Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Hmmm.. a house husband with no kids?


Someone shared an article from Slate where a married dude with no kids opted to stay at home and be a full-time homemaker. 
What can I say? I drop my wife off at her office (we're trying to remain a one-car couple), then clean, mend, cook, run errands, and deal with the various logistics of life. Kids are a get-out-of-jail-free card when it comes to breaking stereotypical gender roles, but without them homemaking is not really seen as an ambitious life-calling or even particularly time-consuming. I have to say, I don't see it that way...
...My salary was above average for a not-yet-licensed architect, and though sufficient to live on, it was nothing to write home about. When the-job-offer-she-couldn't-refuse landed, we realized she was going to be the big earner. In fact, she would make enough to support us both, and this put my vocation in an entirely new context. I had no insecurities about being outearned by my partner, but I had never really considered the idea that my job could be optional.
I'm sorry. I'm not evolved enough to be cool with this. Way too traditional. I understand he doesn't have to work (wife pulls down great salary) but I'm thinking that even if he worked part-time, wouldn't that bolster the retirement/vacation/expensive shoes fund? I'm of the mind that while you are able to maximize your earning potential - why not do it?

I'm also of the mind that it wouldn't be too many nights before I walked in and gave him the "what have you been doing all day" look. I know, totally Stone Age in my thinking but there it is. I think I've told this story before but it fits so I'll share it again. 

When I was living in LA, I was in a long-distance relationship. Dude was wealthy enough not to work and had just retired from his first career. He was doing a little bit of consulting and a whole lot of golf. When he came to visit, I would get up and go to work and come home to find him perched up in front of the TV. I hated it. Ha-ted it. It wasn't like he was a drain on my finances or the least bit shiftless. I just hated the thought that I was getting up hitting the bricks all day while he was lounging. In response, he started getting up an hour before me and running the vacuum and washing clothes. We made it a full month before I announced, "Lookie here, Bush in the White House. Everybody needs a job round here." He went back to work in less than a month.

Don't get me wrong, I'm skeptical anytime someone (male or female) who isn't raising kids, caring for someone, between jobs or battling illness isn't doing something. Anything. Go volunteer somewhere. Runa charitable foundation. Read to kids at the library three times a week. Something. Yes, I'm a dinosaur. I cannot fathom the day when I come home and tell dude, you can shut it down. Place your hindparts on the sofa for good. I got you, boo. Naw.

 If I work, everybody works dammit. You quit, I quit.  :-)

Maybe it's just me? Let's discuss. Ladies, could you deal with a stay-at-home dude even though there are no kids to take care of? Fellas, could you be this guy?

70 comments:

Cocoa Winston said...

Good for her and good for him. I couldn't do it. He would have to do more that bust some suds round the house. And it's only the two of them - how much is there to clean and cook? I'll call reverse sexism on myself but this not for me.

Jason P said...

Does this guy's wife have any sisters? LOL
Much as I joke and say I'm looking for a sugar mama - I couldn't do it. I'd have to do something.
As my father says - Wherein lies the money, lies the power.
I guess I'm not evolved enough either Chele cuz I need to have a say so in more than what fabric softener we buy.

Stanley Dada said...

To each her own..

BB Waite said...

On the one hand, I wonder why it's okay to be a housewife and not a househusband. On the other hand, I'd have to readjust my thinking to make this work. It would have to be a true partnership. But like you, Chele - not sure I'm there. If it was for a little while, okay. But for months at a time?

Miz JJ said...

We were talking about this on twitter. I couldn't do it. I said I wasn't sure I could respect a dude who was a glorified housekeeper and at my beck and call all day. I agree with Tiffany in Houston "Everyone in my house shall get up and go to work". Fin.

CaliGirlED said...

"I need to have a say so in more than what fabric softener we buy."...*hollers*

MeetCharlieL said...

I could not be this guy unless I was working from home. Writing, consulting, something. I need intellectual stimulation, cooking and cleaning would not suffice. No shade to those that do.

