Tuesday, February 24, 2009

15 minutes of fame?

Translation by a great friend at Quark! Thanks Karou.

American Family Structure
At Home Dad (the black bar)
Man Providing for his family stereotype is shaken (like and earthquake)

A year ago, a married couple was cornered in the rocky mountains where a cold wind was blowing. A husband working in food manufacturing was laid off while his wife was 8 months pregnant with their first child. The family wondered how they were going to survive.

The work was unexpected (subhead)
Kirk (Kaaku is Kirk's name in the article because there is no "r" sound and names cannot end in a hard sound)
Kirk Harris, 32 lives in a suburb of Colorado with his wife Gina 32. Gina works at a software development company and had a dream of being better at her carrier even in maternity leave to provide for her family.
After hours of talk the two decided that Gina would work and Kirk would stay at home to take care of the baby for a huge lifestyle change for Kirk.

Kirk's parents said he couldn't do household chores and were surprised.
(not sure where that came from...culture?)

At 6:30AM Kirk's day begins. He prepares the milk for Mira and makes breakfast. After Gina goes to work Mira sleeps and he does house chores. After lunch they go for a walk and shopping and he starts dinner. "It is busier than expected but I get to watch my daughter grow up and that happiness cannot be replaced," said Kirk. There is no regret in his face that he has chosen to be a stay at home dad for his carrier. (this is a great compliment in Japan)

On the other hand, Gina confidently said, "I can focus on my job and provide for my family."

The number has tripled in the last 10 years (subhead)

It surveys in 2006 the number of Stay at home dads has reached 160,000. In a 2008 survey, 1 out of 5 among working women with children have a husband who stays home with the children. Fathers are not called Household Dad like they are in Japan. The US society value is for the man to provide and the woman to nurture.

Kirk takes Mira to swimming and shopping and often store clerks tell Kirk, "Oh you have the day off." He used to feel bad when people would say that. Recently Kirk was ill and Mira asked "Where's Daddy?" Kirk could hear from his bed and he felt very important and special to Mira. Those comments and questions from others didn't matter after that.

In the US as more women work, 1 out of 4 women earn more than their partners.
Professor of Sociology Noel Chezlie at University of Wisconsin says, "As financial pressures rise, old values that dictate roles of men and women will shift. As rights equalize, roles shift."

The family structure in the US is shifting and can be attributed to economic pressures and a larger number of retired people.

He (the reporter) "walked" the US to find these new family bonds and values.

Photo caption: Family gather without worry on Gina's day off. This is a great moment for Kirk.

1 comment:

Heidi said...

Hi Gina. I really enjoyed reading your blog tonight and especially this article. -Heidi