Fatherhood is changing


Photographer: Lauren Hammers
Jim McGrath and his son, Cade McGrath taking family photos in Arizona

The roles of mothers and fathers are not so black and white anymore.

The traditional idea of the father as the financial supporter and the mother as the care-taker of the child is changing as time goes on.

The Numbers

According to Pew Research, 27 percent of couples who lived with a child less that 18-years-old are in families where only the father works. In 1970, 47 percent of families had only fathers that worked. This shows a dramatic decrease in father’s being the sole financial supporters.

This decrease in financial responsibility is related to the increase of the employment of women. From 1948 to 2001, the percentage of employed women or women looking for employment has increased from less than 33 percent to more than 60 percent, according to the American Psychological Association.

Stay-at-home dads are also on the rise. Dr. Beth Latshaw estimated that there was 1.4 million stay-at-home dads in 2009 and it was likely to have increased to 1.75 million being affected by other trends, according to National At-home Dad Network.

These traditional roles for parents stem from the gender roles of men and women. These roles have been established through society and through history, but history has changed its course with women’s rights and feminist movements.

I think these changes has indirectly caused us to see that if women can be like men, then men can be like women. Both genders have crossed into each other’s worlds.

Dads Helping Other Dads

Jim Higley, radio host, the author and creator of the site Bobblehead Dad, and father of three said, “I think with each passing year, we’re starting to get comfortable with the reality that men and women both have the capacity to be nurturing, caring parents.”, according to an article on CNN.

There are many inspirational ways that fathers are trying to be more involved with their kids.

Higley’s website Bobblehead Dad, has his blog, book, podcasts, and ways for you to be part of an interview with him. He has parenting podcasts and talks about his experiences from childhood to growing up, and the many endeavors he has faced.

He helps parents, especially dads, feel like they’re not alone. They can turn to these podcasts and other things when they feel like they’re struggling.

Dads Helping In Their Community

Phil Morgese, from Daytona Beach, Florida, is a single dad with his daughter, Emma. While Emma was growing up, it was hard for her dad to braid or do anything with her hair, which can be hard for a little girl.

Phil was determined to get better with doing hair for his daughter and began watching tutorials and videos on how to handle women’s hair until he knew exactly what he was doing.

This sparked something in him and he began the Daddy Daughter Hair Factory.

Phil Morgues and his daughter, Emma posing for their website.

This program helps fathers across the globe learn the skills to do their daughters hair. It doesn’t have to all fall on the mother to do these kind of things, the fathers are just as capable.

There are also communities out there like National Fatherhood Initiative, that provide programs and resources for struggling fathers and fathers who want to get certified as engaging fathers. There are online learning programs and handbooks that you can purchase and you can register to get access to more tools to help your parenting experience.

All Pro Dad’s Day

Another community helping fathers to be better fathers is All Pro Dad. This website has everything from events, programs, blogs, advice, and even dad quotes.

They have featured NFL Spokesmen, both players and workers, who are both great athletes and fathers. They work not only with the National Football League (NFL), but the Major League Baseball (MLB), and many National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) markets to provide events for dads and their kids to interact in games and strengthen their relationships.

All Pro Dad’s Daygives fathers the opportunity to be more involved in their children’s lives through their schools and their communities. You can even find chapters closest to you to join with other dads, or even start a chapter yourself.

All of these stories and organizations are efforts by fathers to be more than just the traditional financial supporter.

According to National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse, there are 70.1 million fathers across the nation.

It only takes one dad to begin making a difference in the way we see fatherhood and continue the changing roles in families.

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