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‘Does He Have Enough Free Time?’ and Other Things Wives of Stay-at-Home Dads Hear

By | Culture

Early on in elementary school, my dad went from having a job with a long commute into Atlanta every morning, with monthly international travel, to a job where he solely worked from home. My mom was a stay-at-home mom at the time, so suddenly my brother and I had both parents at home with us.

While he was not a stay-at-home dad, I loved that my dad’s office was right there with us, just steps down our long and skinny house’s hallway. On the very rare occasion, he would even let me play on his computer!

Having grown up this way, I love that more and more families are finding their own rhythm of what works for them. However, not everyone is as open to non-traditional setups. The idea that a woman could be the sole breadwinner, while the man takes on the brunt of the child-rearing, is still a tough concept for a lot of people to swallow. Although stay-at-home fathers now account for 16 percent of stay at home parents, their family decisions are often the source of outside scrutiny, or at the very least, questions.

It’s often the working women that are married to stay-at-home dads that are faced with the awkward reactions of this set-up. We asked them what people typically say to them, and here’s what they said:

What do strangers say when they find out your husband stays at home with the kids?

“I could never handle that.” —Kathleen

“That’s wonderful that you’re able to do that.” —Amy

“Typically people are surprised. Then they comment about how lucky I am to have a husband willing to take care of our kids. I don’t mind those sorts of comments, because I think they mean it as a compliment. But I often think it’s indicative of a mentality that childrearing is primarily the mother’s role, and the father being the primary caretaker is seen as ‘second best’.” —Kat

“Hasn’t he found a job yet?” —Laura

“I think we have had positive reactions overall, though usually after a surprised pause.” —Natalie

“When we moved into our new house, a neighbor came up to us when we were outside in the front yard. He introduced himself and asked my husband what he did for a living. At the time, he was taking a couple of classes, so he answered ‘student’. The neighbor responded, “Then how did you afford to buy this house?” Mind you, I am standing right there.” —Diana

What questions have friends or family asked about your husband being a SAHD?

“Is he happy? Is he fulfilled? Does he have enough free time? I don’t think anyone is critical and there haven’t been any questions that I thought were demeaning or repetitive. However, I don’t think they would ask the same questions if our roles were reversed. “

“It’s more of what I see in the media than personally. I hate that successful moms are asked about their home life, how they balance work and family. Men are never asked that.” —Anna

“Friends and family can be worse than people that I don’t know. Most of my family ask—again and again—why he isn’t working. I’ve had friends tell me that they know how hard it must be for me since I can’t be a SAHM (not my words!). Family tells me to make him get a job. I wish they would be more supportive of both of us.” —Diana

“What did he do before he was a SAHD?” —Heidi

“How do you afford it?” —Kathleen

“Family questions me more than my social groups or work colleagues regarding my husband’s presence in the home currently… When we travel and visit, I will hear the same questions about the lack of employment over and over again.” —Laura

How do you find yourself answering questions about your husband being a stay-at-home dad?

“I tend to describe it as something that ‘has worked for us.'” —Heidi

“I say it works for us and that my daughters are close to both of us.” —Anna

“I travel for work, and my husband and kids travel with me, so usually we get more questions on how that works. I think many don’t understand why we do this, but we would rather have our family together than have most of the family at home while mom is gone all week.”

This Year’s Gerber Baby Is Making a Powerful Statement—and Other Notes from the Week

By | Culture

We’re pleased to bring you “While You Were Out”—the Verily editors’ quick takes on the happenings of this week.

Grocery Shopping ‘Primed’ to Change as Select Cities Now Get Whole Foods Delivered

Remember back in June when Amazon, No. 1 in internet retail, bought Whole Foods for $13.7B, and everyone remotely interested in business went crazy? Well, real changes are actually happening. Amazon “finally gets serious” by introducing free two-hour grocery delivery services to its Prime members in four mid-sized cities, starting with Austin, Cincinnati, Dallas, and Virginia Beach, with plans to expand—potentially changing grocery shopping as we know it.

Now that grocery wars have officially commenced, it will certainly be interesting to see how its competitors, including Kroger, Walmart, Publix, Wegmans, just to name a few, will evolve to compete. As a Cincinnatian, I am piqued to see how Kroger (headquartered here, and perhaps not-so-coincidentally the reason we’re one of the four chosen cities) steps up its game, while at the same time, overwhelmed with dreams of never having to grocery shop again—asides from the occasional weekend trip to the farmer’s market.

