Friday, June 18, 2010

To The New Generation of Dads

In honor of Father's Day, I have requested that my husband do a "guest blog" spot on Take Your Baby To Work. And of course now that he's really busy with work for the next couple of days, I hope that we'll be able to coordinate it before too long.

Since Scott is the other half of the parental unit of this Take Your Baby To Work, I'm eager to hear his perspective on what makes our situation so great and what makes it challenging.

I have been reading stories over the past week of Dads who blog-about parenting, work at home, work out of the home, life, etc., and am coming to the conclusion that the number of Dads who go to work, put in 40+ hours a week, play with the kids for a few minutes before dinner or bedtime, and then maybe see them on weekends for a kid and Dad outing, is getting to be a minority. The role of a Dad has changed drastically over the last generation (or two?).

We did have this conversation with my family in the last year. I believe my Aunt and Uncle were also visiting, and one or two of my siblings, and my parents. We were debating what the role of a Dad is these days-does he do diapers? does he cook? does he clean? does he go to work? Who is a modern Dad? My sister was raised with a Dad who wasn't home much, but I have the same Dad and a decade later, he was home a lot more for me. This same Dad had to change diapers of his younger siblings, which dispels the myth that men never used to change diapers. (You should hear his view of cloth diapers, "You take the diaper off when its wet or poopy-except he doesn't say the p word-rinse it out, squeeze out the water, hang it up to dry, and put it back on when the next one is wet.") (Forget this whole rinse your cloth diapers in cold, then wash in hot, and double rinse in cold again. In special soap. Within 24 hours.)

Who knows how that conversation ended, except I remember saying, "There is no role of the modern Dad. He doesn't know what to do because they're all just figuring out how to do it..." I can be so profound.

Poor Scott. I likely could never let him stay-at-home with kids, because I'd be missing out on too much fun, and yet I expect that Dads today can and should do everything a Mom can do-except breastfeeding, of course. Does this sound like the opposite of the women-libbers from a generation ago? (yes I can have kids, work full time, do it all and not have a melt-down?).

Thank you to the Dads of this generation who are blazing new trails for future Dads. May you enjoy your Father's Day, and all the brunches, BBQs, ties, iPads, works of art, and love that is bestowed upon you.

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