Elon Musk’s remarks about parenting with Grimes spark fierce debate over gender roles

In case you hadn’t noticed, Elon Musk is kind of a big deal. And so is Grimes, the mother of the couple's child.

When these two successful, fascinating people had a child together, we knew there would be a fair few interesting talking points to come out of it. And they wasted no time giving their child one of the most bizarre names we’ve ever heard: X Æ A-Xii. (It's pronounced 'X')

During an interview with the New York Times, Musk who has six children in total, including his newest arrival opened up about how he manages juggling childcare responsibilities with his hectic work schedule.

He responded by suggesting that, right now, Grimes is doing most of the childcare.

He said:

Well, babies are just eating and pooping machines, you know?

Right now there’s not much I can do. Grimes has a much bigger role than me right now. When the kid gets older, there will be more of a role for me. 

I think just doing what I’ve done with my other kids. If I have a trip for Tesla to China, for example, I’ll bring the kids with me and we’ll go see the Great Wall or we took the bullet train from Beijing to Xian and saw the Terracotta Warriors.

Musk added that he created an online school for his older kids, which he said has “actually worked out pretty well.”

It’s certainly not unusual for women to bear most of the childcare responsibilities for children, particularly newborns. And creating an online school for your children does seem like fairly active parenting.

But some people took exception to Musk’s insinuation that there’s “not much he can do” for the baby right now.

This arrangement might be exactly what works for their family and every family is different. But in the early stages of parenting there’s certainly things both parents can do.

On social media, Musk’s comments provoked a discussion about gender roles in modern parenting.

Some think it's a problem that people tell new fathers that there's "hot much for them to do" at the beginning of a child's life, when that's not the case.

And others think it's not a great dynamic that father's just get to show up for the "fun stuff".

Obviously every family is different and there's no way of telling from a short quote what sort of parent someone is.

But it's certainly interesting to hear these discussions about the realities of parenting centring around a couple who often seem far removed from the experiences of most "normal" people.

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