Thursday, June 30, 2005

FYI on reality TV: A casting person contacted me early today to ask if I would put her in touch with at-home dads for ABC TV shows, notably Wife Swap. I told her I would not post her request, but told her she could -- like anyone else -- troll the comments section of the site.

She had evidently contacted a few of you (follow the link for a thoughful response), suggesting my endorsement. Let me be perfectly clear: I want to be helpful, but I don't think reality TV is ever a particularly good idea, even if you're Bobby Brown.

Hope that clears things up, and I apologize if I inadvertantly threw anyone into the lion's maw. Personally, I'd avoid Wife Swap, but maybe Heather can set you up for a husband fixin'.

Yours in good humor,
I will go back and finish up the Father's Day postings, but it's probably getting a bit wearying for you (I know it is for me). So I'd like to jump to a few other things that I find more interesting and more pressing, starting with this New Republic (?!) piece on motherhood (reg required). (I don't mean any insult to TNR by the (?!). I love TNR, but I don't really think of it as a parenting magazine. Though I'd would subscribe to a TNRParents publication. It bet it'd be fun.)

I keep thinking that we've reached the end of the analysis when it comes to books about modern motherhood. Once you've read Warner, Douglas and Michaels, Belkin, etc. etc. -- can there really be much else to say? The piece by Ruth Franklin in TNR backs me up. It's a long article, and well-done, and could probably serve as the last word on the topic. She hits most of the important points in the discussion of motherhood: consumerism, the razor-thin difference between "working women" and at-home moms, the danger of assuming that modern motherhood is somehow represented rich, well-educated women and so forth.

She also gives a nice shout-out to bloggers, but that's just gravy.

Of course, we haven't reached the end of the line, not yet. I think that Caitlin Flanagan is working on some kind of motherhood book that is bound to terribly interesting and (perhaps) agonizingly wrongheaded. (Thanks to Jessica at for flagging.)

My main computer is back up, and I'll begin getting my audio capabilities back today -- maybe there will be a podcast next week! (I lost all my data, so I'll have to create my intro, outro and so on. It's a real pain.)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Dad's Day Roundup, Part III. Okie dokie ... here's my stab at getting to the bottom of the Father's Day stories. One of the other trends from these stories worth pointing out -- and this was suggested by a poster on one of the at-home dad groups on Yahoo! -- is the true endurance of the term "Mr. Mom." Come up with a smarter but just-as-catchy alternative phrase, and I'll make you rich. And here are the stories:

Sacramento Bee (Reg. Required)
This "portraits" piece is notable for -- yes -- the gorgeous studio photos of the fathers involved, including an at-home dad and a few other very involved fathers. Reading through the at-home dad profile, which mentions the budget struggles that come with being a one-income family, I was struck by how few of these articles tackles that money piece ...

San Jose Mercury News
Not an at-home dad story per se, but a deeper-than-most story about the growing trend towards more involvement and the buildup of fathers in traditionally mom-oriented groups (Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Moms clubs, etc.)

Bremerton (WA) Sun (Reg. required)
A stat-heavy column on modern fatherhood that suggests that men are doing much better in the caring department than ever before ... but that we have a ways to go. The at-home dad angle: SAHDs are the gentlemen leading the charge toward fatherhood involvement, which is a damn fine banner to wave.

Northern Life (Sudbury, Canada)
A good at-home dad profile, but with some Canadian stats to whet my appetite: paternity leave-taking up north is up to 10 percent in 2001 (from 3 percent a decade earlier) and the total number of at-home fathers is at 110,000, up more than 20,000 over ten years. (Not sure how those figures were calculated or where they came from, but that estimate is about the same as the U.S. Census Bureau's estimate for the US (98,000). Of course, we have 10 times the pupation, so either at-home dads are running rampant up there or the Census stats are flawed. And I think you all know where I come down on that.)

Herald and Review (IL)
A standard-issue dad profile, with some nice atmospherics at a local library. It does bring up the Mr. Mom term (in a glowing way, as most of these piece do).

