It’s no secret that dads today take on more responsibilities at home than they ever have before. From changing diapers to driving the car pool, no task is below the hands-on dads of today.
Parenting.com published the findings of a survey it conducted with Edelman Public Relations that listed “8 Things You Don’t Know About Modern Dads.” The report asked 600 dads about their participation in the lives of their kids and the findings make me proud to be co-parenting a family in 2012.
Among the findings was this little tidbit: “Dads …say they pitch in half or more of the time is high for bath time (68 percent), getting kids ready for school (70 percent), shuttling to activities (77 percent), and helping with homework (80 percent).”
The survey got me thinking about my own husband, a father of four, who has a lot on his plate in addition to being a daddy. I realized that not only does he take care of at least half of the “at home” responsibilities, he does some exclusively and (gulp) better than I do.
So with that in mind, here are three household things that I’m not ashamed to say that my husband does better than me.
1. Laundry. Before becoming a mom, I was an every-two-weeks laundry kind of gal. I had enough clothes to last that long and was not above wearing old sweatpants for a few days if I did not have time to get to the laundromat, walk down the hallway of my dorm or even open my hallway closet to throw in a load. I do not particularly enjoy laundry and as a result, I do not take the time to do the proper sorting and stain-sticking.
Enter my husband. He is a laundry powerhouse. The man churns out load after load of mini-T-shirts, his own workout clothes and my old sweatpants. We have three different kinds of detergent based on the individual clothing. He folds according to spec, removes unwanted stains and does it all in one-tenth of the time it takes me. I hop in and help from time to time, but he takes the reins.
2. Bath time. I’m not sure if I can express exactly how much I hate bath time. Maybe it is because it comes at the end of the day and I’m beat. Maybe it is because out of the 500 bath toys, all three kids choose to fight over the same one. Maybe it is because no matter how hard I try, the bathroom looks like it has been hit by a cyclone after the bath ends. Whatever the reason, I’m happy that my husband jumps in to help consistently. He has the same problems that I do, but I’ve yet to see bath time break him. He’s my hero.
3. Play time. I like to have fun with my kids but I always have this lingering feeling that I should be “teaching” them a lesson in the process. We take walks because I think that exercise is a good value to instill. We color pictures because I want to “wow” their future teachers with their highly-developed artistic sensibilities. We go to the library so I can show them the proper way to find books. I let them play on my Kindle Fire so I can supervise their technological growth. It isn’t very often that I just let loose and play for the sake of just having fun.
While my husband teaches his own lessons through play, he is much better at just enjoying the kids for what they are — kids. Most of the time, he is just being a big kid too.
What about the dads in your life? Are they as hands-on? Dads — how do you view your role?
You can reach Katie by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.