Why is “Daddy, what do you DO?” fodder for TV?

by Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] on April 15, 2011

in Celebrity Crap,Family,Hooray for Tee Vee!,TV

If you know me at all, you know I watch a lot of TV, whereby “a lot” means, “the TV is always on, except when I am sleeping in my bed.” Lately, I’ve seen Paul Reiser on many talk shows promoting his new self-titled 1/2-hour comedy show that’s not-so-loosely based on his real life. I enjoyed Mad About You, not particularly him, but that’s not my point. Well, maybe it’s my point that I’m not really a Paul Reiser fan, so I may feel a little judgmental when I watch the show clip he’s promoting.

The gist of the clip is that after Mad About You ended 11 years ago, Paul Reiser decided to stay home from working as an actor and raise his children while his wife went to school and started her career. He tells his “friend” in the show that he was filling out a school form for his son, and in the box marked “Father’s Occupation,” he didn’t know what to put down. During TV interviews, he tells a story of when his son asked him, “Daddy, what do you DO?” and to his son, he doesn’t have an answer.

It’s not unusual these days that men stay home and the mother works. It’s also not unusual that women stay home with the children while the father works outside the home.

But I’m wondering, why is it that no one is questioning Paul Reiser’s lack of equality in how stay-at-home mothers have felt for MANY years when they are asked “What do you DO?” This was a question men weren’t typically asked 20+ years ago, but in today’s society, stay-at-home dads should have just as much honor in saying, “What I DO is raise my children.”

Maybe I’m overly sensitive. Maybe I should watch the show to see which direction Paul Reiser is taking his stay-at-home dad status. Or maybe I’m right-on in my judgements.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Get my brilliance emailed to you every time I publish. You definitely want this.

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jodee April 15, 2011 at 12:06 pm

I think stay at home dad’s should get just as much credit as stay at home mom’s. I think either one does not get enough credit from society as they should. It’s one of the most important jobs there is in my opinion. After all they say the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.
An Awesome post on Jodee´s blog … Wordless Wednesday


2 Cindy April 15, 2011 at 1:16 pm

I totally agree with Jodee. My husband is a stay at home dad. He is AMAZING at it. He takes pride in it. Our girls are who they are because of him and everything he does with them on a daily basis.

With that being said, people, my family especially, don’t value it. They think I should be at home and him at work. No one believes that I want to work out of the house, that this is perfect for our family. That we are both happy with the roles we have. That has lead to him feeling he has to justify his SAHDadness: he works evenings, he is going to go back to school for his masters (both of which are true but to me are irrelevant). Respect is deserved for SAHParents regardless of their gender and sadly parents don’t get that respect that they should. All the judgment makes me angry. Live and let live people.


3 Ren April 15, 2011 at 4:26 pm

In case you don’t watch it, his conclusion — and I don’t feel like this rises to the level of spoiler-alert worthy, but then I added this aside, so never mind — is “father”. There is no reference through the entire episode to a mother having a similar issue. However, it’s also not an issue, as far as I can recall, of him not wanting to list “father”. Rather, he just doesn’t realize that that’s the answer, until he does. I didn’t see it as a reflection of society’s judgment of parenting as a profession as much as of his own inability to identify himself that way.
An Awesome post on Ren´s blog … My Second Hybrid


4 sam {temptingsam} April 17, 2011 at 9:22 pm

I’ve been carrying on for months about how I feel so out of the loop and haven’t read any blogs, etc. This is really thee PERFECT way for me to get back in the habit of reading and more importantly – finding out what’s going on with my friends. I feel like I’ve missed so much.

P.S. I love you and your blog. Don’t ever stop.


5 Ali April 18, 2011 at 8:35 am

I think it’s kind of like the “if men had to labour and give birth oh how things would be different” thing. Now that men regularly take on a role that women have shouldered for generations they go – hang on a second this lack of “career” thing is sometimes difficult to tackle! I wonder though if this leads Paul Reiser to the conclusion that “wow, I’ve really underestimated what being a stay at home parent entails and women have been getting a raw deal staying at home and getting very little recognition for what an important job that is” or instead the conclusion that “oh, dear, poor me, it’s so hard being a stay at home Dad without a real careeeeeeer to put down on a form! Somebody notice my plight!”. I suspect it may be the latter.
An Awesome post on Ali´s blog … I can still laugh after all


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: