attention Harley McBadboy did.

        3. Karmic Equation

          Yeah, but you probably didn’t use the Terminator pic either.

          Sometimes the combination of the unexpected, e.g., McBadBoy who is a Gourmet/Connoisseur, would get a lot of attention, whereas Gourmet/Connoisseur who wears a tie with short sleeves will get passed by.

        4. Mike

          I rotated the same images in all the profiles. Research indicates that women look for reasons to disqualify a guy online, the more detail you provide increases the odds of them finding some unforgiveable flaw. The Terminator with a minimal/dumbass/sexy “don’t give a shit” profile won hands down.

        5. Nissa

          KE,

          the bit about Sex Panther is a riff from Anchorman. While I personally would be turned off by a Terminator photo, perhaps the responders assumed the photo was also tongue-in-cheek to match the quote.

        6. Tall Azn Guy

          I have to agree with Mike. I did a trial run myself on OkCupid and Plenty of Fish just as a social experiment for my own personal amusement but also to see if what I’ve been hearing around me in my social circle in Los Angeles and reading on online forums about what women say that they want versus what they actually end up choosing have any validity and if so, to what extent.

          Like Mike, I found it overwhelming the case that when I post a pic of myself looking like some bad boy with a mean streak for adventure with an equally minimalistic profile description, I’ve definitely received more clicks and messages from women who are not sex hungry and who are looking for something a bit more than just a quick one night stand.

          Conversely, if I posted an honest-to-God profile that is extremely detailed (such as hobbies, things I like, things I dislike, etc) and with pictures of me in a clean cut dress suit, hardly any clicks come through; much less actual messages of women wanting anything more than a quick lay. Bizarre is about all I can say but very informative nonetheless. It certainly speaks volumes about what women say that they want as opposed to what they actually ending up choosing to do but then again, it’s OkCupid and Plenty of Fish and everyone knows that both websites are really for the most just a hotspot for a quick fling and that’s about it.

      2. 13.2.2
        Nancy

        In response to Tall Azn Guy on this reply thread.

        It truly is weird how people work and what people say versus what they do.  I find contradictions in my boyfriend on a daily basis and he in me.  So we seem to be at odds with ourself.

        Years ago a study was done that said people distrusted people in a suit and tie.  Seems there us some underlying thinking that if a person is dressed up to well they are trying to manipulate by impression and people sense this.  Sometimes people are overly friendly and most of us are weary of overly friendly people.  Today the stereotypical “nice guy” women don’t want to deal with.  The stereotypical nice guy is a person who is passive aggressive so most that have dealt with Mr. Nice Guy would rather deal with a person in your face or so we think. I was married to Mr. Nice Guy per everyone’s else’s perception but living with Mr. Nice Guy is a nightmare as he truly does not get along – he is hateful, resentful, revenge driven – despite perceptions so I have swung to the other extreme “somewhat”.   So everyone is coming from a different place.  I believe all men and women want someone that they can relate to and get along with and that has integrity.  I don’t think the vast majority of women are looking for the bad boy, they just don’t want the stereotypical Mr. Nice Guy that truly isn’t so nice, he is as bad as the bad boy.  I used to refer to my ex as the sneak … you never knew what Mr. Nice Guy was going to do and when he was going to strike or what he was up to … because Mr. Nice Guy keeps it all in (passive aggressive).

         

    3. 13.3
      Kristyn - with a Y

      That would not have put you in the “Friends zone”.  I  love a guy who is takes care of his kids and his home.

      Those women are crazy

  14. 14
    Mike

    “You do know that the point of marriage isn’t “more sex,” right? You seem to have missed the happier marriage part.”

     

    Happier for who Marc?, for most healthy men a happy marriage includes sex on a regular basis, and the guy doing the most housework, the SAHD, is getting the least and has the greatest chance of divorce for his efforts. Women have to learn what men have always known regarding careers and family, ” You can’t have it all”.

    1. 14.1
      Kitty

      Women have to learn what men have always known regarding careers and family, ” You can’t have it all”.