Baby Lucas Is First Child with Down Syndrome to Be Named Gerber Baby

It’s pretty commonplace for the parents of cute babies to hear someone suggest that their baby is just so cute they could be the Gerber Baby. But every year one baby is actually selected and not only becomes the Gerber “Spokesbaby,” but also a symbol of beauty around the world. This year, baby Lucas became the 2018 Gerber Baby and the first child with Down Syndrome to be given this honor.

As Gerber’s official Spokesbaby, Lucas will be awarded a prize of $50,000, featured on Gerber social media, and will show the world just how much joy a child with Down Syndrome can bring to the world. “He has always been such a good baby,” Lucas’s mother tells the Today Show. “I have never known someone to come into contact with Lucas and not smile.” It’s so true! Lucas’s smile has blown up the internet and proven to be the brightest thing we have seen in the news this week. —Monica Gabriel Marshall

Should We Think Twice About Asparagus?

Yes, smelly asparagus pee is one unpleasant side effect of asparagus (at least, for some), but that’s not the only reason to give this vegetable the side eye. According to new studiesconducted on mice, asparagine—an amino acid first identified in asparagus and many other foods—contributes to the spread of cancer.

Professor Greg Hannon, lead scientist and director of the Cancer Research U.K. Cancer Institute in Cambridge, explained that asparagine helps cancer cells change into a form that easily spreads from the breast, through the bloodstream, to other organs where they grow into secondary tumors. When the researchers reduced asparagine in the mice with breast cancer, however, they found that the number of secondary tumors in other tissues fell dramatically.

This is bad news for asparagus-lovers, but if the research holds in human trials, it could be good news for preventing the spread of breast cancer throughout the body. The trouble is, asparagine is found in many foods, so many in fact researchers feel it might be more effective to create a drug to block the amino acid altogether. —MGM

String of Amtrak Crashes Continues

This past Sunday an Amtrak train from New York to Miami crashed into a freight train near a switchyard, killing two, injuring 116 others, and spilling thousands of gallons of oil at the crash site in South Carolina. This is the third Amtrak accident in less than two months.

According to Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), a switch was left in a position that forced the train off the track. Investigators are still working to find out why and how this happened. In the meantime, Margaret Fisher, the coroner assigned to the case, reminds us that it could have been much worse. “Any time you have anything that happens like that, you expect more fatalities,” Fisher said, “but God blessed us, and we only had the two.” —MGM

Philadelphia Celebrates First-Ever Super Bowl Win, While Timberlake Comes Back for Second-Time Performance

In a historic move, the Philadelphia Eagles won their first Super Bowl ever, overcoming the odds playing the powerhouse Patriots. The game was close, with fans at the edge of their seats until the last few seconds. Of course, the big game was just part of the reason why the Super Bowl drew 103.4 million viewers this past Sunday.

The commercials are always a hit (they’d better be, with the average ad spend of $5 million), and this year Tide did a serious takeover. It also seems like Pink deserves her own kind of trophy for beautifully belting the national anthem, despite battling the flu (joining the rest of us mortals). Justin Timberlake got another shot at the halftime show—it seems we’ve apparently long moved on from 2004’s infamous wardrobe malfunction—and some viewers either deemed the performance a total win, while others took a far more critical stance, wondering, really? Is it still about the #selfie? —MW

The Fervor Behind #MeToo Isn’t Stopping Anytime Soon

Two notable claims of sexual misconduct have taken over the news this past week: one in the C-suite of a gambling chain, the other, in the church. Steve Wynn, CEO and Chairman of Wynn Resorts, officially resigned two weeks after the Wall Street Journal reported that numerous women were assaulted and sexually harassed by the casino mogul and billionaire—now facing investigations by gambling regulators in Nevada, Massachusetts, and Macau. Thus far, Wynn has only denied the allegations, his decision to resign was done so very “reluctantly,” according to the board.

On the other side of the pond, the integrity of the man leading the Vatican is under some serious scrutiny. According to reports, the Catholic Church’s 266th Pope, Pope Francis, received an eight-page letter from a victim in 2015 detailing (very graphically) how a priest sexually abused him. The victim claims that the clergy in Chile didn’t just ignore his abuse but also took measures to cover it up. Thus far, Pope Francis denies any knowledge of this, stating that any accusations against the bishop thought to be in charge of the coverup as slander. However, it wasn’t until this week that it was reported that Pope Francis might have actually known about this information via the 2015 letter. As a leader of a church with an estimated 1.2 billion people—this is a huge deal that will continue to raise some serious inquiries and possibly some serious action.

