Competent. Hands on.
I can’t favorite this NPR piece enough:
It’s not the world I live in — the one where every day, competent hands-on fathers (married, partnered, single) navigate their children from point to point without mishap. But then it’s not the world anyone lives in. With more and more women serving as primary wage-earners and more and more men serving as primary caregivers, it’s only logical that the organizing intelligence behind any given household might actually have a Y chromosome.
The above story is a response to this New York Times piece about a kind of man I don’t know. Most of the fathers I know are not as distant from familial routine, can schedule a play date and can make meals for their families. No father I know gripes about having to single parent if his partner or spouse travels. I may have had doubts the first time I was alone with my first kid. After that, I figured it out and was fine. Because that is what fatherhood is. You want the family? This is what it means to have a family: diapering, cleaning, bedtime stories, untold drinks of water at bedtime, cooking, homework supervision/assistance, school drop off and pickup, daycare drop off and pick up, scheduling play dates (including hosting play dates), comforting and conflict resolution. If you aren’t willing to do those things, why the hell would you have a family?
Certainly, I’m not alone in my thinking: Fathers can solo parent.
I should add an expletive, but.
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- sparkgrrl658 said: i’m 28, and my dad has always done all the cooking, ironing, homework helping, etc. my mom works later for more $ so that’s just the way it is. my mom does the laundry but that’s it. foreign to me when dads ‘can’t’ do stuff bc they’re a dad. wut?
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- pamelab said: Yeah—I grew up in the late ‘50’s and my Dad was pretty hands on as a parent and my Mom worked outside the home. Wasn’t that unusual that people commented on it. Of course there were no play dates to arrange :)
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