Written by John Accrocco
Father’s Day is just around the corner, so let us take some time to reflect on the roles dads play in our lives. One of our hottest selling children’s books titled Daddies Do it Differently by Allen Lawrence Sitomer sympathizes with a lot of moms when they leave the kids at home with dad. Luckily for the kids in Daddies Do it Different, time with daddy ends up being a fun change-up from time with mom. Sitomer has a great way of pointing out the inherent differences in the ways women and men parent but in a comical and relatable way. He concludes the book with the message that no matter what, both mommy and daddy always have their kids’ best interest in mind and at the end of the day the important things stay the same.
For a lot of today’s parents, the traditional gender roles of mom at home while dad is at work have been completely reversed. Even TV sitcoms like NBC’s Up All Night examine the lifestyle of the stay-at-home-dad. When the recession hit full-force back in 2008, the U.S. saw a huge increase in stay-at-home dads as one or both parents got laid off or started working from home. In 2008 an estimated 140,000 men became the primary childcare givers while their wives went to work. Even though that seems like a high number, it still only accounts for about 2.7 percent of all households with children in the U.S. What would you think about your husband being the primary childcare provider in your household? Would it make things easier for you? Or would you spend more time worrying that things weren’t going how you want?
From our storefront in Lincoln Park, we have the advantage of seeing a lot of different kinds of families walking by. Almost half of the stroller brigade walking up and down Armitage are being helmed by dads. Perhaps in 2012 the typical gender stereotypes are fading away as gender equality becomes the norm. This year instead of celebrating what popular culture says dads should be like, take time to tell your dad or husband what he does specifically to benefit your household.