Excerpt: 'Lazy Husband'

In the new book "The Lazy Husband: How to Get Your Men to Do More Parenting and Housework," Joshua Coleman explores ways to get your lazy man out of his cave and into doing some house chores. It's for every woman who wants to get beyond her partner's defensive behavior, so he can become more of a loving man and a team player. Read an excerpt from the book below.


The Perfect Mother

Most of the adults of my generation were raised in some version of a "children should be seen and not heard" era. Boy, have times have changed. Contemporary children are growing up in an environment where children should be seen, talked to, validated, encouraged, supported, and developed. They have gone from being quietly kept in the background to being loudly and proudly paraded into the foreground. In many households, it's the parents who are seen and not heard, and children are the axis upon which the household turns.

My wife and I were as guilty of this as any contemporary parent. When our children were young, our living room looked like a display center for a Toys-R-Us outlet. Lego sets and Lincoln Log constructions dotted the floor like an architectural layout for a dilapidated shopping center. Our refrigerator was transformed into a display case for finger paintings and doily cutouts. Spellings and misspellings of words from multicolored magnetic plastic alphabets competed with macaroni-and-paste compositions of turkeys, flowers, and semideranged faces. And that was just the front. The side was, and remains, a freestanding magnet-reinforced album of their three lives starting from birth to the present, gradually occupying more and more space until every time we put a new picture up, an avalanche of history risks cascading to the floor.

The New Era of the Child

Our culture's shift toward children's well-being has dramatically affected our identity as men and women, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers. At the same time, changes in the economy, marriage, and divorce have created confusion and turmoil about who's supposed to do what with the house and the kids. This chapter will examine the many ways in which the burden of these changes has fallen onto women's shoulders, and what may need to change in your household for your partner to do more, and for you to do less. We are today cursed and blessed by an unprecedented amount of information that any parent can now get at any time to answer any question they could ever have about any of their children. Internet Web sites, newspaper articles, and whole sections of bookstores are dedicated to serving this eager and anxious population.

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