CaliGirlED said...

Uh no! Why? Because he who does not work does not eat. And as Cocoa said, there's only two of them, how dirty is the doggone house! Let me say this, while I respect housewives and stay at home moms, I couldn't do it. And since I couldn't do it, he definitely can not do it! Running up light bills and gas while I'm hustlin??? Shiiiiiiiid! And this goes for anyone over the age of 18! You're working and/or in college or you're not living in my house! Yes Mya knows this!

Tarsha! said...

I am not evolved enough either. I am far more traditional than I'd like to admit so this would not work for me. Like at all.

TrulyPC said...

"If I work, everybody works dammit. You quit, I quit. :-) "



ROFL. Green smoothie went everywhere! I have to say that am the same way. I can't even imagine it. I don't have a problem if the couple chooses for the husband to be at home raising the kids (dogs do not count because they are dogs not children) but without that aspect I ain't even trying to hear it. At all.

Shah said...

I can't get with anyone who is cool with just chillin' all day ... female or male ... as mentioned, if there are children in the house, I am all for it ... homey just chillin'? nah ... honestly, I don't think I know any adults who would be content with just keeping house all the time ... again, it doesn't have to be a full time, salaried job, but volunteer, work at his/her own business ideas ... something ...

Trey Charles said...

Like Jason said below - I joke a lot about actively seeking the woman who will let me play Xbox all day but these are just jokes. There is a narrow window to hustle and pad the 401(k) - we should both be hustling as fast as we can so we can BOTH shut it down that much sooner.

blackprofessor said...

Chele, I have to make a slight correction - retirement/vacation/Louis Vuitton fund.

You mean to tell me that this man is chilling at home in this lackluster, slow to recover economy?? No, no and heck no! I am not interested in being a housewife and I am not interested in being with a house husband.

datdudeincali said...

C'mon, son. Just chop off your balls and put them on the shelf next to the Tide and the Bounce. SMH.

Grace said...

Wouldn't want my man to do it. And I wouldn't want to be a housewife. We all need interests outside the home.

Adonis said...

And this is why I treat women like small children, & lead them. Because when we really go with tradition, then women have issues. We go modern & strive for egalitarian, libertarian, then women have issues.

Whatever.

J Danielle said...

I think society puts too much emphasis on careers in the first place and that decision is causing a lot of strife now that ambition is less often correlating with financial success. Some people value careers and others don't. And when you are one of the people who doesn't value "work" others are actively offended by that. people are also actively offended by someone who isn't trying to earn the most money they possibly can. I am a high earner and could probably support a man and child by myself. I personally don't find value in the act of "working" although my job has many moments I love and am proud of. Still, I'd much rather be a homemaker and take care of a husband and kids where I feel I would be more fulfilled and rewarded. Also, the man in this article lists many tasks that he performs in a day yet people are still talking about him "lying around" or playing "video games" so clearly there's a lot of "projection" happening. choosing not to have a career =/= lazy. I wish people would disconnect this, it's the reason that a lot of men who lose their jobs become very depressed and their wives can do nothing but stand by and watch them lose their confidence and self worth.

Ciara Vesey said...

Well said!!

GrownAzzMan said...

"Don't get me wrong, I'm skeptical anytime someone (male or female) who isn't raising kids, caring for someone, between jobs or battling illness isn't doing something. Anything. Go volunteer somewhere. Runa charitable foundation. Read to kids at the library three times a week. Something. Yes, I'm a dinosaur. I cannot fathom the day when I come home and tell dude, you can shut it down. Place your hindparts on the sofa for good. I got you, boo. Naw."


I'm with you. If money doesn't matter find something you love or feel rewarded by and do that.

GrownAzzMan said...

"C'mon, son. Just chop off your balls and put them on the shelf next to the Tide and the Bounce."


Just so you know, you owe me a laptop...

aisha1908 said...