Detroit News
Maybe the best newspaper story on at-home dads, with tons of analysis to underscore the sea change in men's involvement in families, a few wonderful stats and a nice at-home dad in the middle of it all. The stat-head in me was particularly struck by the author's decision to dig out the stat on families where mom is the sole breadwinner. Families like that -- a proxy for at-home dads -- are 2 million nationwide and 64,000 in Michigan ... up 75 percent in the last decade.

Muskegon (MI) Chronicle
And while we're on the subject of Michigan at-home dads, here is a story about another one.

Savannah Morning News (Reg required)
Profile of Boot Camp for New Dads.

Getting tired ...

OK ... I'll have to pull together a fourth update later, so if you're concerned that I have won't get to the at-home dad story from your neck of the woods, don't worry. I'm getting there ...

Monday, June 27, 2005

Interesting media project below. I find this interesting, but I'm just the messenger. Contact Rich directly with questions, etc.:
Hello, the Children's PressLine is a nonprofit organization where kids act as journalists. Currently, we want to do a story on stay at home dads, and I was wondering if you could help us out with this. We don't necessarily want to talk to the parents, though, even though that would be a swell story in itself. Who we really want to talk to his their kids to see how they feel about the matter. I'm sure that other kids probably lambaste them for it on the playground, as we know how kids can be about something they don't necessarily understand, and Children's PressLine is their way to speak back about it and explain why it's so great to have a dad just around the corner from you at all times in the home. You can reach us at 212-501-1118 and check us out via the net at If there's anything else you want to learn about us, you could call me personally at 973-452-9900 in case nobody else is in the office at the time. Thanks for listening.

Children's PressLine
Rich Knight-Editorial Coordinator
Dad's Day Roundup, Part II. I know, I know, we're getting a bit past Father's Day, but I have plenty to share with you all. There will be one more edition, and then I think I'll be done. (Of course, we're beginning to get a buildup of some non-F.D. dad news, too.) (Fair warning: Today's post contains some self-referential bits.)

Mother's Movement Online
MMO -- ordinarily a thoughtful online publication -- drops its usual standards and runs a lengthy interview with me in which I engage in much naval-gazing.

MetroWest Daily News (MA)
A Boston-area paper runs the most extensive look at the question of what will become of Tom Scavo, the soon-to-be at-home on Desperate Housewives. The author gets bonus points for contacting various dads (including RebelDad) and asking them what they would do with such a character.

Des Moines Register
Some nice parent profiles out of Iowa, and the reporter deserves extra credit for talking to a number of people, including pediatricians, a day care manager and an elementary school principal about whether dads are more involved now than two decades ago. The consensus of those folks? Involved fathering is on the rise. Thanks, Bill!)

Vancouver (Canada) Sun (Link already gone. Text available upon request.)
Convention regular Tim sent me along a piece from the Great White North on Father's Day, a first-person account that seems on one level to celebrate at-home fatherhood, then goes about insulting pretty much every element of how we go about the job. The link has expired, but trust me, you're not missing much.
(Thanks, Tim!)

Bucks County (PA) Courier Times
Nice standard-issue story on local at-home dads. A particularly interesting detail on one of the little-discussed elements of the gender swap: an at-home father expressing frustration that he's not really welcome backstage at the ballet recital -- like all of the other moms -- to help his daughter get dressed.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Things are a bit hectic here in RebelLand. I'll get back to the Dad's Day stories this weekend (hopefully).

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

OK. So maybe Meet Mr. Mom isn't so bad. I received an e-mail today looking for folks for a new ABC reality show called "Fix My Husband." If it were a show about men facing up the reality of vasectomy, I'd shell out for a TiVo, just to catch every moment of a show with real drama and emotion (On a related note: Does anyone have an MP3 of your Chad's Convention performance from 2002? If so, I absolutely must podcast it.)

But, sadly, it's not.

