By Casey Liss

My buddy Jonathan Mann, of Song a Day fame, occasionally releases more reflective and introspective videos. One great one was The Story of GameJew, wherein Jonathan chronicles, well, how he came to be him.

Yesterday Jonathan released another of these videos, entitled Marriage & Feminism. This one hit home for me, and did so quickly. Jonathan’s son, Jupiter, is six months older than Declan is, and in many ways I’ve been quietly paying attention to see if there’s any hints to my future that I can glean from his tweets and songs.

The video is an examination of his relationship with his wife Juliana particularly as it relates to parenting. Too much of this reminded me of myself.

Jonathan says:

[Juliana] was physically attached to Jupiter [early in his life] — nursing him constantly — she didn’t have the luxury of choice about her obligations.

As we talked about [how we divide the labor], I vowed to step up and be better. 💪🏻 And while I’ve never done that exact same [egregiously selfish] thing again, variations on this issue have come up somewhat regularly ever since.


This sounds all too familiar.

He continues:

[Juliana] being better at [chores & maintaining the household] does not excuse the uneven contribution. I’m a grown-ass man, and I’m fully capable of taking on way more than I do, improving as I go.

Yikes. Looking in the mirror got a little uncomfortable at this point.

While our situations are not the same — Juliana works outside the home while we are lucky enough to be able to have Erin concentrate on parenting full-time — these struggles are exactly what we’ve faced.

In some ways, they’re compounded by Erin always working in the home: “Oh, you didn’t have time to get that laundry done? Okay.” “Huh, these dishes are still here?”

When I’m smart, these thoughts stay in my head. I remember that in every stage of life, caring for a child is a more-than-full-time job. Lately things have gotten even more complicated, as he’s now crawling through a house that we haven’t yet been able to fully babyproof. I remember that on top of taking care of Declan, Erin is also running errands, cleaning up after us (me), cooking dinner for the family, and doing all the things I can’t do because I’m not at home.

Unfortunately, I’m not always smart enough to keep those thoughts to myself.

Jonathan’s video has coalesced a lot of my very disjointed thoughts about my own behavior into one easy to digest video. As a parent, it was really eye opening to watch. If you’re someone that lives with anyone else, you’ll probably learn something about yourself as well.

After you watch the video, if you want to hear more about Jonathan & Juliana’s journey, you can also check out their podcast miniseries.