Involved Fatherhood is Good for Fathers

Involved fatherhood is good for fathers. It sure has been good for me.
Involved fatherhood is good for fathers. It sure has been good for me.

We dads know this headline is true. However, if you read most news coverage on why paternity leave and other supports for working dads are important, you’ll usually see the following arguments:

  • Involved fatherhood is good for kids– especially in terms of positive developmental and behavioral outcomes
  • Involved fatherhood is good for women– especially in terms of gender equity and labor force participation

Both of these arguments are completely true and backed up by a library full of research. But they don’t tell the whole story. Have you noticed who is missing? Ok, I’ll just say it:

Involved fatherhood is good for fathers!

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“I Am Not Unique”: On Being the Only Man at a Women’s Leadership Conference

My work-life panel at Mom-mentum
My work-life panel at Mom-mentum. I was honored to be the only man on the program that day

About two weeks ago, I was honored to appear as a panelist at Mom-Mentum’s annual Women’s Leadership Conference. It was a wonderful event filled with excellent speakers (especially the inspirational Debra Sandler), panels, workshops and networking opportunities.

I was the only man on the program, and I joked I was “there to represent the Y chromosome.” I served on a panel that discussed balancing family concerns with leadership ambitions. The discussion was great, in part due to the really interesting and revelatory questions asked by the moderator. The women on the panel and in the audience were very welcoming to me and to the work-family challenges faced by dads.

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Ambassadors of Involved Fatherhood

Me, along with fellow ambassadors of involved fatherhood at the National At-Home Dad Network Convention
The ambassadors of involved fatherhood of the National At-Home Dad Network

Say it with me: “Almost every dad I know is putting in the work to be a loving, hands-on, involved dad.”

Last week, I was honored to be the opening keynote speaker at the 20th Annual National At-Home Dad Network Convention. It was an amazing experience: I met so many fantastic dads, learned a lot,  and made many new friends.

More than any other group, this network of at-home dads represents the front lines of changing the way society looks at involved fatherhood and modern masculinity. Of course, being on the front lines means that these at-home dads face a lot of scrutiny and stigma, and that they get A LOT of really dumb things said to them. Things like:

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