The Silent Rage of Toronto House Husbands

A Satirical Exposé

man doing housework

For the last several months, I have been undercover as a Toronto House Husband. Women, you would be shocked to learn how many men, in the Annex, Allenby area, North Toronto, Forest Hill Village and other parts around the city, are stay-at-home dads, or as some call it, house husbands. And for the most part, they are royally pissed off. Some are depressed with their lives. Others started foaming at the mouth. This is the first in the series of reports in which I will report to you what is really going on behind the warped leaded glass windows in Arts and Craftsy Allenby. Or the so-called "faux Georgian mini mansions" in Lawrence Park and North Toronto. And ladies, it ain't pretty!

Since September 2012, I have met with, shot back some beers with, play-dated with, and played poker with about 200 house husbands. I estimate that there are thousands of such individuals in the GTA. I confess that this survey lacks a certain scientific credibility; it’s informal, anecdotal. So sue me.

Ladies, you will be relieved to know that 70% of the men surveyed love their kids, and 20% can’t stand their kids. They can’t wait for them to be potty trained so they could be shipped off to boarding school. Okay, that figure is a little troubling because 10% were so drunk or stoned they didn't know if they had kids. That is a little more sobering.

As for their wives, the numbers are considerably worse. Only 40% still love their wives, 30% still like their wives, 20% were indifferent, and 10% had psychotic episodes at the mere mention of their spouses’ names. I don't think that is a good sign, but I could be wrong on that one.

Of the 40% who said they still loved their wives, the majority admitted that the sex was pretty regular, at least two-to-three times each week, once a month it being with their wives. The 30% who still like their wives could not remember the last time they had sex with their wives. But they did speak very favorably about the neighborhood massage parlour around the corner. After hearing that, I was too depressed to talk about see with the majority balance of the hubbies. Note the pattern here.

I am no psychologist, though in university I had a brilliant feminist psychology professor for two semesters in my junior year and part of my senior year. I may have even audited a course of hers. The 70s are a bit of a blur for me. Whatever. You don’t need a PhD in the Fourth or Five Wave of Post-Feminism to conclude that there is something rotten in the state of marriage here in the Big Smoke.

In my next report, I go further undercover. Literally, under the covers—and talk with Soo Kim Lee (an alias), the grande madame of second story massage parlours up and down Yonge Street and Eglinton. She analyses for me the tortured psyches of her Toronto house husband clients. And I get a freebie for promoting her services. Win, win.

I am not sure if I was a helicopter dad. More of a hang glider dad, I think. On occasion I swoop down, do stuff with my kids. Then when the winds shift, try not to crash and burn. When my son was 4 years of age, he appeared to be a natural hockey player. So I enrolled him into power skating and then House League and Select. My daughter also preferred hockey skates to figure skates. So my son and daughter played hockey, for what seemed like twenty years. Two or three times a week. For most of the years, I was my son's hockey coach and watched a ton of my daughter's games. The hockey was great for all of us. My then wife and I did not stop at hockey. On week-ends we took the kids to power swimming, and then gym and modern dance for my daughter. As a family we did the Toronto Symphony for kids and the art galleries, Science Centre and tons of times at the ROM for the dinosaurs. We were also reading in libraries and at home. We tried our best to give our kids all the opportunities and experiences to find themselves. In later years, the children went to summer camps and we took them on holidays. Then they became a bit old for holidaying with parents and preferred travelling to Europe, Israel, and across the US following favorite bands. And then international study in the Netherlands and Japan. Along the way, I helped raise a stepson and stepdaughter. A lot of similar stuff and some different stuff as well. The children obtained university degrees and two even obtained graduate degrees. I learned that every phase of a child's life and a parent's life is great and challenging and sometimes frustrating. Like life itself.