There seems to be an influx of attention on stay-at-home dads in recent months, especially in light of the economy. With that attention has come another flurry of “Mr. Moms” thrown at us by the media. Take the recent Today Show feature, titled New Face of Mr. Mom as Exhibit A.
It’s almost as cliché as the moniker itself to say Mr. Mom gets on the nerves of stay-at-home dads. The term basically means we are doing a job a woman should do and was entrenched by the 1983 Michael Keaton movie in which a real stigma was created – one where dad has no clue with the kids or house.
Recently I decided to take a risk and look back on the movie that set the foundation. You might be amazed at how well it holds up and how it touches on some important stay-at-home dad issues – burnout, isolation and serious stereotypes are all there. Even the economic basis of the film is eerily similar to what is going on today. You throw out the absolutely ridiculous (although sometimes humorous) early scenes where Jack Butler doesn’t seem to know a diaper from a bowling ball, and those themes, along with the importance of family, carry the movie.
Unfortunately, it’s the ridiculousness that we haven’t been able to shake. It’s too bad, because that doesn’t define 99% of SAHDs, and the media can’t figure out that’s only Hollywood. But take another peek at the movie. You just might be entertained.