Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Dad for a Day

I used to be amused by stories about fathers (usually newspaper columnists) who -- after years of being the primary wage earner -- decide to take on the role of at-home dad for a day or two. I used to find them encouraging, signaling an additional convert to the ways of the involved parent.

I'm more cynical now (maybe it was the self-satisfied yet largely joyless Hard Tough Could It Be that did me in), so I wasn't that impressed with this Deseret News column about being an at-home dad for a long weekend. The author admits to never caring for his kids alone for longer than a day (his oldest is eight), and the youngest child he has to deal with is three.

I'm glad that the guy recognizes -- at least a little -- what the whole parenting this is about, but I think (I hope) that this is an increasingly anacronistic view of parenting. The guys in my neighborhood are not splitting the parenting duties with their wives 50-50, by and large, but they take on the role after work and on the weekend, and I can't imagine any of them blinking at the idea of getting some good daddy time during a long weekend. And they certainly wouldn't feel the need to crow about it in the newspaper.

The times (and the dads), they are a changin'.

Obligitory Mommy Wars Link: The National Organization for Women is now officially on the record as stating that these stories are trumped up dreck that diverts attention from the real problems facing mothers.


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