As my husband was on his way home from dropping our oldest son off for his next-to-last day of kindergarten, I received a tweet from a friend in Colorado. School's out in Denver, and she noticed the number of dads was equal to the number of moms dropping their kids off at camp. Sign of the economy? she wondered.
I, too, have noticed an ever-larger number of dads dropping their children off at daytime activities and walking with their babies to the coffeeshop here in Portland. At my three-year-old's speech class, two daddies wait outside for two little boys. At the grocery store in the late-morning, I spot a number of papas wearing infants in slings. Not only are they all riding bikes (part green, part money-saving), daddies are really involved with their children's lives this summer!
Or is it that they're just unemployed? With rising unemployment rates and the economy skittering out of control, in my house the papa is involved about 20% because he's such a great daddy, and 80% because he's the one who's not earning a paycheck.
Maybe this isn't a (totally) bad thing, though -- getting both parents actively involved in a child's life will make for stronger families and better adults-to-be down the line. I'm not sure if I've seen research to suggest it, but anecdotally, the kids I knew whose dads were very involved generally grew up to be really fine, productive members of society. Hey. There's a silver lining to unemployment for you!
Daddies at drop-off: Unemployed or just really great dads?