Dads! Resolve to Take on More of the Emotional Load

In a lot of ways, in terms of working and taking care of our home and our son, my wife and I have something relatively close to a 50/50 arrangement. However, in one critical way, I have not been holding up my end of the bargain. I have not stepped up to take on 50% … Read more

Huggies Have “Come A Long Way, Baby” in Depicting Fathers

In one year, Huggies’ advertising went from depicting dads as incompetent boobs to depicting them as capable involved parents. Here’s a brief analysis of how and why they made the change.

What a difference a year makes!

That was then:

ABC News' coverage of Huggies March 2012 ads that depicted dads as "hapless and hopeless in caring for their babies"
ABC News’ coverage of Huggies’ March 2012 ads that depicted dads as “hapless and hopeless in caring for their babies” (click on the picture to watch the piece)

Way back in the Stone Age of March 2012, Huggies ran some ads to show that their diapers could stand up to the “toughest test”- incompetent bumbling dads who don’t know the first thing about caring for kids or changing diapers- after all, they are too busy watching sports and being dumb to be competent. They also built a facebook campaign around getting women to test out Huggies with their incompetent husbands for 5 days and share their stories.

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Watch Me on Huffington Post Live!

I was happy to be asked to join a panel of experts and parents on HuffPost Live for a half-hour live show,  “Leaning Together,” about Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” and Lisa Belkin’s article about how, in order for women to “Lean In” to careers, men have to do more at home.

A screencap of my 3/19/13 appearance on Huff Post Live!
A screencap of my 3/19/13 appearance on Huff Post Live!

The segment originally aired Wednesday afternoon, but you can watch it here at your leisure. http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/sheryl-sandberg-lean-in-housework/514681e42b8c2a44010002a2 (please follow the link, stupid WordPress doesn’t embed video very well)

It was a great discussion about careers, gender, and the division of paid and household work between couples. I defend men as more involved than they are often given credit for, and emphasize the importance of discussing your priorities and career goals with your spouse, and acting like a true team in order to support each other.

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How To Buy More Time With Your Family

I realize this doesn’t apply to everyone (and is absolutely a first-world problem), but I suspect many of the busy career-oriented dads reading this blog have more money than time at their disposal. Luckily the one can be traded for the other- there are many ways to buy yourself time. This time can then be better spent on being a great dad than on housely tasks that sap your (and/or your wife’s) energy. Here are a few examples of things we can do to buy time. Your mileage may vary, and I’d love to get your ideas in the comments section.

If you can afford it, you can spend $ to free up more time to spend with the family
If you can afford it, you can spend $ to free up more time to spend with the family

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These Chores Don’t Count? On Men’s Hidden “Second Shift”

Updated 3/25/13

The stereotype: “Housework is the only activity at which men are allowed to be consistently inept because they are thought to be so competent at everything else” – Letty Cottin Pogrebin

The reality: “The fellow who owns his own home is always coming out of a hardware store” -Kin Hubbard

Jobs using these do not get counted in major studies of housework (photo used under Creative Commons agreement)

For decades, The Bureau of Labor Statistics has conducted the Americans Time Use Survey (ATUS) and the University of Michigan has conducted the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). Through surveys and time use diaries, these studies track employment patterns, as well as how Americans divide their time among their daily work and non-work tasks.

No surprise- these projects have consistently found that men spend more time at work than women, and women spend more time on housework than men. These gaps, which were once huge, have significantly narrowed over the decades, until stabilizing in about the late 1990s.

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