      There are men out there who are in their late 40s and early 50s whose dating profiles say they want kids “someday”.  Men can be just as unrealistic and self-serving in this regard as women.

      1. 14.1.1
        Mike

        “Men do it too” is one of the oldest tricks in the feminine Guidebook  titled “Things we don’t want to talk about” , used to divert discussion away from the topic at hand.  There are Men of that age who want kids, but they are in the minority, most being men who have never married, have low sperm counts, or their first wives could not have kids.

        1. Kitty

          Mike the point I’ve been trying to make in my counterexamples to all your complaints about women is that men do more or less the same thing.  Just like women, men are rarely erotically intrigued by the daily lives of single parents.  Just like women, men will put up with a lot crap from people that they’re very sexually attracted to.  Just like women men can be unrealistic about incorporating having kids into their professional lives. However I don’t excuse or minimize anyone’s behavior by claiming that it is all “biological”.  Are you a biologist by any chance?  If you’re still wounded from your divorce and need a place to vent your self-pity I suppose this blog is as good a place as any.  And if that is the case I won’t continue engaging with you as though you are a good faith, logical debater.

  15. 15
    Mike

    Kitty, all initial Male attraction is biological.  All the “Fat Acceptance” and testosterone shaming in the world will not induce men to desire women who are physically unattractive to them. A Male Brain Surgeon will quite happily date a bubbly attractive Barrista with minor degree over a chunky Strong Independant Woman with a Master’s degree making six figures… It has nothing to do with fearing strong women or being indimidated by them, most men who are honest or brave enough to say so simply find them unattractive and unpleasant to be around. Those that are not honest or brave will simply tell you what woman want to hear in a way of ingratiating themselves and avoiding conflict

    Seeing how this site’s primary reason for being is to tell women what they don’t want to hear in a palatable form and improve their chances of finding a suitable men, falling back on the tired old, “men do it too” or the “you’re still wounded from your divorce” male shaming bromide serves no useful purpose. Men like myself, who have already been married, divorced and have successfully moved on are the top demographic most women post 35 have to choose from. Ignoring our honest and sometimes blunt advice regarding what we are looking for seems very foolish if a woman intention is to actually “Find a Good Man”..

  16. 16
    Nancy

    I think this article and study show that women are still sacrificing earning power for the sake of the children and ultimately the family and overall marriage.  So … when divorce happens, I hope men can understand that there have been sacrifices and to help the woman move forward, alimony might be necessary in some instances.  With as technology driven as the world has become, setting out for 5 to 10 years while your children are young, means getting back into the workplace so that you can support yourself is fairly overwhelming not to mention the age discrimination.  If you had a degree, then sit out for 5-10 years, that degree can look pretty worthless on paper.  Essentially you will be starting over.

  17. 17
    citizenElle

    After a rather vicious split, our parents nonetheless agreed that my younger brothers and I should live with our father. He worked and lived in a little cottage in an orchard which meant he never had to be away from us, so he was essentially a SAHD. He did everything our mother traditionally did for us (cleaning, cooking, teaching etc) on top of his duties and it’s honestly one of my most cherished memories.

    Having said that, he faced some discrimination for being such a visibly hands-on dad in public. He cuddled us, sang to and with us, played with us and (when we were little) helped us in the public restrooms. People would sometimes stare and whisper, or even approach us children while Dad was distracted to ask us if we were okay or if ‘that man’ was really our father. For a short while in my teens I stopped holding his hand and pecking his cheek in public, as is my wont to do, simply because I noticed that people were staring at him as if he was a paedophile. Still, Dad was a trooper and reminded me that us kids were the most important thing in his life and he didn’t give a *cough* what other people thought.

    Compared to twenty years ago, I’m noticing a lot of hands-on, openly affectionate dads out in public. I love it. At my end of the world at least it feels like people have become far more accepting of openly affectionate, loving and hands-on dads – SAH or no. I hope Millenials will embrace the courage to live their lives according to their needs more and more, whether or not it fits into a traditional worldview.

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