We’ve recently started to watch Mad Men – I know, we’re well behind the times. The thing that has struck me the most, apart from Don Draper’s pure sex appeal, is how the role of men within society has changed over the last fifty years.
Back in the 1960’s, which is when Mad Men is set, there were defined gender roles. Women were expected to look after the house and raise the kids, whilst men were responsible for going to work and contributing to family life purely through their pay cheque.
Fast forward half a century and family life is barely recognisable from that of the past. Shock horror, women can have careers and blokes are allowed to look after the kids. Oh how all of the cigar smoking, alcohol drinking, prostitute shagging ‘professional’ men of the ’50’s and ’60’s must be turning in their graves.
Now I like to think of myself as being pretty similar to Don Draper. Successful, handsome, suave, good with the ladies and devoid of emotion – but then I wake up. To be honest, I probably couldn’t be any further away from this type of alpha male. I actively want to spend time with my family, I always cry at Long Lost Family and my idea of looking good is changing out of my superhero pyjama bottoms.
I’m not a massive fan of labels, but in many regards, I’m probably what you’d call a ‘modern man’ having made the decision to leave the high-powered world of business consulting to become a stay-at-home dad. Where my days were once filled with endless conference calls, PowerPoint presentations and unnecessary stress, they now consist of baby classes, nursery rhymes and unnecessary stress. Instead of a laptop, versatility is now my tool of choice (well, that and a laptop as it’s pretty hard to blog using just versatility). Either way, you get what I’m trying to say.
The guys and girls at global clothing apparel company UNIQLO must have agreed that I’m some kind of modern man as they asked me to contribute my thoughts to their Field Guide For The Metropolitan Man. This is a hub of life hacks, hints and tips put together by a group of male bloggers – including yours truly – to help facilitate a modern way of life.
Covering everything from food and drink to fashion and home life, I was asked to contribute a few words of advice on how to propose and how to prepare for a child. Having managed to get a ‘yes’ when I popped the question four years ago and as I have a baby who’s survived 9.5 months of life with little damage, I guess that makes me somewhat of an expert (ha!).
Rather than spoil the surprise and include my advice out of context in this post, go check out the Field Guide to see my tips on proposing and having a kid. Whilst there, you might be able to pick up a whole host of other bloke life hacks, including how to cook the perfect steak, how to brew your own beer, how to dress down a suit, how to buy your first apartment and how to get over a breakup.
As an aside, to help you put some of the hints, tips and hacks into practice, UNIQLO are running an awesome metropolitan men competition from 29th May to 5th June where you can win £200 to spend on brand new clothes. You can enter the competition by tweeting your style selfies to @UNIQLO_UK using the hashtag #metropolitanmen.
Where do you (or your partner) fit on the Don Draper scale? Are you one of the Metropolitan Men or are you very much part of the Mad Men? Let me know below!
N.B. This is a commissioned post in collaboration with UNIQLO.