Yesterday I happened upon Lisa Belkin’s year end list of parenting trends for 2013. I have enormous respect for Lisa after her decades of reporting at the New York Times and now as a senior columnist at the parenting section at Huffington Post. I generally pay close attention to what she right since it sets the national agenda for parenting issues. And to be fair she has written extensively about dads in the past. So I would like to make friends with her.
But when I read her summary piece, I was shocked: Work/family balance exclusively from a mom’s perspective; places to live and famous babies from a mom’s perspective; mommy-shaming and anti-mommy-shaming; mommys breastfeeding in public; moms will exert their political power…dads are not even mentioned in the first 11 of the 13 biggest trends in parenting, according to the national expert on parenting.
Then we get to #12. ”Dads will stay in the picture” is the title.
The conclusion? ”All the talk about fathers will continue to feel that way—getting closer, but not there yet.”
As much as I found this list deeply problematic for dads, I do respect Lisa and approached her as the respected voice that she is. She was kind enough to respond to my twitter questions and our conversation quickly spilled over onto email. In the end she came down on the side of the primacy of moms in the world of parenting.
I actually asked Lisa if she wanted to write another list about Dads for us but she declined, so with no further delay here is my list of 20 reasons Dads mattered in 2012, will matter in 2013 and beyond. If you happen to like any part of this list I would appreciate it if you could tweet it out with the hashtag #DadsMatter and include @LisaBelkin in your tweet so maybe next year she think a little more about the role of dads.
Each item is a story, so click through to what you can relate to.
- Every kid (and adult) has a dad
- Dads are staying at home in record numbers
- Dads know something about raising boys
- Dads get divorced and still want to be good fathers
- Dads are gay
- Dads want to end rape
- Dads fight against sex trafficking
- Dads suffer from depression (post-partum and otherwise)
- Dads care about abortion
- Dads feel the pain of infertility
- Dads talk to their sons
- Dads talk to their daughters
- Dads lose a child
- Dads lose their child’s mom
- Dads go to prison (and sometimes change for the better)
- Dads go to war (or to cover wars)
- Some dads blow dry their son’s hair
- Dads like to cuddle
- Dads are beautiful
- Dads love moms
Lead Photo: Matt and Alexandra, by Randy Schroeder photography
Dave Sanfacon with his twins.
*This piece has been slightly edited after publishing.