I am out of the home from around 8 am 'til around 10pm every weekday for work (life of a litigator). When I get home, I am always delighted to see my spouse has cleaned, cooked, picked up our laundry, moved the car (NYC alternate side parking) & basically made our home cozy before my arrival. don't knock it 'til you try it! My spouse works from home 3 days a week, so he isn't a stay-at-home spouse, but it is great to have a well-maintained home that I simply don't have the time to maintain due to my work hours. When he is away for work, I try to take a half-day off from work to do the same for him, delight him w/a well maintained, welcoming home.

daisy said...

It's not so much that he's choosing not to have a career. It's what he's chosen to do instead. I understand they were moving, getting settled and all of that. But now that the house is in order, I'm sorry I just don't understand what he does all day. I would say the same if this was a female. Is the spouse a high-powered executive and he's coordinating events in the home? Is he catering something? Writing a how-to? Even if he's blogging - I just need to hear more than dry cleaning and swiffer.



I'd feel differently if he lost his job. But he opted to quit and she was okay with it. If they like it, okay. I couldn't.

Shareef Jackson said...

Hey, you know what you want and that's cool. Every relationship is different.

My ex and I were a one income couple and it worked well. As long as I can hit the financial goals agreed upon with my partner I don't care who brings in what. There's no more "I bring this and bring that" in marriage. All one big pot.

David W.Parrish, Jr. said...

Hmm..this is...Interesting.

First things first.

I appreciate Chele owning her latent traditionalism. Saves me a bunch of righteous indignation, which is VERY, VERY unsexy. God knows I need to preserve what little sexy I have these days.

Now to the core of my comment.

A. There is a world of difference between "house husband" and "dude who ain't working". If Mrs. Bacon Bringer is Caking up to the point where she's Side eyeing the expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts, then it is certainly possible that She DESIRES a partner who is, in fact, a house husband. Corporate America is chock full of men who have wives who don't work at THEIR insistence. Good for goose, Good for Gander.


B. My career field often leads to me having a consistent day off during the week which allows for me to shoulder the lionshare of household tasks. Dry Cleaning, Cooking, errands, Shopping, all the stuff that would get divided by two working spouses now falls completely upon the spouse that happens to be off during the week. There seems to be the automatic assumption that ANY man who opts out of the work world isn't capable of performing Homemaking to the degree that it would make his wife okay with him not working.



C. anyone who has actually BEEN a homemaker knows how much work it can be...EVEN WITHOUT children. Shopping, Homecooked meals breakfast, lunch and dinner, Household errands, maintenance of the home. landscaping, etc. etc. just KNOWING that your spouse has your back and isnt beholden to a job that doesnt sufficiently upgrade your standard of living.




The bottom line is this:




Ain't naaan one of yall ever wished you could walk into the door and have all your household stuff HANDLED Dinner made and a loving spouse waiting for you?


I know i have.


In a world free of gender roles, it shouldnt matter if that spouse has a Y chromosome or not.

Carey Jackson said...

I wish the eff I would go out and work while Mr. Carey clips coupons.

No.

My mother was a house wife. She managed the family finances, raised three kids, had dinner on the table every night at 7 and chaired 6 committees that I recall while maintaining a perfect size six. Bless that sainted mother of mine. It won't be me and it damn sure won't be my husband.


NAWL. Hell NAWL.

Carey Jackson said...

And just in case I wasn't clear - NAWL.

Velinda Evans said...

" Running up light bills and gas while I'm hustlin??? Shiiiiiiiid! And this goes for anyone over the age of 18! You're working and/or in college or you're not living in my house! "



I second this emotion playcuz.

CaliGirlED said...

LMAO!!!

C Nelson said...

Yeah ... no. Just no. I am not supporting you while you do nothing. If the old job wasn't your dream, that's okay. Go back to school, find something that you can do for the long run. Turn your hobby into a small business, I'm fine with that. I'm not saying you have to work full-time if we really don't need the money, but you'd better be doing something so that when I ask you to tell me about your day, you actually have a halfway interesting answer.

