Editor’s Note: Many influential dad bloggers and media professionals have professed that this is the “year of the dad.” We’ve heard that same prediction the past five years so this is not a new prediction. Well, a few things are for certain: the stories surrounding fatherhood in mainstream media have increased frequently beyond the month of June, the angles of these stories has gotten deeper, commercials and ads are featuring the competent and caring dad more often as opposed to the inept fool, and the amount of dad bloggers sharing their voice on fatherhood is multiplying exponentially. Here is a guest post by NYC Dads Group member and writer, Jason Duncan, who makes a bold prediction about the modern at-home dad. – L.S.
Another article has come out, this one in Sunday’s New York Times Business Section, about calling dads neither mothers nor imbeciles (because why would anyone want to?), and after recent press coverage online and in the Wall Street Journal and on the Today Show, it would begin to appear that we (American Stay-At-Home Dads At-Large) are now suddenly everywhere. We are at the American Museum of Natural History for a radio interview and photo op or at the New York Hall of Science being shadowed by Fox News. We are in the press making our voices heard about being portrayed as idiots and Neanderthals in idiotic advertising designed by advertising Neanderthals. And we are there, at home, elbow deep in baby poop (an admittedly minor occupational hazard).
And if we ain’t careful, we may must start thinking of ourselves as (Gasp!) important. Very important, in fact! Muy, muy importante! as our neighbors to the south might say of Stay-En-Las-Casas-Padres.
But (Gasp!) we might be beginning to overestimate our household importance. And rightfully so, I say! Important, we should be! (That’s important, not impotent.) Indeed, it should be exclaimed from the treetops! From the Wall Street Journal, from the New York Times, from the (Gasp!) Internet, it should be proclaimed: Yea! I predict that this year’s Time magazine “Person of the Year” shall be: The Stay-At-Home Dad! We are important! We are indispensible! We are effing indestructible! We are the ones holding together our nation’s households! What would the country do without us?
And I often wonder, at nights, while alone in bed, watching TV, waiting for my wife to come home from her 14 or 16-hour shift on whatever HBO TV show she’s been working on these days: What would the true glue of American society be if I was not at home tonight? I wonder these things and it makes me think. And when I start thinking, I realize that this is what parents do and this is what parents should always do and this is what responsible parents have always done and I stop thinking about my own self-importance and I finish the article or story or paragraph I’ve been working on and I head to the fridge and grab a beer and I flip on ESPN highlights or I crack the spine of the Jim Harrison book I’ve been reading (and finished today) and, ultimately, I go to sleep and then I drag my ass out of bed the next morning and I go into the other room and I take care of my kid as best as I can. Because, gender notwithstanding, that’s what a parent does.
And if you agree with any of this, forward this post to everyone you know. (Although, I have to say, if we American Stay-At-Home Dads are, indeed, the Time Magazine “Person(s) of the Year” this year—I effing called it!)