It's a show about changing the "broken" man in your life for the better, with the help of the Walt Disney Company! ("Over the course of just one week, selected husbands will learn priceless pointers that will enhance their marriage, and more importantly, keep their wives happy.") Only one caveat: "Those with serious issues need not apply." So I guess the whole "fixing" part must be secondary ...
This should be interesting, no? The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee will hold a forum tomorrow titled Roundtable Discussion: The Family Medical Leave Act: A Dozen Years of Experience. I'll be quite curious to hear how that turns out. I'm not sure the HELP committee has testimony/transcripts/etc for this kind of thing, so please let me know if you know more or attend the roundtable.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Dad's Day Wrapup, Part I. Here's the first round of links from this weekend's rash of at-home dad stories. Generally, a nice crop of reads, marred only by the continued use of my least favorite SAHD statistics.

Danbury (CT) News Times
The story is headlined "Stay-at-home dad a happy man," which is all you really need to know. A nice -- and extensive -- profile, with some "awwww"-inducing photos.

Connecticut Post
A nice first-person story this time from the sister-in-law of an at-home dad. There are a few bumpy points ... I'd rather the author not have made a point of noting that even though David, the dad in question, is a SAHD, he is "still a guy, through and through." Should that surprise us?

Washington (DC) Dateline (Media General News Service)
Despite the fact that I've never heard of "Media General News Service" before, I liked some of the elements of this piece, which seemed to focus on men getting back on the parenting wagon. It has nice touches -- stats that I haven't seen elsewhere ("Four in 10 married men who didn't work last year stayed home so they could raise their children, according to the Employment Policy Foundation, a Washington public policy group. Two decades ago, less than 3 percent did.") -- and quite possibly the best detail of any story in a long while: "Father-of-five John Carter, who runs a Virginia Beach auto repair shop, agrees. The words “Father In Training” are tattooed on his arm." Damn. I need that kind of tattoo ...

Detroit Free Press
The at-home dad in this story, Sean McManus is taking care of six kids (a stepdaughter, triplets and twins), with a seventh on the way. He color-codes the children, and gives God credit for giving him the strength to keep up with them.

Puget Sound (WA) Business Journal
An extensively reported good news, bad news kind of piece -- the author details how progressive Seattle and the Pacific Northwest is when it comes to at-home fatherhood, but spends a lot of time going over the frustrations that come with the gig. It's a warts-and-all piece, and even if it trends negative, it gives a little balance the I-love-everything-about-fatherhood stories that appeared in so many other publications.

KCRG (Cedar Rapids, IA)
A brief story (video report is still available) on two local at-home dads: "Despite all of the hard work it takes to be Mr. Mom, it's days like Sunday that McDermott says he's grateful for the chance to spend more time with his kids."

Durango (CO) Herald
I have a heck of a time keeping up with my little one, and I am, in theory, in the prime of my life. So I'm extra-impressed with Levi Garcia, a 71-year-old guy who is doing the caregiving for his two-year-old grandchild.
What a day to disappear. Thanks to all who are returning after wondering where went. I'm a bit discombobulated by the whole thing, but I'll begin ramping up again ASAP.

I'm still digging through stories that ran last week, including this one from the Boston Globe that has an encouraging headline: "Dads are no longer the 'assistant parent'."

The Globe is rapidly becoming my favorite newspaper for dad coverage: their Gen X dads story remains one of the year's best. The "assistant parent" article travels much of the same road, detailing how involved fathers now are, and it includes a conversation with the always-interesting Kyle Pruett of Yale, who spoke last year at the At-Home Dad Convention. Plus it includes this quote, from Jerrold Lee Shapiro, a counseling psychologist and professor at Santa Clara University in California: "'There is no gene for diapering.'"

And the Globe story's author, Barbara Meltz, takes a stab at explaining *why* the involved father thing is taking off (I've always been vaguely unsatisfied with these explanations, which never seem to capture *all* the reasons for the sea change):
There are plenty of reasons for the change: Couples are waiting longer to have children and being more thoughtful about their parenting; economics dictates that both parents work, making it only fair that both be involved; and research continues to show developmental benefits to a child from having two involved parents.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

