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John Lennon was most famous for being a rock ‘n’ roll star but he also saw himself as a “househusband.” An author explained how the former Beatle popularized that term. Subsequently, John’s son, Sean Ono Lennon, discussed a song in which his father sang about his time as a househusband.

The Beatles' John Lennon with his son, Sean Ono Lennon
Sean Ono Lennon and The Beatles’ John Lennon | Vinnie Zuffante/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

John Lennon was proud of being a househusband

The book All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono includes an interview from 1980. In it, John discusses his relationship with his second son, Sean. “He didn’t come out of my belly but, by God, I made his bones, because I’ve attended to every meal, and to how he sleeps, and to the fact that he swims like a fish,” he said.

“That’s because I took him to the [YMCA],” John added. “I took him to the ocean. I’m so proud of those things. He is my biggest pride, you see.”

An interview made the term ‘househusband’ far more prominent

John was asked why he’d taken such a long break between his albums Rock ‘n’ Roll (1975) and Double Fantasy (1980). The “Imagine” singer said he hadn’t felt moved to make new music. “Also, I had been concentrating on being a househusband and I had sort of half-consciously wanted to spend the first five years of Sean’s life actually giving him all the time I possibly could,” he continued.

John felt his new role in life contrasted with stereotypical men’s roles. “So I like it to be known that, yes, I look after the baby and I made bread and I was a househusband and I am proud of it,” he said. “It was an enlightening experience for me because it was a complete reversal of my upbringing. It’s the wave of the future and I’m glad to be in on the forefront of that, too.” Author David Sheff said John did not coin the term “househusband” but his use of it in this 1980 interview made it popular.


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How John Lennon’s son discussed the way the former Beatle’s parenting influenced his music

During a 2020 interview with Rolling Stone, Sean discussed what his father’s life was like when he wrote Double Fantasy. Sean said fans may have wondered why the former Beatle took time off from being a rock star. Sean felt John learned that family and love are more important than anything else.

John’s song “Watching the Wheels” is about how he was fine taking a step back from stardom. It was Sean’s favorite song when he was a child. Looking back on it in 2020, he was still a fan of “Watching the Wheels.”

John was a musical innovator and his time as a parent helped change the English language.