The Highest-Rated and Most Effective Face Masks on Amazon, According to Real Women

By | Beauty

Amazon Prime has taken over. From competing with Netflix to buying out Whole Foods, we can go to Amazon for basically anything, even beauty. With endless reviews on products from real women, Amazon has surprisingly become the ultimate destination for finding out if a product really works or not. Complete with verified purchases, before-and-after photos, and no-nonsense critiques, Amazon is doing what Sephora and Ulta stores can’t—reaching the everyday consumer.

And when a product has thousands of five-star reviews, we know the product is actually affective because there are thousands of women who are living proof of the results. So if you’re looking to jump start your beauty routine this year, check out these (affordable) Amazon face masks that really work.

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay

With 12,000+ reviews, the vast majority being five stars, this product seems to be the miracle worker we’ve been looking for. With its 100% natural ingredients and clay from Death Valley, CA, this mask will dry out the most oily of skin. Our advice, make sure to mix it with apple cider vinegar instead of water. Make sure to use lots of moisturizer afterwards.

“I have never used a product that has achieved such noticeable results after the first time using the product. My blemishes and the overall feeling and appearance of my skin greatly improved after only one use. That is definitely something I have never experienced. You can feel it working when it is on your skin. I also think using apple cider vinegar plays a huge part in why this product works so well.” –Kimberly Ann, Amazon User

Art Naturals Dead Sea Mud Mask

Famous for its detoxing and revitalizing abilities, this mask will stimulate blood circulation to heal your skin. With naturally soothing ingredients like dead sea mud, kaolin clay, shea butter, sunflower oil, and aloe vera juice, you can be sure this mask won’t irritate your skin.

“I couldn’t believe how great my skin felt! I could tell the 1st layer of dead, dull skin had been removed. My face was soft and smooth to the touch. My skin had a nice glow. The next day a few blackheads and zits appear but that’s a good thing. This was acne that was trapped below the surface. Now that it had surfaced, I was able to treat it on a topical level.” –Brandice, Amazon User

Dermal Korea Collagen Essence Sheet Mask

For those of you who love variety and experimenting with different masks, then this purchase is perfect you. For eleven dollars you get a pack of 16 different face masks, each infused with Vitamin E and collagen. With ingredients like olive oil, strawberry, honey grapefruit, acai berry, and more these easy to apply sheet masks are ideal for a girls night.

“They are all very hydrating and leave my skin feeling soft and smooth. I use these masks around 1-2 times a week, and I feel that they are worth the price. You also get a lot for your money! Overall, these are wonderful masks that I would definitely recommend and repurchase. –Tea, Amazon User

Majestic Pure Indian Healing Clay

Bentonite clay is known for many things but it’s most notable attribute is it’s healing powers. Made from volcanic ash in Wyoming, this mask pulls toxins from your skin nourishing it with calcium and silica which also helps those with oily skin. This clay is very powerful! If you have sensitive skin make sure to only use the mask according to the exact time they tell you. As a warning, if you don’t regularly exfoliate or use detoxifying masks, it may cause you to break out after using since it pulls toxins that are deep in your skin to the surface.

“I just bought this product with the apple cider vinegar and I have only used this twice in the past week and my face has done a complete 180. The first time I kept the clay on for the recommended 20 mins and was so amazed at how you can actually see the dirt being sucked out of your pores.” –Mary, Amazon User

The Romantic Hair Color Every Cool Girl Is Trying This Year

By | Beauty

The new-year haircut and dye may have become a bit cliche, but every girl deserves a refresh! As the eccentric pastel hair colors of the past couple years phase out, women have been turning to more subtle tones to reinvent themselves. This year, it’s cream soda.

Celebrity hair stylist Sunnie Brook explains the color as being warm and rich, which is perfect for both blondes and brunettes. Not quite blond, not quite brunette, not quite red, the cream soda hair color is luminescent and full of dimension. Brook also recommends the cream soda color to anyone who’s transitioning their hair from light to dark or dark to light. It’s the perfect in-between tone if you’re looking to soften bleached blond or brighten up dark brown. Models such as Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss, and Julia Stegner have recently brought a lot of attention to this unique color, but Jennifer Aniston has been rocking variations of cream soda hair since the nineties, so it’s no surprise we love it.

The best thing about trying this effervescent hue is that it’s low-risk and easy to cater to your natural color. If you’re ready to take the plunge and head to the salon, Brook further explains on her website that the color can be described as beige-brown with warm gold tones and lighter accents to achieve the creamy look.

Now, is anybody else craving a certain bubbly beverage?