I HEART HOUSE HUSBANDS
Look, I just loved Channel Nine’s House Husbands last night.
Loved it to bits.
I probably loved it a lot more than you did.
And that’s because my bloke’s been a house husband for almost 20 years now and a bit of respect and admiration for the men who choose to look after the children has been a long time coming.
Not only that, but those of us to have chosen to reverse roles – and I mean really commit to it for the long haul – need to tell our stories.
Because this whole life/work balance malarkey we bang on about is a conversation women mostly have with each other… and it shouldn’t be.
All the clichés – the woman who can’t trust a man to be in charge of a child without leaving a 10 page instruction manual; a man who doesn’t know one end of a baby from the other; career women who pine all day long for their children and weep at their desks; stay at home dads who feel inadequate because they can’t wear ties and go to board meetings – they’re all for the taking.
For every one of these stereotypes, there’s the woman who punches the air as she leaves for work and the man who longs to be home with a toddler sticking pipe cleaners on bits of paper with Clag. There’s the mother who leaves her children to go climb mountains and fight in wars. The father who misses playing in a footy grand final to care for a baby.
They’re all judged. And they shouldn’t be.
The Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency ( EOWA) director, Helen Conway said recently: “There needs to be a shift in Australian culture to make it acceptable for both men and women to access flexible working arrangements, without financial penalty, and still have the opportunities to progress their careers.”
Both mothers and fathers should be free to make the choice that suits them best and employers (and the rest of us) should recognise that. And understand that family life comes first.
As for the plot and casting ?
OK, the chances of finding four male “primary care givers” with children in the same class at the same school who all hang out together is pretty remote. And the plot line with the kids driving off in the school bus? Erm.
But, as I said, I loved it anyway. You’d have to be hard hearted not to enjoy watching fathers interact so lovingly with their adorable little ones. And a fabulous cast to boot! How much did I adore seeing Marg Downey on screen and the compelling Julia Morris, ( is there anything this gal can’t do?)
Can’t wait for the scene where she’s stomping around the house yelling: “What did you do with my new black bra?”
And he says: “It’s on the floor where you left it.”
Or the scene where she says: “ Come to bed for God’s sake!”
And he says: “No, I’ve got to finish sticking these chickens on this hat for the Easter bonnet parade.”
I should have been script consultant. I got a million of ‘em.