Mr. Mom

It is 19 days until our wedding. The other day we had our first trial run of the ceremony. It made it so real. I have not really thought about being married. Well at least the reality of what it is to get married.

I am good on the serious matter of covenant and the responsibility that arrives in fashioning one life of two individuals. I am excited to learn her tribal language and for here to learn my tribal language.

I have day dreamed about the shared space of our home together. The week day nights filled with Brubeck and CSI or Gray’s. The axis of that evening’s gourmet dinner filled with giggles and smiles. A beautiful vision of marital bliss, right?

I am not so naive that I believe our marriage will be all happy, happy, joy, joy devoid of difficulty. I find myself seeking advice and counsel of folks that are married. I am excited by the challenges that will arise and the opportunities for us to work on community as we are ministered to and by each other.

One thing keeps tugging at my heart, gender roles and responsibility. I am no misogynistic monster that expects my partner to submit and serve me. In fact my partner’s strength and independence is what draws me to her. I love that she is modern and free spirited.

I wrestle with what this society demands of me. When we wed she will be the primary bread winner. She will have the only full time job in our burgeoning family. I will attend school and work as much as possible.

The funny thing is if I am not working or contributing more than her I feel as if I am not doing my part. Our culture dictates that my value as a man is in provision and work. My partner’s worth lies in her ability to care for house and home. Do these cooking shows speak to men or women? Are there shows that address the growing need for a division of labor in the home that differs than yesterdays households?

Women can work full time and chase a career as long as they do not drop the ball on house work. Women have two full time jobs. I wrestle with our attempt to challenge and redefine what a household is to do.

There was this movie, Mr. Mom that came out in the early 1980’s. In the film the man looses his job and cannot get a new one. So his wife gets a job to support the family and he stays home and becomes “Mr. Mom” as he cares for the children.

The film is filled with hilarious scenes as the husband learns the ways of caring for the kids. He navigates the treacherous waters of seductive woman out to nab this stay at home daddy.

The happy ending is that Mr. Mom gets his job back and Mom returns to home. What a happy ending.

I want our home to be a place of equality and generous support. I have a feeling that Mere will be primary income for some time. I am a bit uncomfortable with it. I am trying to find peace as I seek to be someone that does not support, encourage, or partake in the gender or sexual bias that is perpetuated by these traditional roles.

I would love to stay at home and be a stay at home dad. I have known a few guys that have done and still do this. My friend’s Brian Merritt and Pierre Lyons, being two of the most respected fellas I know, are two amazing stay at home dads. Both of these guys are married to amazing and anointed women that serve in ministry. Brian, now serves as a senior pastor in DC, remarked to me that the time he spent as a stay at home dad will forever be fondly cherished.

3 thoughts on “Mr. Mom

  1. I had similar feelings when Jeni and I got married, Jeni being the more focused and ambitious one of the two of us. I felt it even stronger when we came to Scotland and she went to school while I was unemployed. I thought I’d felt the extent of those feelings, what society expects of us and what it says we should feel about ourselves, and I thought I’d figured out how to really buck convention. Then we had Hosea and I became a real Mr. Mom. From this vantage point everything seems so much worse. When it comes to child rearing in popular culture we’re still in the 1950s. I could write more and maybe will in a while, but the man wants breakfast.

    By the way, give me an address so we can send you a wedding gift from the Presby homeland.

  2. The mailing address until May 31 is 100 East 27th St Austin, TX 78705. Please send your prayers they too are welcome.

    I hope you write more on this. One day we could have a play date at the local pub?

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