Of course. I just happened to write about Other Mother’s because Byrne was a woman. But there have been meaningful, influencial male figures in my life other than my father. In fact one of the experts that I interviewed for the book is a professor out of the University of Wisconsin named Carl Hedman.
While his wife was getting her master’s in nursing in the 70s, their family lived in a multi-racial commune.
“ I don’t know why society is so locked into private attempts to be happy,” Hedman says. “Having other mothers to help raise our two sons was good for our marriage.”
Even the way he pronounces commune, more like the what-you-do-with-Mother-Nature verb than the wacko-hippy connotation, confirms what he sees as the benefit of othermothering. The Hedmans stuck with group housing even after their own boys were grown.
“It eased the empty nest syndrome. I could still be a father figure in everything from teaching little boys to ride bikes to helping one of them cope with the stress of getting through Yale.”