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Hey Stay-At-Home Dads: Wanna Be Published?

Yeah, that’s right!

Are you a stay-at-home dad/househusband/homemaker/Mr. Mom (I hate that last epithet, by the way)?  I am currently seeking contributors to a non-fiction essay anthology that will hopefully be published in early to mid December through my publishing company, Portmanteau Press LLC.

The anthology will be entitled The Myth of Mr. Mom and I am seeking other stay-at-home fathers to share their unique stories, anecdotes, growing pains, and anything else that goes along with the general theme of debunking the generalized myth that men are not as capable of going into the home as women are capable of leaving it.

Gloria Steinem, noted feminist and female empowerment icon, recently discussed this issue on an episode of The Colbert Report in promotion of her upcoming documentary when she said, “we know that women can do what men and can do… But we don’t know that men can do what women can do.”

I feel that, in this day and age, we are at a strange crossroads where women are making amazing headway at creating equality in the workplace (still not fully there yet, but progress is being made) yet we are nowhere close to seeing an equality in the acceptance of men staying home to be full-time caregivers and homemakers.  This is where The Myth of Mr. Mom aims to shed some awareness.  I want to collect real stories by real men like myself who embrace their roles as homemakers and prove that men are just as capable as women of being the primary childcare provider, house cleaner, family organizer, and all of the other roles that fit into the overarching job title of stay-at-home parent.

Now that you understand the goal of this particular piece of non-fiction, you may want to know the guidelines for submission if you want to participate (and get published!).  I am hoping to have around 10 essays involved in this anthology, including one of my own.  In addition to being a contributor, I will serve as editor and publisher of this work.

1.) Essays should be between 2000-4000 words, typed in Times New Roman, double-spaced.
2.) Essays need to be non-fiction and written in the first-person.  This is your story!
3.) Essays should follow the general theme of The Myth of Mr. Mom, specifically discussing unique challenges, struggles, or anecdotes about your transition into the home and how you are successful in this role.
4.) Please include a bio of no more than 100 words about yourself. Feel free to include a website and/or blog link if you are active in those realms.  These links will be published in the final product.
5.) While humor is not a requirement, essays with a humorous element will be more strongly considered.
6.) All submissions will become property of Jeremy Rodden and Portmanteau Press LLC for publishing and marketing purposes.
7.) Essays should be submitted to jeremyrodden(at)hotmail(dot)com no later than October 31st, 2011 Midnight EST.  I reserve the right to end submissions early (or extend the deadline, as necessary), so keep posted to Toonopolis, The Blog for updates.
8.) Tentative release date for the book, which will be available in both eBook and paperback, is December 10th, 2011.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you trying to get money out of me?!

Of course not! There is no payment required for submission. Any contributors selected for the final work will receive three (3) copies of the paperback (retail value ~$45) as a thank you for their contribution.  This isn’t one of those Who’s Who type of scams to con contributors into buying copies of the book.

Where will the book be available for sale?

The eBook will be available through all major eBook retailers, including Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBookstore, Smashwords, Sony Reader Store, Kobo, and Diesel.  The paperback will be available through Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble (bn.com).  It will also be available through Ingram, which means that most brick-and-mortar bookstores can order copies of the book when requested by a customer.

Will my essay be edited or changed?

All submissions selected for publication will be edited for grammar, punctuation, structure, and (if needed) clarity.  I will not seek to change anyone’s voice or message through the editorial process and the final, edited version will be presented to the original author prior to publication for approval.

Will you be publishing any more anthologies like this in the future?

Obviously, if this work is successful I would love to continue to produce works similar to The Myth of Mr. Mom in the future.  There are many men out there who would love to lend a voice to raising awareness to the acceptability of men as stay-at-home parents and I would like to give as many as possible an outlet for that voice.  I would love to make this an annual, or even bi-annual, project depending on interest from contributors and readers.

Everything is on a pretty tight deadline.  Will it be done in time?

I wish I had begun the project sooner, but I was working on completing a novella before I took this on.  Now that the first draft of Toonopolis Short: Anchihiiroo is complete and the novella is into editing/revising stage, I feel I can dedicate time to this project.  Ideally, I would like the book to be out far enough before Christmas that it can be available as a gift option, but it all depends on how quickly I get submissions and then how quickly we can edit and prep it for publishing.  I think Portmanteau Press LLC can get it done.

I have more questions!

Feel free to comment on the blog post below (preferred) so that any others who have your same question can also get their answer.  If you have more personal questions, feel free to email me at jeremyrodden(at)hotmail(dot)com or hit me up on Twitter (@toonopolis).  Thank you for your interest in submitting your work to this compilation and here’s to hoping we, collectively, can put a little dent in the lack of awareness that not all stay-at-home dads are Michael Keaton in Mr. Mom.

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  1. I love that you are doing this. My husband has been a SAHD for years. When I would be working, people would ask: “Your husband is babysitting?” How is it babysitting when it’s your own kids? It’s not babysitting when the mom has them. Dads have such a hard time being a stay at home with the stereo typing! They do an awesome job and deserve to be recognized for it.

