Being stuck at home with two sick kids recently reminded me of how servile my role at home often is. Quarantined and cranky, we had worn each other down to raw nerve endings; but being the parent, I had done the best I could to act like a reasonable adult. My daughters didn’t extend me the same courtesy. They screamed complicated orders that I just couldn’t get right. I brought them the wrong shoes, poured the milk when they wanted to do it themselves, flushed the toilet without permission, tied the sashes wrong on the garments of tiny panda bears, and committed countless other transgressions that required intensive damage control. I was walking on eggshells for a week. So when my wife came home from work one night and said, “Hey, could you…” I fired ocular death-rays that shut her down mid-request and put a chill on the rest of the evening. I didn’t feel like my masculinity had been infringed upon by the indignities of my role at home; but rather, I felt like a petulant 10-year-old longing for a modicum of self-determination.
I find it very interesting the way Andy Hinds imakes a distinction between feeling emasculated and infantalised by stay-at-home parenthood in this thought-provoking article in The Atlantic. Link via Jeremy Adam Smith.