I’ve been observing fathers a lot lately, and whether it’s out on the streets, in a shopping situation, or looking out my windows early in the morning, I’ve discovered the continued evolution of the responsibilities and behavior of dads.
More and more fathers are giving primary care to their children and sharing in the day-to-day duties of parenting. They are shopping for the meals and cooking them. They are doing the laundry and dropping the kids off at school or picking them up. They are present at after school activities and in the pediatrician’s office. All of them? No, but more than before.
This is an enormous change from years ago when many children hardly ever saw their working dads. I’ve spoken to numerous people over the years who were already asleep when Dad got home at the end of the day, and often many of those dads worked six days a week. Dad was often the disciplinarian, not the loving caregiver. Lots of older adults heard the phrase “wait until your father gets home” as a threat to punishment for something done wrong.
An enormous change has taken place with the opening up of education and job opportunities for women. More fathers are sharing and/or even taking centerstage in being stay-at-home dads and caring for their children full time, for at least a period of time. That doesn’t always translate into also caring for the home as well, as studies have shown that they’re still leaving many of the household chores to Mom.
All of that will change as children are equally trained in and expected to do household work like laundry, ironing, cleaning, shopping and cooking. Traditional roles are breaking down and even my Dad, who got home from work many days before my Mom, would be running the vacuum cleaner as we came home after school and popping a roast into the oven that my Mom had left for him to do. Yes, and he even wore an apron!
In many of our urban households there are double dads and that’s really a new model! I’m very curious as to how the responsibilities are divided in many of those families. I wonder if it’s based on who has the better or more responsible job? Changing times for many of us especially here in NYC where we have a lot of progressive realities. Exciting stuff!
June is my very favorite month of the year. I know many people feel the same. Enjoy it!
Thanks for reading.
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