by Lisa Belkin - Motherlode - NYTimes Magazine

I posted an ad on Craigslist this week and found myself in the new economy.

With my older son leaving for college soon, I need to hire afternoon help, someone to drive my younger son from school and to activities, and to do cleaning and shopping and errands to round out the job. It has been more than a year since I last looked to hire for a position like this, and I expected many of the changes out there — more people answering the ad, willing to work for less money, bringing experience that far exceeds the job requirements.

What I didn’t expect was the number of men who’ve applied.

“I am a married father of two, both attending college in August,” John wrote. “Having been a Fireman for over twenty years, I was lucky enough to be around my house, cooking, cleaning and doing laundry for my family. With my youngest starting college in late August, I am looking to work. Although You might have thought of a woman for this position, I think You would find me the right person for the job. I am currently a high school hockey coach. I am used to running around with my kids, taking them to all the sporting events and dance classes . I am very organized, reliable and consider myself a very good cook.”

Louis, in turn wrote: “I have experience cleaning house, doing laundry, and grocery shopping for a family of 6. I have a 16 year old sister with many teenage friends which I have taken for many years both to and from multiple activities. I have excellent time management and organizational skills. I think I could be just who you are looking for.” He attached his resume, listing his degree in fine arts and business, and filled with advertising jobs.

There were many more — of the 32 responses I received in the first 24 hours, 15 were from men. A data point to add to the measure of the economy — things are particularly bad when men are elbowing for jobs that women used to settle for.

Please don’t write and apply for my particular position — I am pretty sure it breaks all sorts of journalism rules to use my blog to hire childcare help. But if you are looking for work feel free to leave your qualifications in the comments. Same if you have a childcare job to offer. I will happily make behind the scenes matches if you write to me at and ask for a particular commenter’s email address. And if anyone would like to contact John or Louis, let me know that, too.