Tuesday, August 03, 2004

One of the reasons that the Census Bureau's low-ball figure on the number of stay-at-home dads frustrates me so much is that it automatically excludes millions of men who work contorted schedules in order to serve as primary caretakers of their kids (or, in millions of other cases, in order to live a rich family life). I'm not the only one feeling that way. Flextime is a big deal, and getting bigger.

Case in point: this AP story on the practice, which makes clear that the men who take advantage are generally great and home and better at work. It's a win-win for everybody. Or it should be. Read low down in the story and you get to the caveats: it's a rare workers that thinks he (or she) can go to a flexible schedule without career suffering, and that men who take advantage of such policies are often looked down upon. But like so much else in life, I would expect that to change as more and more men use flextime and it becomes less stigmatized.

Heck, even our uber-macho commander-in-chief understands the logic of giving workers more options in the way they divvy up work and family. Dumped into the media void that enveloped anything *not* related to the Democratic convention last week came the annoucement that Bush is examining flextime proposals for the campaign season. (Details to come -- I'll keep an eye as they evolve.) That means that kids are at least in the mix in this campaign, with Kerry's child care proposal already out there, too.


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