Childrearing

More Men Deigning To Do ‘Women’s Work’ In Recession, Increase In ‘Mannies’

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More men are apparently looking to become “mannies” in this horrendous recession. After getting fired from their various full-time positions, an increase in men are applying to nanny agencies in the hopes of making some cash — and they’re getting hired. Some of them are fathers and some of them are childless. But more importantly, why are attentive men who know how to care for children news?

When chronicling the featured men who have turned to nannying jobs in tough economic times, TODAY writes that many families may shy away from hiring men to care for their children for safety concerns. But then they also ponder why a man would want to care for children in the first place:

Child care is still considered by many to be a “woman’s job,” and parents may wonder why a guy would want to warm bottles, wipe up snot and play with Webkinz.

Perhaps because some of them are active parents themselves who aren’t content to watch their partners slave over not just housework, cooking, grocery shopping, but also childcare? The cultural acceptance we have that men should be disinterested in childrearing, specifically if they are fathers, is detrimental not just to women but also children. The idea that women are “mothering” while men are consistently “babysitting” their own kids allows men to remain detached fathers, while women must remain at their children’s every beck and call.

Few people probably think it’s consistently stimulating “to warm bottles, wipe up snot and play with Webkinz.” Some parents probably find those experiences to be more rewarding than others, but that has no basis in gender. There are many capable men who are devoted fathers, so much so that they are willing to restructure their careers to be good parents. For the modern family, work-life balance is no longer a women’s problem — it’s a family problem. And while certain cultural markers suggest that times are changing, apparently there are still some places where a man’s devotion to childcare is still questionable — unless he’s getting paid, that is.

(photo: Shutterstock)