Happy Father’s Day, gents! That is, assuming you are a father.
Being a father today is a much different beast than 50 years ago. I know this anecdotally from my vast experience of being fathered by my father, as well as from watching my husband being a father. I also have the facts to back up my claim. Thank you U.S. Census Bureau statistics.
Let’s take a look at some numbers from California, shall we?
In 1960, 61% of dads were veterans. In 2014, only 6% of dads were veterans. I’ll add here that my dad served in the Navy for 20 years.
Single dads ran 0.8% of the families (with no mother present) in 1960. That is a tiny percentage as compared 7% in 2014. Is it just me or does 7% seem low?
Higher education was less likely in 1960 where a mere 15% of dads held a bachelor’s degree. In 2014, 34% of dads have college degrees.
This statistic really speaks of how times have changed. Think Rob and Laura Petri. In 1960, 70% of dad’s were the family’s sole breadwinner, while in 2014, that percentage had dropped to 31%.
To sum it up, fewer of today’s dads in California have witnessed the horrors of war, more are taking on childrearing solo, they are better educated, and the burden of financially supporting the family is shared to a much greater extent.
And, they help around the house much more. Thank the lord for that one! Dads spend 6 hours more per week doing housework (my husband says that number is way too low) and 4.5 hours more per week on childcare.
I don’t remember my father EVER wielding a dust rag or watching us kids because mom was out. He never helped make dinner and would sit at the table while mom (or us kids) did the dishes. For that matter, he never did a load of laundry, made a grocery store run, packed a school lunch, volunteered in a classroom, or helped with homework. To be fair, he did coach my brothers’ Little League team and took us camping.
Dad was a kind man and by the standards of the 1960s, he was a fine upstanding father. By today’s benchmarks, he would get an F-. Or maybe expelled from fatherdom.
I think this it is an excellent turn of events . . . this whole fathers-playing-a-more-active-role-in-the-family-unit thing. Everyone benefits, but especially the dads. They get to experience the joys of being a part of a family instead of producing children and then going off to work. It makes me sad to think of the fun my dad missed out on with us kids.
And, this is my first Father’s Day without my dad. That is sad too.
Anyhoo, hats off to you daddy-o-s out there. Being a father is a noble profession and you are filling the bill brilliantly. Well done you.
And Happy Father’s Day to my husband who has done all the things (and more) that my dad didn’t do. He is a man who has embraced fatherhood to the fullest. And he is blessed with three daughters who adore him. I do too.
Jilanne Hoffmann said:
There was a wonderful Facebook meme of a grandfather watching his daughter-in-law juggle multiple tasks in her home while he and his son sat and drank coffee together. The voiceover said something along the lines of “I”m sorry I didn’t serve as such a great role model for my son….” and then we see him helping his wife out later around their own house. While I love the intent of the film, I thought he would have made a stronger statement if he’d gotten up to help his daughter-in-law in the moment. But that may have been too strong of a statement, perhaps thought as shaming his son. I don’t know. While it is true that dads do more than they did in the past, I think that many men don’t have any qualms about “resting” because they’ve “earned it” while women continue to do more than their fair share. But we are making progress. It sounds like you’ve got one great guy who’s also been a great dad and role model for his girls.
Yes, men do have a long way to come still. As do women in breaking that proverbial glass ceiling. My guy is a great role model for his girls and has raised a high bar when it comes to the men in their lives. If you don’t believe me, ask the men in our girls’ lives.
Stephanie Faris, Children's Author said:
There still are quite a few dads who aren’t all that involved, but they’re missing out! There are also many more stay-at-home dads than there used to be. Well, I guess there used to be NONE! My husband was watching Mr. Mom today and I was thinking how revolutionary that seemed for its time. Now it would still hold true, but not as much as back then!
I love that movie! The scene were Teri Garr cuts her boss’s meat is priceless. The movie was revolutionary at the time. I might queue it up on Netflix for a re-watch.
It’s a different life for men now. Dad’s are so involved and I think that’s wonderful.
HUGS. It is hard even after a few years.
My parents are older than yours. Dad was the youngest of a farm family, so everyone worked doing everything growing up. Guess that carried over to life in the big city.
My mom worked, too and dad did help some around the house. No laundry, housework or major cooking (although it wasn’t unusual for him to cook breakfast on weekend mornings, get groceries) He did do dishes as that was some agreement when they got married: one cooked, one did dishes …at least some of the time.
When mom died, we worried about dad, but he dismissed the once a week maid, and took over….all the time managing a huge vegetable garden with putting up produce for the winter.
Today’s dads are very different. Applause for all those who do engage completely with the kids and family. In this changing world, Dads play an important role
I’ll hazard that from generation to generation, dads parent differently. I should have mentioned that is was our family tradition that my dad would make Swedish pancakes Christmas morning. It sounds like your dad was quite active. Is your dad still with us?
Swedish pancakes! Yummy! Worth waiting a year for.
Not for some time, but he taught me where the stars of Orion are, so as long as I can find those, I see him.
Awwww . . . that is lovely.
Some day “As long as I can see Orion”will belong as title or opening to my book….OK – I’ve reclaimed some space and set up a desk. Making progress HA HA. (Hugs and thanks to your returning daughter)