Thursday, November 16, 2006

Dadpreneurs, On the Radar Screen

Some days, it seems like half of the hits to this site are from folks looking for at-home dad statistics. And though I am glad to oblige, I have often expressed my frustration with how poor at-home dad stats actually are and how many dads they miss. The most notable omission is dads who take income on the side but still remain the primary caretaker.

So kudos to the Wall Street Journal for their piece on Monday titled Double Duty (sub. required), which details the lives of "dadpreneurs," who have built businesses around their family responsibilities. Sadly, the author, Daisy Maxey, was unable to come up with any number at all for this large and growing group of guys. (In a non sequitur, we cites the Census Bureau's lousy at-home dad numbers, which is the one stat that absolutely, positively excludes dadpreneuers.)

The story -- if you can get it -- is well worth it for stories of how guys are pulling off the delicate balance of doing the dad thing and the business thing at the same time, and the analysis in the piece is interesting as well. Maxey quotes an LSU sociologist, Jeanne Hurlbert, saying some wonderful things:
"Social and cultural expectation are very slow to change, says Ms. Hurlbert, 'but these guys are helping to change them. The more guys we see with pink diaper bags, the less strange it seems.'"
OK ... I don't know where the pink diaper bag thing came from. Us dads have all kinds of manly diaper bag choices now. She must not read Daddy Types. But still, the point holds. And she makes the observation that dads can move between home and work realtively easily:
"...'we still tend to them of [dads] as "businessmen" very easily.'"
All in all, a well-deserved look at dads pulling the ultimate balancing act, and there's a bonus: a box with tips from dadpreneurs. No rocket science, but nice that they make the effort.

(Full disclosure: the author contacted me, but I was unable to help. And I'm listed in the box for "...selected online resources," but -- let's be honest -- not all the sites listed are that robust. Slowlane, anyone?)

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