Shouldn’t We Celebrate Dads With a Little More Enthusiasm?

Yesterday was Father’s Day. I usually post an article or two on social media, or maybe a playful meme in celebration of special days. But on this Father’s Day, I didn’t find much to share. Apparently the Internet didn’t have much to say about dads. I searched and searched and I found very little celebration of fathers. It finally came down to Fatherly and The Good Men Project, two of the only places I could find articles examining what it really means to be a good father. Last month on Mother’s Day, Facebook and Twitter were covered in articles and memes celebrating motherhood. The Internet loved its moms. Have our dads let us down so badly that we don’t want to celebrate them on their designated day?

When I was a kid, a lot of families had dads that walked away after divorce and didn’t look back. My own dad included. My parents’ generation was full of dads who didn’t participate, even when they lived in the home with their kids. They went to work long hours everyday and left the kids to the moms. 

But aren’t men doing better? 

I know my husband, the father of my kids, is doing more than his fair share. He’s a stay at home dad, and not the kind who takes directions from his wife and functions as her first assistant. He’s doing almost all of the cooking and cleaning and shopping and shuttling kids around, all while keeping up with the lawn care and handyman roles he adopted from the beginning. 

And he is not the only one. I know a lot of dads, and these guys are investing fifty-fifty with moms in the raising of their kids. They are requesting paternity leave, changing diapers every day, blogging about parenting, and organizing their work schedules around the needs of family. Stay at home dads and single dads are on the rise. And husbands and dads help more with housework and child-rearing than their fathers and grandfathers would ever have thought to do. There are some great dads out there. 

Men have shifted the expectations around what it means to be a father. Things have changed because men have changed them. Don’t the men who rise to the occasion deserve a thank you for changing the culture?

What message do we send to the great dads out there when we ignore their contribution and focus on the men who have let us down? Involved dads are good for kids. Shouldn’t we be celebrating them?

Posted on June 20, 2016 .