Before you want to go all puppy-dog eyes for Hunter Mahan rushing to his laboring wife’s side, let’s see if the dude would have left $1 million dollars if he were, say, not a two-millionaire. The U.S. golfer was at the top of the tournament leader board on Saturday, July 27th, 2013 when his wife went into labor and, of course, rushed home to Dallas to welcome his baby daughter early Sunday morning. Sorry not sorry but he left the Canadian Open tournament and $1 million bones because he can. I imagine his wife saying, “Babe, my water broke, hop on your private jet quick and come home!” I don’t know about any other peasant families but I would prefer the opportunity for money. Let’s face it: Money makes the world go ’round and an eight-hour labor can mean the difference between utilities for the month or eating for the week.
This past Father’s Day, Gym Hottie met a similar dilemma minus the high payout. As a one-income household, we depend on all the available work opportunities: full-time, overtime, anything that adds some fluff to the pay period. I’m sure we’ll still depend on any ‘padding’ when I return to work myself. GH is the only ‘family man’ at his job and I imagine the guilt washing over the boss as he made the call of shame for reinforcements that Sunday. I was ready to accept that I would be solo parenting that day but GH surprised me when he opted out to stay home with us. It was sweet, really, but I couldn’t help but think of the extra funds for the next paycheck. A more personal reason was also because his back has never been the same since his cycling accident and he desperately needed the break. A semi-disabled and lone breadwinner family has priorities, unfortunately, and would make that same dilemma a more difficult decision than for the millionaire.
Of course, I would be super sad if my husband had to miss the birth of our child. I’d be super super sad if we had to choose a roof or groceries too. While birth Western culture would prime that choice as heartless, I wouldn’t put it past hundreds of developing cultures to dismiss that even as a choice. Did you know in Laos that mothers give birth on birthing beds all alone with no one around? Huge difference of culture and resource availability but I get it. There are toddlers nursing from cows because parents had to leave to go to find work. You should not be surprised to hear that many fathers are absent at births all the time. Also don’t be surprised to hear missing an opportunity is merely just to be at another opportunity. Wasn’t it not that long ago where fathers were not allowed in delivery rooms or am I mixing up my Mad Men references with historical facts? Here, we’re hopelessly romanticizing Mahan because he is able to forfeit a high financial opportunity and not have a cascade of problems ensue from it. If the events happened in exact sequence with less money, a different life, another parent, would he be irresponsible or a poster father much like the golfer? Hunter Mahan did what was right (and financially secure) for his family. If it were my husband, I know what he would like to do. I know what I would
like to do. What any parents do is what is right for their million-dollar or humble priorities.
Is Mahan a fatherhood superhero or just rich enough?