At-Home Dads, Saviors of Sane Parenting(?) The most original at-home dad piece that I've run across today was actually one that ran in my local paper. The Washington Post published an outlook piece by SAHD Mark Trainer that pointed out an interesting element of the whole fatherhood thing: there is no preconceived notion of what an involved father looks like. According to Trainer, we operate in a kind of societal-expectation-free zone that is -- or should be -- liberating. Read the whole piece just so you can get the conclusion:
So in the early weeks of my new arrangement -- having given up on finding a role model, instead chugging forward by my own lights -- I've begun to meditate on this hopeful thought: Maybe we father-caregivers are the antidote to all that parenting stress. Maybe we're the ones who can bring some individuality and eccentricity back into parenting without feeling the need to look over our shoulders to see if we're being judged to be playing our role properly. Study us closely, moms. We may be better at this than you think.
Of course, just three pages later in the Post's Outlook section, we learn that if dads are to lead any parenting revolutions, we'll have to republish the childrearing cannon: this piece says parenting books pretty much ignore men. And when men are mentioned, it's negative about a third of the time.

Radio Daze: In addition to the print onslaught, those with a hankering to listen to your fill of dad stories can check out this "Sound Money" report (self-promotion warning: I'm in this one, briefly) and this edition of KQED's Forum.
Happy Father's Day! Now the hard work begins: digesting all the Dad's Day stories out there. Be patient, this'll take a few days.

Lemme start with the big pubs: the New York Times' op-ed guy John Tierney weighed in with this take on "Doofus Dads" tracing the unhappy rise of the dumb-as-rocks father figure on TV. It's nice to see the overused, played out stereotype take some dings, and Tierney does a nice job of cataloging the different flavors of doofus we're saddled with. He does place the blame in a weird place, fingering the female-heavy sitcom-watching demographic as the ones responsible for the smart-mom, dumb-dad family setup. But that rings wrong to me. The comedy writing club in Hollywood is a notorious boy's club, and the whole Jim Belushi-Courtney Thorne-Smith coupling wasn't the result of some female fantasy.

(Tierney does make a thoughtful defense, however, of Homer Simpson, who is probably the most complex character on TV today, in all seriousness. But to watch Homer's evolution over the past 15 or 20 years is also a study in the way that doofusness has become commonplace. When the Simpson was just a brief segment on the Tracy Ullman show, Homer wasn't a lovable, donut-eating buffoon. He was an angry, occasionally violent father. But as time has gone on -- and the doofus dad has become more widespread -- Homer become more bumbling. It's hard to tell if Homer led the charge toward doofusness or merely reflects the ascendancy of the stereotype.)

Apologies may be in order. I took a swipe at "Stay-At-Home Tom", an embryonic SAHD movie, a couple of days ago. As it turns out, Russ from the Daily Yak beat me to the analysis, and ended up with a comment from the writer, Adam Gibgot:
The dad is not incompetent in my script. We've seen that movie before and what makes my script different (hopefully) is "Tom" is a good dad who realizes that he actually is a GREAT dad and has to come to terms with the fact that being a dad is the thing that he is BEST at and is destined to do. I wrote it as a loveletter to stay-at-home dads because i think any man who makes that choice is the greatest possible kind of man. I hope people give the film a chance before making assumptions based on a tag line that PR people attached to it ("21st Century Mr. Mom.") Mr. Mom was a great movie no doubt. But what I wrote is from my own experience and from the experience of other parents I know. I figured I'd weigh in with all this because my son is not yet awake and I actually have five minutes to myself before the whirlwind day begins! Lots of love to all you dads out there!
That makes me feel better. Still curious as can be to learn more ...

Friday, June 17, 2005

I Could Write All Day about what a dumb idea Meet Mr. Mom is, but let me try to break down the dangerous/wrong assumptions that that show seems to make (in 100 words or less):

1. It assumes that raising kids is a terrible job. But most of the working dads I know would see a week alone with their children as a good (if exhausting) opportunity.

2. It assumes that men suck at caregiving. Because if dads are just as good as moms, where's the humor.

3. It assumes that parenting can be judged.

4. It assumes that mothers enjoy seeing their husbands flounder with the kids.

5. It assumes Americans will watch super stereotypical dreck. (Actually, this is probably the only correct assumption. What was it that Mencken said about the intelligence of the American people ...)