CreoleInDC said...

I'm coming at this from a different perspective because I guess I wouldn't have a problem with it. My dream is to be able to retire my husband so he can do whatever he wants to do in life be it golf everyday or start a business. His career has afforded me the ability to pursue my dreams and he goes to work and works hard without complaint while I've been allowed to go to school, learn something new, start doing the something new, and continue to get better at it. That's all because of him. I'm happy with what I get to do and it would be a dream come true for me if he didn't have to work anymore to take care of us.


And we are child-free too.

Earthangel172 said...

Without reading the comments section, I could not deal with a house husband or stay-at-home dad. I'm sorry but when my feet hit the floor so does his. #TeamTraditional

Mr. Skyywalker said...

It would definitely have to be discussed as far as how it would work for how long and all the contingency "what happens if"
Not for me but to each his own.

Mr. Skyywalker said...

*fist bump* It's wrong but I caught myself head bopping in agreement

Velinda Evans said...

1st husband had an illness that kept him from working (later on I found out that if he better maintained his illness he could have worked but le sigh and many lessons learned). I knew going in that I would most likely be the sole bread winner and I was fine with that because I signed up for it when I said yes to his proposal. Now I was cool with going to work and paying all the bills, I already was doing that. I was cool with him understanding that he would be responsible for the children and the chores. We did pre-martial counseling with our pastor, we talked about this and he agreed. We said I do and he didn't. As you can see that didn't work out. I'm all for partnership and everything isn't about money but I couldn't do this right here, raised too traditional for all these shenanigans.

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

Short answer? No. Long answer: Much like you Chele, I believe that errybody in the house has a job. For kids, that's chores and school. For adults, that means gainful employment where you pull down a paycheck. Shoot, the booski has a job, and it still irked the hayle out of me when he came for an extended visit (we're long distance) and he saw me off to work every morning. I don't care that you are on PTO, yo azz is waving me off in a bathrobe while I'm going out to get it. Nawl.


Yes, I realize my view on gender roles contradicts my type-A personality, drive, and independence. Long hair, don't care. Let's be evolved and divvy up the chores for when we BOTH get home from work.

MiddlePassageDesigns said...

Ummmm, the only way he can be a "house husband" is if he has "house job"...meaning, he is bringing in income from home. I probably still wouldn't like the fact that I have to actually go outside of the house, but I could deal with it if he jobs allows him to work from home. Other than that...I gotta go with traditional gender roles for $200, Alex.

J Danielle said...

yes that's the convo I just had with someone on twitter. going to work would be much less stressful if you came home to everything already handled. Not having to rush out on your lunch break to do this or that or get stuck in traffic after work trying to pick up a last minute gift or run to the grocery store. even small conveniences like putting new music on your ipod could be handled by the non working spouse not to mention staying home to meet the handyman or plumber etc. the more of I think about it, that woman's life is likely MUCH easier than mine.

Penny said...

Errybody needs someplace to go in the morning-if you don't need to work for pay, work for the betterment of humanity.

CaliGirlED said...

To me this is different. He had you, now you've got him. He worked hard while you worked at making it doing what you love. When you in turn make it, you will allow him to relax and do what he loves. I get that. Fair exchange ain't never robbery! (But excuse me doesn't this man run marathons and do volunteer stuff? Not trifling at all!)

SingLikeSassy said...

Like Miss Sofia said in The Color Purple: HEY-ALL NAW. This is some ol' next level shit right here. I don't care if your income is pocket change, you better bring that 75 cents in and slam it on the table and say, "Here baby, that's for parking when you go downtown." *mumbles and grumbles as I leave the post*

Andrea M said...

*In Oprah voice* "You get a job and You get a job and You get a job. Ev-Ery-Bo-Dy. Gets. A. Job!"
*drops mic*

CaliGirlED said...