    1. I actually posted a blog post not too long ago about that same concept! http://www.toonopolis.com/2011/06/23/its-not-babysitting-its-my-kids/

      You should get your husband to write up an essay for the compilation! Thanks for your support and interest. 🙂

  2. What a great idea! I will see if I can come up with something. That’s if I can escape the never ending laundry.

    1. I know, right? And the worst part is that it’s starting to get cold… which means thicker clothes, which means more loads… and it also means I can’t let the baby chill out inside the house in just a T-shirt and shorts. Jackets, layers of clothing… Wow. Thanks. You just made me depressed. 🙂

  3. Great idea. Our next door neighbour has called me Mr Mom. We no longer talk.

    1. That’s okay. My father-in-law once accused me of “not being able to find a job” after my wife an I made a mutual decision to keep me home. We no longer talk.

  4. I would LOVE to get in on that! We adopted a girl from China and I have been a stay-at-home dad for the last few years. I have a number of tales relating to the three-ring circus that is our happy home. Talk to you soon!

    1. Awesome, Toby! It sounds like you have a very unique situation there. Hope you and your daughter are doing well! 🙂

  5. What a fabulous idea. My husband is not a stay at home father – we both work. But he did stay at home with our daughter for 6 months after she was born. I absolutely hated being a stay-at-home-mum (and that’s nothing against women or men who like it). I felt like my brain was dribbling out my ears. For health reasons, it was also better for me to go back to work (pregnancy related back problems – my chiropractor said working meant less baby-carrying which was better for my back). My husband hated being at work at the time, so we swapped. It wasn’t what he expected (I told him it wouldn’t be…) but nevertheless he did a good job of it. Next time we are considering taking 3 months off each (not at the same time).

    It’s sad thought that some of my friends envy the fact that I can go out and leave our daughter in my husband’s care without a second thought. I don’t know if it’s that their husbands won’t learn or simply don’t pay enough attention to be reliable sole caregivers. Men like that willcontinue to give men a bad name in the childrearing department.

    1. Ciara, that is such an awesome display of relationship equality that you and your husband have there! In the conversation on Colbert that I mentioned above, Gloria Steinem is not suggesting that men CAN’T do what women do… she’s just saying that the next step to true equality is proving that both sexes are capable of anything the other is capable of.

      Your husband demonstrates what she means, in that your child is seeing that both men and women are capable of being loving and nurturing and the old days of mommy giving you love and daddy being the disciplinarian/grumpy old man on the couch are on their way out.

    • Shawn on October 6, 2011 at 9:58 pm
    • Reply

    How about single work at home dads who are the primary caregiver and homemaker? Would that qualify?

    1. Shawn, I think your situation is both extra difficult and still fits the theme of this anthology. Ultimately, you are still proving that a man can be the caring, nurturing one and is capable of taking that role. I would love to hear your story!

  6. Hi Jeremy,

    I’d like to give this a stab. I mentioned it to my wife and told her that if I write something it would most likely come out cynical and bitter. She thinks that would be a good thing.

    I hope it would come out slightly more humorous.

    Please give a warning if you are going to move the deadline around.

    1. Cynical and bitter may be good. I am sure not all stay-at-home dads went into the job with a happy, “Let’s go team!” attitude. But that is part of what may make your story unique! 🙂

  7. I. LOVE. THIS. IDEA. Having been a SAHD for two years now, I still have some of the memories of when I first started this – and have documented a TON of stories like the ones you’ve suggested.

    Love it, love it, love it!

    1. Sounds like I should be expecting a submission from you, eh, Sonny? 🙂

      1. Yep. Plotting out my ideas today. 🙂

  8. Just e-mailed my submission, I absolutly fell in love with this idea. We Stay At Home Dad’s have a tough road, and it’s great to someone shinning a spotlight on us in a favorable way.
    Hope you enjoy my contribution.

    1. Awesome Christian! I have received your submission and will check it out as soon as I get freed from this crazy blog tour that has me kidnapped by a wanna-be Scooby-Doo villain! 😉

  9. Submitted my submission. Now I’m just waiting to hear back from you about how awful it was. 🙂

  10. Hey, is it too late to get in on this? I think this is a great idea! Please let me know if it is still possible to write something for this publication. therealmattdaddy@gmail.com

  1. […] Jeremy: I would love to throw out the information regarding a completely different project that I am currently working on. I am accepting submissions for non-fiction essays by other stay-at-home dads to be published as a collection under the title The Myth of Mr. Mom. Anyone interested can get all the details here: http://www.toonopolis.com/2011/10/06/hey-stay-at-home-dads-wanna-be-published/ […]

  2. […] to who could be the laziest.  As a stay-at-home father and advocate of awareness (see the upcoming The Myth of Mr. Mom non-fiction essay book by Portmanteau Press LLC) that men are capable of filling this role, I […]

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