As an aside: This woman may be the scariest parent in America. Please don't watch her network. (Thanks to Miriam at Playground Revolution.)

Finally ... this may be my last post before Father's Day (though I hope to begin posting the already-growing number of Father's Day stories before then), so I want to wish my own father a very special day. I also want to thank the small army of people who have made my experience as a father possible. Around this time of year, I get a lot of glowing attention for the choices I have made. But I haven't made them alone, and I haven't been able to do what I do without a tremendous amount of help. So thank you, Hope, with whom I have shared care for more than three years. Thank you Miriam, who has helped fill in the gaps for more than a year. Thanks to Kebe, our part-time nanny in the early days. And thanks to all those others in the neighborhood who have bailed me out on an ad hoc basis.

On this Father's Day, I don't have enough thank yous for Rebel Mom, the best possible co-parent. She has made my life possible, not only by going to work on days she would rather stay home, but by staying home whenever possible and allowing me to work. She is a wonderful wife, a great parent, and I'm lucky to have her.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

This cannot possibly be good news. My take coming tomorrow:
"Meet Mister Mom" is the latest comedy reality show where under-appreciated Moms are given a surprise luxury vacation while Dad is left to run the household and mind the kids for a week. The series is every Mom's fantasy and every Mom's revenge.

Each episode showcases the comedy that ensues when two very busy families realize just how irreplaceable Mom is in their daily lives. Humorously told from the children's perspectives, every episode will also include valuable information for families on how to better manage their lives together.

Soon after the game begins, the Moms are whisked away to a spa for a week of exciting adventures and rejuvenation, leaving Dad and the kids to juggle the daily tasks of the household. The Dads from each family will compete head-to-head to see who can best handle the pressure of keeping the family together despite a jam-packed schedule. All the while, the Moms are secretly watching the madness on closed-circuit TV.

This show will be a light-hearted comedy that will be seen through the eyes of the kids. And as every parent knows, kids say the darndest things.

The series is being produced by Reveille LLC and Full Circle Entertainment. Ben Silverman, Robert Riesenberg and Jamie Bruce serve as executive producers.
Mr. Mom, Part Duh. Hogan -- my contact on the West Coast, where such decisions get made -- tells me that New Line Cinema is considering a "Mr. Mom" remake titled "Stay at Home Tom." Seriously. The writer, Adam Gibgot, apparently received six figures for his script. But beyond this: "Script concerns a father who has to learn to take care of his two young children when his wife goes back to work," I haven't seen any details on the plot.

The whole thing is a bit puzzling. "Mr. Mom" has not aged particularly well. Twenty-five years ago, when the movie was first pitched, it must have all seemed ridiculously novel -- a classic fish-out-of-water story ("Get this," the writer must have said to the studio a quarter-century ago, "there's this guy who ... you won't believe this ... stays at home ... and raises *his own kids*! Crazy!"). But today, when everyone knows an at-home dad, we're just not that unique, and there is nothing particularly amusing about a father raising his children. Heck, when Eddie Murphy did "Daddy Daycare", they had to saddle him with a dozen kids to get any humor. And even then, that movie had a relatively low percentage of Michael Keaton-esque bumbling.

That's not to say that the movie can't be funny or well-written just because it's about a stay-at-home dad. I'm figuring that the film version of "Little Children" could be interesting in a way that bears little resemblance to "Mr. Mom." "Stay At Home Tom" can't rely -- as "Mr. Mom" did -- on a single joke: dads suck at being home. (Yes, the movie ended in the right place and proved that guys are good caregivers, etc. etc. etc., but nearly every single joke in the movie was based on the fact that Jack Butler was an utter domestic moron.) So I wish Gibgot the best of luck, but I'm curious to see what of "Mr. Mom" is worth salvaging. I can't think of anything ...

FullTimeFather, Media Star: long-dormant blogger Mike Paranzino (of Full Time Father fame) received one heck of a Father's Day profile in USA Today today (and was featured in the sidebar). It's a nice, hour-by-hour slice of life, and I may have to get in touch with Mike to find his trick to getting rid of training wheels by age four. Pretty impressive.