"I drop my wife off at her office (we're trying to remain a one-car couple)"...Is this to preserve the environment from gas emissions?

"..then clean, mend, cook, run errands, and deal with the various logistics of life."....Various logistics of life? Bwahahahaha!!! If she likes it I love it! Couldn't be me!

CaliGirlED said...

I just died!!!

OneChele said...

*snickers* Comment of the day.

Moni said...

"Because he who does not work does not eat."

One of my mom's favorite sayings! Growing up, I had chores since I was a child and summer jobs since I was a preteen. We were taught early that we were all responsible for the running of the household. No freeloaders allowed!

Moni said...

Although I would love to come home everyday to a clean house, a home cooked meal and no errands to run, this could not work for me unless he was also independently wealthy. I enjoy my job, but I would not like the pressure of being the sole breadwinner. What if I got laid off? What if I don't get that promotion that I expected? The age of the 30 year job and gold watch is loooong gone. Plus, I have expensive tastes, and therefore would need to make really good money to support both of us in the standard of living that I would prefer.

Marioned said...

I don't have a problem with it. Whether I could do it is different story. Different strokes for different folks. My grandmother never worked outside her home a day in her life and she had "The Help" Before during and after her kids. Truth be told I could use a House Husband right now . Clean house, dinner cooked, hot bath ready every night would work for a sista!

JoycelynC said...

Can't be me or mine but hey if they like it, I love it.

Whitney said...

I work from home, and I have several other things I'm doing. My husband doesn't pressure me to get a full time gig. I couldn't just sit at home and be a housewife, it would drive me crazy, menopause and all. I would be a wreck when everyone got home, they would be afraid to enter.

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

I want to be able to think like this. Truly, I do. But I can admit that I am not there yet.

OneChele said...

I'm sitting here looking at laundry, some furniture that needs to be assembled and some draperies that need to be hung. I need a house keeper. STAT.

thinklikeRiley said...

Ain't nobody tell me there was fresh bouge? *looks at Twitter* Oh.
Anyway, cosigning with DatDudeinCali below.

Bailey said...

This ^ right here!!!

happinessisme said...

Different strokes for different folks I say. Sometimes I think about if I would like to be a stay at home mom or not. If I ever had children I'd definitely want to be available for them in a way my parents weren't. However, when I think about the type of person I am, I don't think I could get along well without a career. I'd rather have a booming career right about now than anything. I had a great father, I don't see why men can't be stay at home dads. If it works for them, cool.

Vee said...

Couldn't, wouldn't and shouldn't! This is terrible! I will NOT be dealing with the trials and tribulations of the corporate world while you sit a home watching Days of Our Lives. Nope, won't do it.


www.itsvp.com

nylse said...

you got kids? is this what you would tell your son? what if a child does not want to work? how do they learn to take care of themselve? I like this message, but I guess there's got to be some boundaries/ framework around it.

nylse said...

you need a wife!

OneChele said...

Don't I though? Sheesh!

GrownAzzMan said...

This in simply not for me. Even after I hook up with Kerry and get the Ferrari and the Bentley I will still be doing something of my own.

Shareef Jackson said...

Great post J Danielle, I definitely think there is a lot of projection going on. This dude is putting in WORK around the house and they are financially successful and happy so I don't see what the deal is.

J Danielle said...

I don't think this is an issue as far as kids are concerned. You teach them that people have to do things to take care of themselves that they might not want to do whether it means working or cutting out fried foods or living on a budget etc. etc. Life is full of things you *have* to do in order to eat or live. My point was more about folks looking down their noses at other people's lack of "ambition" or lifestyle choices when that person is satisfied with their life and doing just fine.

Adrienne said...

