It’s still not a common pattern, but more families are deciding today that it makes sense for a dad to stay home with the kids while a mom is gone to a job. The specifics of such arrangements vary. In some cases, the wife works outside the home all the time and the husband runs the household. In others, the man works from home and the woman works outside the home part of the time. In such an arrangement, the parents switch who’s supervising children depending on who’s home and who’s busy. Society still seems to collectively have a problem with non-traditional parenting arrangements, but they can make a lot of sense for many people. Of course, the far-more-common pattern is a father who works full-time elsewhere and a mother who works full-time as well, but who still has to take care of kids and home when she’s finished with her paying job. Different arrangements are going to work for different families, but it’s clear that the worst of all worlds in the expectation that the woman work a full-time job and then come home and work another full-time job raising children on her own.
Stories about young people running away from home often don’t end well, but I just heard a story of a good outcome. The young woman who shared her story with me isn’t a child, though. She’s in her early 20s, but she ran away from home last year. She lived in Michigan with her dysfunctional family. Her mom was addicted to meth and various prescription drugs. She was the only one in the family who worked — and her family took almost all of the money she earned. The only bright spot in her life was a guy she met online playing a video game. The two grew close and fell in love. About 18 months ago, she secretly packed everything she owned — and he drove from Birmingham to Michigan to pick her up without her family’s knowledge. Today, they’re married and have a new baby. She says leaving her family was the second best thing that ever happened to her — and her husband and baby are the best. “He doesn’t seem to understand what a big deal it was,” she said, “but he saved my life. I took a big risk and he did, too, but I’m happy and loved for the first time in my life.” It might not be common, but some runaway stories do end well.
This is apparently what I would look like as a woman, at least according to a ridiculous app called FaceApp that I’ve been playing with late Thursday night. (Find links for iOS and Android here.) It’s been around for a couple of years, but I just downloaded the free version and had some fun. I’m happy to say that the app has diplomatically given me a bit of liposuction in the process, so this is probably more like what I might look like as a woman who’s about 70 pounds lighter. My sisters were both beautiful young women — and one of them annoyed her classmates by winning a beauty contest and then never caring enough about it to mention it again — so maybe our genes are better for females than males. Give it a try. It’s silly, but it’s fun.