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Doing it all is overrated

       I can make dinner, shoot off an e-mail and chat with my daughter all at the same time. Of course, I would like to be recognized as a mom who does it all. But I must admit that there are certain contributions my husband makes -- like helping my daughter with her math homework, or picking my son up from soccer practice -- that make me glad I'm part of a working couple.

     Emily Allen writes on Midwest Voices : "I won’t be the one to dispute that women can juggle with skill. We can, but doing it alone is overrated.

       So true, Emily, so true.

       How many of you think women do more at home than men?

      As Father's Day nears, the good news is that increasingly, men are becoming more involved at home.  A recent report by the Families and Work Institute shows that dads are spending more time with their children than ever before. For years, even if there were two working parents, most American women were cleaning more, cooking more and spending more time with their kids than their husbands or partners were. Significantly more.

       “Times Are Changing: Gender and Generation At Work and At Home” reports that men are taking more overall responsibility for the care of their children than they did in 1992, with their involvement up nearly 10 percent. They are not only providing one-on-one care but also taking more initiative to arrange child care and help in the home. 

       But moms, before you turn your aprons over to your spouse, take note: it's not 50-50 between the sexes --- yet. The study shows that women are still doing most of the cooking. Still, the amount of time men are devoting to hearth and home is catching up to their female partners.

       I grew up without my father in my home. I watched my mom struggle with balancing her job as a teacher with raising three children. And I know it's much easier for me to raise three children with their dad helping me out.  But the real benefit is to my children.

      As Emily points out: "Children do better with an engaged, well-adjusted father around. Families need men and they need men’s contributions to the family." Studies show that a father’s involvement in the home and with the children has positive effects on a child’s cognitive development, academic achievement and self-perception as well as decreasing behavioral problems and risky behaviors.

     One obvious sign that father's are participating more in parenting, and enjoying it, is the proliferation of dad blogs. I enjoy hearing the male perspective on blogs suchas Jeff Kleinman's, On The Parent Shift. Jeff works the night shift and gets the honors of making breakfast, packing lunch, driving his girls to school, attending the teacher conferences, carrying in the science projects, volunteering in classes, picking up a sick kid and doing the grocery shopping. Can you imagine how much Jeff's daughter's benefit from his contributions?

   Dadandkids    Father’s Day, June 21, is a good time for us to let fathers know how necessary they are to the fabric of the family. Let's hear it for the working dads!