Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Everything You Could Possible Want to Know About SAHDs

The Economist's lifestyle magazine, Intelligent Life, last month ran what has to be one of the longest stories on at-home fatherhood ever penned. I'd love to say that the piece dug up some profound realities, but it's mostly the same ol' stuff (even if they did quote Peter Baylies).

They did manage to bury some interesting nuggets, most of them from Yale's Kyle Pruett, my second-favorite academic in the world. To whit:
Far more interesting, Pruett feels, and possibly a factor that could limit the number of couples who make the switch, is the other, female side of the story. He observes from his research that there is a limit to how far women are happy with the arrangement, even if it makes sense. As the years go by, Pruett has observed that the women in his study who are the sole breadwinners face a struggle not to feel they are sacrificing too much of their femaleness. "The babies are fine," he says, "the men are OK, but I believe it is a much more complicated journey for the mothers."
The question of how at-home fatherhood works for women
is an interesting point, and one that is almost never discussed (just as fathers are left out of most work-life discussions that center on women). I'd love to see that explored in a little more depth.

(Also worthwhile: the story's description of the American SAHD community:
Alongside this domestic ego-support, fathers now have the online networks, support groups and what in America has become something like a political movement, with annual conventions and angry bloggers monitoring stereotypical representations in the media.
"Angry bloggers?" Am I really that angry?)

Thanks to DaddyTypes for spotting this.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Rice Krispies: The Official Cereal of Rebeldad

This may be a sad commentary on how *few* TV commercials include fathers as central characters, but I just saw the new spot for Rice Krispies that has a dad being goofy at the breakfast bar with his three daughters. It was warm and touching (which is great) and unique (which is unfortunate). But well worth a watch over at

So I have an official cereal now, to go along with the official peanut butter (Jif).

[To Food and Consumer Product Makers: You, too, can get the stamp of approval. All you have to do is throw dad a bone now and again and include a non-caricature father in your TV ads. It's that tough. Really.]

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Government *Can* Make a Difference

This showed up in the comments last month, but the findings here are interesting enough that I should reiterate 'em: according to Reuters, 10 percent of the people taking advantage of the German subsidy for staying home with a newborn are men. That's up from 3.5 percent before the subsidy kicked in. And 20 percent of the guys are maxing out their time at home (12 months).

I can't put my fingers on the data, but it seems like other programs encouraging dads to stay home have had a rougher go of it (in Sweden, I believe, they had to launch a PR campaign to really get dads to take advantage of the great program there), so I'm encouraged by the strong start to the German program.

My only complaint: Reuters has this filed in the "Oddly Enough," category.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Dumbest Anti-Dad Piece of 2008?

It's early in the year, but we may have a candidate for dumbest, most retrograde, anti-at-home dad piece of the year. It's in the Daily Mail and is clearly intended to outrage, which makes me feel a bit bad for even giving it any attention. Suffice it to say that as long as guys like this are out there -- even if they like exaggerating the horrors of child-rearing for literary effect -- society will be the worse for it:

One male friend of mine planned to take a year off work to devote himself full-time to fatherhood, after selling the business he worked on night and day for several years. When I called him this week, I could hear him pacing like a caged bear in a Chinese zoo.

'I've got to get a new business up and running,' he said. 'I've got to get out of the house.' He had been at home for about six weeks.

'I just don't think men have the patience for childcare. Mothers make good mothers and fathers make bad mothers,' he said.

And he gets bonus dumb-o points for referencing the inherently flawed University of Bristol study. In terms of brute stupidity, this may be tough to top ...

Friday, January 11, 2008

At-Home Dad Convention Scholarship Info

No, it's not too early to start thinking about the '08 event. This ended up in my mailbox this week, and it's a wonderful, wonderful opportunity. I can't say enough good things about the dads involved:

Dear Fellow At Home Dads,

The At-Home Dad Convention Committee has established a scholarship fund to help an at-home dad(s) who would like to attend the 2008 Convention in Sacramento, California but cannot because of financial reasons.

The At-Home Dad Convention Committee is accepting donations and nominees for this scholarship. To learn more on how to participate as a donor and the criteria for the nomination and selection process log on to and then access the Scholarship page.


The At-Home Dad Convention Committee

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thursday is Hockey Night in RebelDadLand

I bring you the news that Roberto Luongo, the hottest goalie in the Western Conference of the NHL who was voted by fans to be the starting goalkeeper in the All-Start Game, will skip that contest (and the next game after that) to spend some time with his wife, who is due in April.

I know that I've been fooled before by pro athletes putting on a family-friendly face and then pretty much continuing their lives as before (I'm talking to you, Tom Brady). But I'm a sucker for hockey, so I'm giving Luongo the benefit of the doubt. (And if the East should win the game, so much the better.)

Microsoft to Replace Us with Robots (Sort Of)

I'm a bit ashamed that the holidays have thrown me for such a blogging loop, when Daddy Types can have a new baby arrive and hardly miss a beat. Speaking of Daddy Types, he posted today on Microsoft's ... um ... "innovative" campaign for its new home server, which was a reminder that a reader suggested that I look into this way back in 2007 ...

The background is that Microsoft now wants to sell you a home server, somewhere where all of your data can live and be accessed by everyone's machine. It's not a bad idea, really, in an age of multi-computer households. But they've launched a marketing campaign around the idea of calling it a "stay-at-home server," and serving up a whole universe of ads and such that draw upon the richest at-home parent stereotypes. You can get an idea at

CNet says the whole marketing effort "deserves a time out." The New York Times -- dredging up a stereotype of its own, says the campaign "presents the server as a fish out of water like a stay-at-home dad."

I'm weirdly encouraged by all of this. Clearly, the creative types at Microsoft thought the kind of retrograde stereotypes they were using were so hopelessly out of date that people would find it funny. Unfortunately, we're not there yet. But the fact that Microsoft thinks that ideas like the cupcake-baking wife and stern '50s-era dad are laughable is good news. Because those stereotypes a joke. But -- like so many other stereotypes -- dredging them up isn't automatically funny.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

How to Spend that Extra Christmas Money

I'm back from my unannounced but very pleasant break from the internet generally and the blog in particular, so to ease back into things, I wanted to flag a new CD released by Domenick Cassise, an at-home dad:
This disc was a labor of many years of work pieced together. I had a backlog of songs written. As a caregiver for my son, personal time to record (or do anything) is virtually non-existent. I recorded this at home anytime I had a free moment. Those moments all added up to the music compiled on this disc. I hope you enjoy!

I would like to thank my wonderful son Domenick for being my true inspiration to create music. All my love to my son and beautiful wife Barb. Thank you Mom and Dad for all of your love and support.

Learn about Fragile X Syndrome:

It is the disability my son has and we are challenged by each day. Maybe you can make a difference in someone’s life.

Worth a listen ...