True Confessions: I've always wanted a wife! I always figured I'd have to settle for a personal assistant, cook & a maid. Honestly, if he enjoyed it, if he was really good at it, & had other outlets (golf anyone?) we'd have to see if I hated it. Besides, I work from home so its not like my commute would have me resenting him. That said, NOBODY is eating Cherrios on my couch at 3pm playing video games.

Angela said...

No.

invectiva said...

Amen!

QueenDBW said...

THIS!!!

One Chele said...

Thank you! I recently was offered a "house husband". He is recently retired and wants to pay no more "taxes". Don't even get me started with that statement. But i said no thank you - I won't be retiring for at least 15 or more years and the idea of coming home - even to a clean house - there are no kids at home anymore - well let's just say when I said no - not unless you find some kind of work - he rescinded the offer.

One Chele said...

The idea of "working for the sake of work" is a very American notion, one that I never understood. If only one income is necessary to maintain one's lifestyle, then what is the point in two? To say nothing of the fact that you can't take any of it with you anyway.


Also, I think too many of y'all are underestimating just how long it takes to do everything that needs to be done for a house BECAUSE most of you stretch it out or hire someone else to do some of it or just put it off completely. Depending on the size of a house, it can take anywhere between 2.5 to 4 hours to clean it. Throw in yard work, running errands, and cooking, and you've pretty much got an 8-hour day right there. Two-income households especially have the tendency to push all of the cleaning and yardwork to the weekend (this Saturday I'll clean the gutters, next Saturday I'll whack the weeds, by the way are we ever gonna go through the attic? etc.), and then it ends up being stretched out over a month or longer because there are only but so many hours in a day.

One Chele said...

I see several comments assuming the guy just sits there all day and is not the least bit productive. What if the guy takes some time out of his career to be a full time student? Is it acceptable then? He finishes his degree(up to 4 years later) and goes back to work. At that point the roles could change.

One Chele said...

After reading this Article i understand women saying, " I don't Want my man sitting on the couch all day playing videogames " But if thats what your man would do if he was a househusband what kind of Man have you already chose for yourself?


I myself am a househusband and myself and my wife do not have any children. We married in our early 30s and both of us were not doing to bad for ourselves. I never considered the role until recently when i found out there was no way my wife could get a drivers license due to her not having peripheral vision and recently acquiring a job that was paying over 100,000 a year. I ended up having to drive her 40 minutes to the train station and then picking her up taking 40 min every day after i was working (my commute is over 1 hour). After our jobs we both were completely exhausted never getting anything done. yard work, cleaning, buying groceries etc. I was approached by my wife to stay home as i was only getting about 3 hours of sleep a day and that she made over 80 grand more than myself, not to mention the fact that our days differed so since she couldn't drive i had to on my only day off once a week get all the things we needed done. I said no at first but after a few months of getting nowhere she re-asked me and i just accepted. I drive her were she needs or wants to go. Everything in the house is clean and tidy. We dont have to hire anyone to clean our yard anymore. The only downside is when you tell people that your a househusband people gawk at the idea as if your not doing anything, to be honest i took the housewife's job originally not to serious until i had to do it, it is a real pain sometimes but the reward of having everything accomplished every week makes myself and my wife very content. And no i dont watch tv or sit around. I build canoes in the backyard and sell them online on my free time, which is now more seldom than when i was actually working : ) ( i got bored lol)

One Chele said...

My husband hasn't worked in 5 years. He cooks, but the meals consists of frozen dinners or sandwhiches. He mows the lawn, maintains the cars, does the laundry about 80% of the time, does the grocery shopping, pays bills. I work 40-60 hour weeks, volunteer at a non-prifit, vacuum and do all of the actual cleaning a house requires.

I hate it. it was fine when that hope of him someday getting a job was still alive, but the thought of this being forever is torture. We make enoughto live on, but only as long as we are frugal.

we got in an argument about this today. he listed "Pet sitting" as part of the invaluable servicea he provides as house husband. pet sitting..... Watch the pet sleep, feed it, let it outside to go potty. smh

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails