In a life-changing move after the birth of their first son, Ben Robertson enthusiastically volunteers for the role of ‘Mr Mum’ while his wife returns to work as the main breadwinner. As a stay-at-home dad, Ben is pushed to the depths of tiredness, frustration and despair, moments he shares equally with the heights of great joy and energy. Looking after small children becomes the hardest and most rewarding job Ben has done. Why then are some days filled with happiness while others are completely soul-destroying? And why does it sometimes leave him feeling lonely, confused and lacking in confidence? Ego-crushing moments lurk around every corner: ‘Mummy’s going off to work. You’re going nowhere!’
As Ben tackles these questions head on, he must also confront his relationship with his estranged father who is dying from cancer. This unexpected new reality forces Ben to evaluate not only his role as a father but also what it means to be ‘a man’ in a modern society, where cultural boundaries are constantly shifting.
More than just amusing anecdotes about exploding nappies and pushing prams – these, of course, are included – Hear Me Roar gets to the heart of complex issues like anxiety and depression, which sometimes go hand-inhand with child rearing, and, for the most part, are brought on by isolation and tiredness.
In the tradition of Nigel Marsh’s Fat, Forty and Fired comes Hear Me Roar: The Story of a Stay-at-Home Dad. Written with an engaging mix of humour, brutal honesty and a dark edge, journalist and author Ben Robertson tackles child-rearing issues from a man’s perspective, making this memoir a rare read on being a dad, warts and all.