Dads have raised the ante with the role of fatherhood. While I’ve seen plenty of dads at park outings, I’m seeing more and more of them taking an active role in the daily routine. On Facebook, my dad friends post blurbs about helping with homework or taking their kids to the doctor’s appointment. In my own home, my husband isn’t merely the occasional babysitter and instead feeds, bathes, and regularly interacts with our toddler. And recently, my brother—long known for packing his daughters’ lunches, doing their laundry and playing ridiculous games with them—proudly proclaimed, “I know how to do a French braid!”
Welcome to the new dad: men who no longer see themselves merely as husbands or providers, but have stepped up their game as amazing fathers.
Last month, The Wall Street Journal writer Susan Gregory Thomas asks, Are dads the new moms? She writes:
Whether it is because today’s men were raised amid the women’s movement of the 1970s, or because they themselves experienced the costs of that era’s absent fathers, there is little question that the age of dads as full partners in parenting has arrived.
I’ve long since been a fan of hands-on dads for several reasons:
- When more dads want to be the primary caregiver just as much as women want to be the company CEO will we truly blur the gender lines often found at home and in the workplace.
- In dual-income families, women end up assuming not only the role of the income-earner but often the role of child-care provider alone.
- Kids benefit from having an active relationship with their dads, whether through stronger bonds with both parents or a less fearful view of the disciplinarian dad.
I’m excited that dads are stepping up to the plate. With both mom and dad attempting to balance it all, perhaps we’ll see a cultural shift that will support working parents as they attempt to create a healthy work/life balance. And to all the awesome SSBE dad readers: Happy Father’s Day! My hats off to you on this well-deserved day of yours.
What role does your partner play in your family? How does dad balance career, marriage and fatherhood? What was your father’s role growing up, and how has it affected your own perceptions of fatherhood?
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