The sidebar is worth a read, too, if only because reporter Sharon Jayson catches up with Yale's Kyle Pruett, who is really a treasure and who really ought to get quoted more.

Just one nitpick (and I've ranted on this before): the real number of at-home dads is not what the Census Bureau says it is (98,000). Jayson references that number twice, calling at-home dads "a rare breed, indeed" and "a small group." But that figure excludes a great number of men -- including, quite explicitly, Mike! -- for a great number of stupid reasons. I'm sure I'll see the 98,000 number a lot in the days to come, so take this post as a blanket condemnation.

Father's Day is still four days away, and I'm already falling behind. Keep sending me stories you see that reference at-home dads, and I'll be sure to post them. Eventually.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The needle continues to move in the right direction. Two years ago, I got understandably excited about a survey that said 40 percent of men would consider at-home fatherhood if it could work for them financially. The folks over there have now updated the results and found there's been a nearly 20 percent jump in guys who would consider the SAHD lifestyle: 49 percent of those polled in 2005 are would-be at-home dads. A year ago, the number was at 43 percent.

Strangely, it was men 36 to 50 who were most interested in becoming at-home dads -- 53 percent said they were willing, compared to 46 percent of those 21 to 35 and 38 percent of those older than 50.

As always, there is a lot to distrust in surveys like this, but if you buy the thinking -- which has now been held constant for three years -- it is hard to conclude that at-home fatherhood as somehow not manly enough for most dads. The stereotype is fading.

For all of the general ranting done here about silly, increasingly outdated stereotypes of dads on TV (some stereotypes aren't fading), I've seen very little analysis in the press about the phenomenon. So I was a bit surprised to see this Chicago Sun-Times article on "Daddy dumbest." It's an interesting read, and the author talks to some real experts: at-home dads. I'm still a bit conflicted: I'm all for good humor (The Simpsons is certainly the best show of my lifetime), but, really, can't TV writers do better than the tired old doofus dad schtick?

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

I know I can get a little preschool-centric here, which is why I found this press release refreshing. The gist is that dads continue to play an important role in the lives of their kids through adulthood ... something worth thinking about about as I try to figure out what to give my own dad for Father's Day.

My workhorse desktop computer died about a week ago, dulling my ability to explore the multimedia world of the web (and compromising my highly regular podcasting schedule), so I haven't yet listened to this public radio piece from Marketplace on "secret" family leave. The upshot is that in a lot of places (but not where I live, natch), family leave policies are much more liberal than people expect.

This makes me wonder for a moment whether I should stop shouting about more extensive (or paid) family leave and spend all my time shouting about making sure people know (and use) the meager rights they have at present. The weirdest part of the weird survey was that at least three of four high earners were under the impression that their company gave less than 12 weeks of paternity leave, which flies in the face of the gender-neutral Family and Medical Leave Act.

So let me be clear: you are allowed to take time off to be with your kids. And you may be allowed to take more than you think. (For a more in-depth, state-by-state analysis check out this National Partnership for Women & Families report (PDF)).

Monday, June 13, 2005

It's Time for Some Updates. I'm in the process of adding two new father's groups to the list at right:, a group's that was "created to serve both stay-at-home and working fathers of Massachusetts (primarily Boston & suburbs) a place to connect, create friendships, network and get out of the house."

Also, I have been told that the East Bay Dads group out in California is "the coolest group of guys in the SF bay area." It has been around for years and is just now coming to my attention.

If I have missed your group or your blog please let me know.

Finally ... a request: the fine folks at the At-Home Dad Convention are soliciting donations for bags to be given to attendees. So if you are a large multi-national company looking to unload 100 to 150 promotional items (or an ambitious entrepreneur who wants to start a viral dad-based campaign), drop me a line.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Grab Bag Today. (All-purpose warning, good for the next two weeks: analysis is likely to get shorter and dumber as what I call "The Deluge" sets in. Father's Day is the peg for what seems like millions of at-home dad stories, so it's all I can do to keep up. Plus, I'm already playing catch-up ...)

