Kat at Maternal Journal pointed to an article in Parenting Magazine called "The Responsibilities and Expectations of the New American Dad."
Paul Scott writes that Fathers are expected to do more than ever. And he goes on to show how things have changed for Dads over the years.
Most of us know that parenting really involves both parents, whenever that's possible. Today's environment makes having a full-time, stay-at-home mom less feasible, and in a lot of cases, impossible. If you combine that with a new generation that rejects the old stereotypes of traditional roles, everything has changed.
Some recent statistics might surprise you:
- Fathers are the primary caregiver for about one out of every four preschool-age children, according to the US Census Bureau.
- 80% of women and 70% of men hope to create a home where both partners pitch in equally.
- Men have doubled the housework from 1960, from 15% to 30%.
- Husbands spend an average of 23 hours a week doing housework (compared to 42 hours by wives)
Marketers need to realize that the "traditional" roles of the 50's and 60's have changed. Not only are market dynamics forcing more men out of 9-5 jobs, more women are (deservingly) excelling in careers. And even though the numbers of stay-at-home-dads is relatively small, the fact that today's Dad is more involved can't be denied.
As a Dad of four, I represent those that want to be much more involved in my kids' lives. Since my kids were born, I spent significantly more time with my them than I did with friends, co-workers,or even my wife. And even though my wife was a "stay-at-home-Mom," I did most of the grocery shopping, laundry, and a good deal of shuttling kids to soccer or volleyball practice.
Marketers need to realize that the old ways of marketing just don't work, or if they do, they won't for long. It's the main reason I left a 20-year career at Microsoft to join Mom Central, to create a division focused on marketing to Dads.
Dads can't be ignored. Except on Saturdays during NCAA football, then, go ahead and ignore us.... ;)