The Wall Street Journal published an article this week about “a new model of at-home fatherhood,” spawned by the rise of stay-at-home dads and inclusiveness of fathers in the day-to-day parenting. While the WSJ wasn’t quite arguing that parenting is all duded up and bro-ed out, it did argue that stay-at-home dads have put a “distinctly masculine stamp on child rearing and home life.”
Yes, there is research to back up the claim that the relatively small amount of stay-at-home dads — who comprise only 3.6 percent of all SAH parents — do rear children differently than the larger sample of stay-at-home mothers (an elite 18 percent of male-female couples). SAHDs allow their children to take more safety risks and also plan more spontaneous trips.
But I just don’t see how those traits are being ascribed as “masculine.” Surely there are mothers who don’t hover over their child’s every move? Surely there are mothers who are spontaneous? The WSJ interviewed fathers who do things like take their kids to the park and on errands to Home Depot (where a toddler “studied different kinds of hammers”) … because moms don’t take their kids to the park and run errands, I guess? Keep reading »