The evolving role of fathers
- June 16, 2011 at 11:25 am #24101
I was reading the efamily news article about the evolving role of fathers in modern society and it really struck a chord with me because my approach to parenting and the roles I play are so completely different than what I remember my father doing. I am just curious to hear from "real people" instead of quoted poll statistics; what roles, traditional or otherwise do the men out there play in the family. Are you (or your husband) traditional bread winners and disciplinarians, do you handle the cooking and the diapers, and the bedtime routines, do you show open affection through hugs and kisses daily and if so will/has it continued as the children get older? My father earned the money to pay for things and pulled out the paddle when we needed a good spanking to beat some sense into us, and once in a while he took us fishing or we got to follow him around the hardware store or assist in home repairs. Since switching to Early Childhood Education I am no longer the primary "bread winner", I am still the primary disciplinarian but my wife does her share of that as well, I do most of the cooking when I am home first and on weekends, change the diapers when I am home, put the kids to bed most nights, prepare the breakfasts, do a lot of the entertaining (of the children since I am hopeless with adult company) and smother the kids with physical affection. I think that my role is more in line with most modern dads, but maybe my perspective is skewed by the fact that I work in the industry of being a nurturer. I would love to hear from others about this.June 16, 2011 at 12:21 pm #24103
As a single dad, I find that I am usually taking on both the historically mom-centric and dad-centric jobs around home. While my case might be out of the ordinary, I am definitely inclined to say that the social dynamics in society are slowly but surely changing. I work alongside many "working moms" who struggle to maintain a balance between their careers and their parenting jobs, and I think many of those struggles come age old norms that say mom must cook, clean, and haul the kids around, even though her and dad are now working the same number of hours. This seems to be a disconnect resulting from the woman’s role in society changing quickly, while man’s role is changing with a bit more resistance. (Pardon the over-generalizations – there are DEFINITE exceptions to all of these statements.)
That being said, I think there will eventually be a day when we reach an equilibrium between what mom and dad’s expected roles are, and the gender-role line will be blurred. I also think place like Bright Horizons are essential to this. As a single parent I would not be able to keep my career going while raising my child were it not for Bright Horizons, and I am families with two full-time working parents can relate to that.June 16, 2011 at 12:39 pm #24104
That is funny because my wife’s Bible study is reading a book about being a Christian wife and mother and it says that the man should be the head of the house and the woman should be the heart and that means that even if dad is a stay at home dad, it is mom’s role to be sure every one is fed and clean, the house work is done and groceries are bought. We agreed that if that is the case, then being sure it is done is telling dad to get off his rear end and cook dinner or give the kids a bath. It amazes me that some of those stereotypes still exist in such force.
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