Russell Crowe: part time Gladiator, full time dad
There are two ways to see Russell Crowe’s decision to renounce his 37.5 per cent stake of the Rabbitohs football club for “family reasons”.
You could see him as a role model for the thoroughly modern man; a father prepared to make personal sacrifices in the name of family.
Or, you could take a more cynical approach and question whether Crowe’s time would be better saved slicing off a couple of movies from schedule every year.
Or how about cutting back on those punishing personal training sessions he’s so fond of posting on Twitter these days?
But nobody likes an armchair marriage expert, so I’m going with the first one.
Russell Crowe might be a wildly successful actor, with a range of artistic accolades and an impressive bank account, but that doesn’t make him immune to the pressures of being a modern day dad, juggling the conflicting demands of career, relationships and parenting.
As he said himself, “It’s pretty simple, I have to make more time for my family,” he said.
Crowe’s right. It is an exceptionally straightforward explanation, and one that quickly dispels any old-fashioned notions of a glamorous Hollywood lifestyle.
Obviously the guy’s trade offs are different to most. While the average bloke might forfeit his weekly game of indoor cricket in favour of a few extra hours with these kids, Crowe is selling off his stake in a 104 year old football club.
Still, the principle is the same. As parenting expert Dr Peter West told The Punch this morning, there is huge pressure on modern fathers to play an active and present role in their children’s lives.
“Women’s roles have evolved in modern society. Where even 20 years ago, a pregnant woman is more visible in daily life, men are expected to be at the maternity bedside and so it continues throughout the life of the child,” he said.
West also said workshops he runs with new fathers he encourages dad only time with the kids as a matter of priority.
“So many new dads tell me that they’re keen to redress the good but absent roles that their own fathers played. And these improved relationships will ensure children are more thoughtfully than previous generations,” he said.
Similarly, psychologist Meredith Fuller said that this bond is now considered vital to a child’s development. Self esteem, future relationships and career path can all be positively influenced from a healthy and active relationship with both parents.
All of which is well and good and probably quite applicable in the case of Russ. Then again, maybe he just ditched the Rabbitohs because he got sick of a losing cause.
Follow me on Twitter: @lucyjk
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