For starters ... USA Today, the nation's largest paper, is apparently working on an at-home dad story. Rumor has it that reporter Sharon Jayson has been calling around. This could be a shot at redemption for Jayson, who covered, poorly, the at-home parent census numbers in December.

Also ... on the FMLA front, it looks like last week's USAT story caught someone's eye in the labor movement. Working Women, AFL-CIO, have joined the fray and are collecting FMLA stories. Send yours to

Finally ... WebMD gave Rebel Dad (and Roland Warren and Peter Baylies) props in this story on involved fathers. It's worth the read.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Crass commercial message: with Father's Day just over a week away, you can shop for Rebel Dad gear for your rebel dad by clicking the link at right. And we're running a sale: receive $10 off orders over $30 until June 14. Use the coupon code GRDAD05.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Thanks to those readers who answered my plea to help a former colleague of mine with a story on fathers and family-friendly workplaces (or the lack thereof). Obviously, the author is a friend and I would link to it no matter what. But I'd be remiss in not mentioning that it is a very well-done piece and well worth the read.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Some good news (I think) just in time for Father's Day: according to this survey a whopping 62 percent of guys making six figures would consider taking an extended leave to be an at-home dad. This is, of course, a huge number. It's quite possible that the survey is all screwed up (these surveys so often are), but if we take it at face value, it says something wonderful: a majority of these guys aren't put off by the stigma of staying home. For years and years and years, the big problem was that guys who stayed home were viewed as somehow less manly. But with 62 percent of rich guys weighing a go at the SAHD lifestyle, I don't think loss of status is as big a problem.

On the flip side, these well-off guys may be considering an at-home stint, but the executive washroom isn't exactly empty. There is something keeping men at work. Money is obviously part of it, and I'm curious to know what else.

The survey has some other interesting bits: 69 percent of guys would rather watch a kid's soccer game than keynote a conference (which strikes me as implausible). Also, the surveyed asked guys how much paternity leave their employers allowed. Forty-five percent said "none," 12 percent said four weeks and 18 percent said eight weeks. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the federal government mandate 12 weeks? (I suppose the respondents could have been thinking about *paid* leave, but I doubt that 30-plus percent of employers are offering that.)

All in all, plenty to make you go "hmmmm ..."
Yo! New Yorkers! I just received an e-mail from Nathan, who wants to know why there appears to be no formal New York City at-home dad group. There is this wonderfully title Meetup group that he's organizing, but that's about it. Can anyone help me/Nate out? Any thriving NYC at-home dad groups I'm unaware of?

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Things are finally in order (or close enough) here at RD Headquarters, and I have a stack of stuff to share that could keep me busy from here until Father's Day. Thanks to all who e-mailed to share interesting bits during my unexpected hiatus; I expect to get to them all.

Let me start with the oldest item in the basket, this press release from a University of Delaware prof who found that kids whose dads come to school are more successful. In some ways, this is pretty much "no kidding" territory, but I'm surprise at how many uber-Yuppies, who are eager to pay thousands of dollars to boost their kid's education, seem to miss the involved-dad message.

Switching topics: the debate over the Family and Medical Leave Act is apparently not over. The first round of FMLA-changes-in-the-works stories hit in February, and I had hoped that the generally pro-FMLA press had driven the idea off of the administration agenda. Apparently not: last month, USA Today got in on the action, which suggests this remains a pitched battle. (Thanks, Chip. The USA Today story was a good look at the topic, but the final paragraph says it all:
"It's a management problem, not a problem of the FMLA," says Marie Alexander, CEO of Quova, a Mountain View, Calif.-based start-up that allows companies to determine where Internet users are located. "Everyone is saying there's a productivity loss with the law, but there would be a greater productivity loss without it in place."
Finally (for today), I bring you this piece of advice from USA Weekend (thanks, Chip, again). In short, if you're a stay-at-home dad with an oft-traveling spouse, your lack of sex drive could be the result of "unresolved macho issues" and you must talk about your feelings (something "most men aren't hard-wired to do"). I don't know whether to laugh or cry ...

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Still offline ... I'll begin posting as soon as the fresh, sweet broadband gets pumped in again. Which should happen today.