Since the National At-Home Dad Network started the campaign against the term “Mr. Mom” the response has been generally positive.
For some it is the love of the movie.
Some consider it a badge of honor.
Some have named their blogs after it.
To be clear, getting rid of Mr. Mom won’t suddenly make being an active father easier.
It won’t make an ignorant pastor change his point of view.
It won’t suddenly convince misinformed mothers that dads are equal parents.
What it will do is remove one very visible brick from the wall.
The wall that separates parenting into Mom duties and Dad duties.
And there is a wall. Parenting issues are still code for Mom issues.
We don’t ask, can parents have it all? We ask, Why Women Still Can’t Have It All
And while feminist can argue about choosing to stay home there is still an assumption that mom is the one that can truly parent.
“She believes that every household needs one primary caretaker, that women are, broadly speaking, better at that job than men….”
When I first started as the primary caregiver 13 years ago it was next to impossible to find a changing station in a men’s restroom. We were members at the local zoo and I took my son there a lot. I complained because they didn’t have a changing station in the men’s restroom. I didn’t do it to be an activist. I did it because I was a paying member and I wanted to be able to change my son’s diaper in the convince of the bathroom.
Now I look beyond just me. I want to change the world.
When my sons grow up, and if they are blessed enough to be fathers, I want them to deal with less societal pressures. If they have jobs I want talks about work/life balance to include them. If they choose to stay home for their families I want them to do it without having to worry about how they will be treated for that choice or worry about finding a changing station in the men’s room.
Changing the world may start with doing what is best for my family, but it doesn’t stop there.
So I will work to end a term that implies that dad is a fill-in, a temporary place holder for the person who should actually be in that position, Mom. I will work to remove one more brick from that wall.
Chad has a MA in communications from Baylor University. He is currently an at-home dad to two boys