Day 1 – Nov. 24, 2014 C.E. I just dropped my wife off at her new job at Planned Parenthood. I know it was hard for her to just get out to the car. Not because it was her first day at work but because it meant being away from our 3-month old daughter, Cozette. We’ve been pretty much addicted to Cozy since the get go and now she’s doing the 9 to 5 while I’m playing stay-at-home dad. She made me promise to send lots of Snapchats and I promised her lots of wonderful reunions when she got home each night and dad went on a run. To the bar.
[I can already tell that the challenge of this blog is writing and trying to calm a crying baby. Baby comes first!—— Dear lord, the only thing that stopped the wailing was Kathy Lee and Hoda.]
So today I start my job as a stay at home dad. As a sociology professor, for the last 20 years I’ve been telling people how to raise their kids. Now it’s time for me to take my own advice. As a feminist I’ve lectured about how to undo gender socialization and challenge patriarchy on the home front. Now my ideological rubber has to hit the road. Fortunately, I have a combined sabbatical/parental leave that will keep me home until March. After that I’ve shifted my work schedule so I can be home most of the week. I know my wife, Andrea, is jealous that Cozy and I will have so much time together, but I’ll probably be jealous that she has a work life while I’m at home sterilizing nipples.
So I’m channeling John Lennon for help. When his son with Yoko, Sean, was born in 1975, he quit the music business to become a stay-at-home dad. While Yoko went off to the office, John stayed home, playing with the baby and baking bread. As a 70s feminist, he redefined the role of fatherhood. The Father Knows Best days when dad came home from work to dinner on the table and solo time in the den were finally changing. John gave us permission to be hands on fathers who changed diapers and actually raised children.
The goal of this blog is to share the challenges of balancing fatherhood and feminism. In my academic work I’ve explored the connection between masculinity and crime (including hate crime). Now I have a chance to explore my own masculinity as I try to raise my daughter, with my wife, to become a strong young woman in a world that still rewards Miss America with more scholarship money than a girl who works helping house homeless mothers. I hope people will come along on my journey. I’ll share stories, thoughts and pictures. I probably won’t share all the Snapchats that I’m going to be sending Andrea. I think most of them are going to be of poopy diapers.