THIS WEEK ON DAYTIME: Mr. Mom Syndrome. When Hubby Loses His Job, and Mom Goes Back to Work

October 6, 2009

Be sure to tune in to Daytime on Tuesday, October 6 when I’ll be talking about Mr. Mom all over again — what happens when your husband loses his job, and you need to go back to work?

Stay-at-Home Moms Returning to Work in Droves — “This is not what I signed up for…”

This Tuesday on Daytime, I’m talking about all the letters I’ve received from women who are going back to work because of the recession (husband laid off, can’t find work, etc) and how many are feeling angry or resentful because they’d made a family decision to stay home with kids, and now they can’t.

It’s Mr. Mom all over again. A new study says that 78% of those who have lost their jobs are men. How do you cope when the recession keeps dad at home, or sends stay-at-home mom back to work?

How big is this issue?
It’s big. There are no hard numbers yet because the trend is new, but anecdotally speaking, a lot of women are facing this right now. Lots of men are losing their jobs, and somebody’s got to bring home the bacon.

Women have been in the workforce for decades, why is this such a problem now?
“This is not the deal we agreed to” Many women are upset and angry because they feel like they’re being let down. This is not the deal they signed on for when they had kids. They opted out of their careers to stay home with their families, and made a deal — they’d stay home with the kids, and dad would provide for the family. Now dad is out of work, and some women feel they’re being shoved back into the workforce when they’d rather be somewhere else.

If you’re a viewer in this situation, how can you cope with the feelings you’re having?
*Stop focusing on how things “are supposed to be” and make a new plan based on how things are.
*Remember you’re in this together
*Do a reality-check of your financial situation
*Encourage your spouse to reconsider their career path
*Remember that you have two choices here: either begrudgingly deal with your situation, or find a new way to be happy. Your pick

What can you do to make it work?
The good news is that the “Mommy as the Primary Breadwinner, Daddy as the Primary Caregiver” model can work. Take Kate Snow, for instance. Kate has the big job (Weekend anchor at GMA, and rumored to be the top pick for Diane Sawyer’s GMA post) and her husband is the primary caregiver for their two young children under 6.

It can work. You just need to rethink your expectations.

As my mom always said, “This, or something better.”


Lisa appears every week on Daytime, check your local TV listings for times and stations.

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Dating Coach and Relationships Expert Lisa Daily is the bestselling author of two dating books, Stop Getting Dumped!, How to Date Like a Grownup and the totally funny novel Fifteen Minutes of Shame. You???ve seen her everywhere from Entertainment Tonight to the HITCH movie DVD.

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