It was about 11 am on August 29 when, as always happens in the movies but rarely happens in real life, my wife’s water broke, and she went into labor.
Then it was today, November 1, and I returned to work.
For the intervening two months, I stopped being a full-time information consumer and producer. I didn’t “unplug.” I deprofessionalized my use of the Internet.
The videogame world has a useful analogy: There people talk about “core” gamers versus other types. Core gamers overwhelmingly come from certain demographics and their behaviors and interests are distinct from the much larger group of people who play games sometimes. They have dedicated gaming hardware and try out lots of games. They care a lot about graphics and don’t mind mastering complex control systems. Casual gamers are different. They like easy-to-play games where the learning curve is not steep. And they don’t spend a ton of time or money on games.
Read more. [Image: Alexis Madrigal]
…There is no one theme that has anywhere near the prominence and influence that Disney Princesses do. Regardless of the more recent generations of empowered princesses in Disney movies, the overall princess trope promotes traditional notions of femininity and an unhealthy focus on physical beauty. Even the most feminist-friendly princess derives her social currency, her political power, and her personal identity as “princess” from the make-believe patriarchy.
Read more. [Image: Disney]
It might not look it to the casual outside observer, but stay-at-home dads are a tough breed. Behind all of the dangling diaper-bags, strollers, children’s songs, and dried-up drool is a very capable man. A man who can transfer two snoozing children, one on each arm, from the mini-van through the heat of the day — unlocking the door to the house and slipping them into their respective beds without waking them up. A man who, on little to no sleep, must plan for any and every situation, magnificent or mundane. A man who must learn not to panic through bouts of uncontrollable backseat tears and screams while driving in bumper-to-bumper rush hour traffic. A man who truly knows the value of taking a long, deep breath.
Stay-at-home mothers feel these same stresses. But the ways men deal with them are another matter entirely. As proud and contented as I feel with my children, and as comfortable as I am with the choices my wife and I have made, there are definitely times when I find myself desperately needing to do something specific to assert my manhood. I daydream about spending weekends with a few buddies in the mountains, throwing a hatchet into a tree, or finding the time to grab a paddle and spend hours of solitude on a river in a canoe.
Read more. [Image: Melissa Jordan]