Househusbands Are the New Housewives

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Photo: 20th Century Fox

Because the recession has decimated male-dominated industries like construction and finance, women who had enjoyed Betty Draperish lifestyles are now going back to work, and leaving their husbands at home to take care of the children and household duties. How are the kids taking it?

According to today's Journal, there are a lot of benefits to having dad play mom. Like junk food!


In the Grenz household in Sacramento, Calif., it is Mr. Grenz who has taken on more of the household duties while also trying to rebuild his business. Their new arrangement has resulted in home-cooked dinners being replaced by frozen pizzas and other quick meals such as burritos and quesadillas the kids can make themselves.

Yay! But according to today's Times, it can also be pretty dark.


Paul Bachmuth’s 9-year-old daughter, Rebecca, began pulling out strands of her hair over the summer. His older child, Hannah, 12, has become noticeably angrier, more prone to throwing tantrums. Initially, Mr. Bachmuth, 45, did not think his children were terribly affected when he lost his job nearly a year ago. But now he cannot ignore the mounting evidence.

“I’m starting to think it’s all my fault,” Mr. Bachmuth said.

Grim. But as history has taught us — and by history, we mean the 1983 classic Mr. Mom starring Michael Keaton and Teri Garr, which came out during the last recession — these ups and downs and assorted high jinks and kooky misunderstandings are just what happens when a Man Does Women's Work. Eventually, things will right themselves, and dad will seize important jobs like playing Batman and hosting the Oscars while mom fades away playing bit parts on Law & Order.

In Downturn's Wake, Women Hold Half of U.S. Jobs [WSJ]
Job Woes Exacting a Toll on Family Life [NYT]