Fathers Are 1/3 of Stay-At-Home Parents, But Still Pay The “Dad Tax”

February 23, 2012 at 10:45 pm , by 

15 months.

The newest US Census shows that one third of stay-at-home parents are dads. Yeah, for every two stay-at-home moms, there is one stay-at-home dad. That’s a lot, actually.

I’ve pointed out before that companies are really missing out by not doing more “dad ads” in highly read publications, like Parents magazine.

So when Baby Orajel decided to feature a dad ad in the January issue, I spotlighted them, promising to do the same for any other companies who were brave (and smart) enough to acknowledge the relevance and buying power of fathers.

While there were no dad ads in the February issue of Parents magazine, I am pleased to announce that the March issue features two of them!

On page 130, Huggies is not only running a dad ad, but also doing a contest on their Facebook page where you can nominate a dad to prove that their Huggies’ Leak Lock stop leaks better.

I appreciate that Huggies acknowledges how normal it is for dads to be actively involved in changing their kids’ diapers.

Turn back to page 111 and you will see an ad for Vick’s NyQuil and DayQuil, making a reference to the concept of “Super Dad.” I like that.

It means a lot to me as a dad to see that men are being deemed in our society as more relevant than ever before.

At the same time, I’m very aware that that the “dad tax” exists. The concept is that fathers have to work harder at most parenting tasks in order to be considered an equal parent, as compared to a mother.

I recently read a spot-on article by a fellow daddy blogger, Jonathan Liu of Geek Dad, featured on Wired.com. It’s called “Who’s Minding the Kids? Not Dads.

Liu, a stay-at-home dad, explains how he is often mistaken by strangers as a dad who is “babysitting” his own kids during the day.

He points out how it’s still not a legitimate concept, especially to older generations, that a man could be the daytime caretaker of his children without it being a substitutional, sub-par arrangement.

However, now that a third of stay-at-home parents are fathers, and now that companies are starting to feature more dad ads, it’s becoming pretty obvious that we aren’t simply babysitting, we’re being active fathers.

Sure, we can’t give birth or breastfeed, nor would we want to (!), but there’s a lot we can do beyond stereotypical examples like having tea parties with our daughter or showing up to all of our son’s ball games.

Don’t forget, we change diapers too.


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