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men who change diapers change the world

Wednesday, 5 May 2004
New name needed for dads

I wrote in my last post that the US Newswire press services added the term "Mr Mom" in their article to spice up their report in describing us. But it actually did come from the US Census's actual press release . I will send them a note and ask them to rephrase that term. But before I do please click on the red "post a comment" link below or e-mail me on what term you would like to be described. I will let you know the results when I get enough responses and let them know what to use next time.

A member of the at-home dad message posted a note that he was thumbing through the latest How Tough Could It Be%3F Parents magazine and happened upon a book titled, "How Tough Could It Be? by Sports Illustrated writer Austin Murphy, the poster says "Mr. Murphy took 6 months off from his job as a writer for SI to be an AHD. Now, I don't want to rag on the book before I read it, but I hope he makes a point about a 6 month tour being a tad different than doing it for years and years." A few minutes after I read his post the mailman handed me a review copy of it so I will let you know with a my thoughts on it when I can get to it.

When the at-home dads stories first started coming out big time in the mid-90's the mere fact that a dad was the primary caregiver was a story in itself. Now its being used more as a descriptor for a dad. Heres one from the Orange County Register titled "At-Home Dad Invents a Mean Screen Cleaner" (the story will pop on for a few seconds long enough to see the headline then it will switch to a new window to subscribe). There's one sentence that he has 6-year-old twins, but thats it. I think we will see less and less of stories of a dad simply because he stay home as each father's day media crunch comes and goes.

Here's a stat I got from reporter, Virginia Linn of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "...and father-only households (no wife or partner) increased to 4.3 million households by 2000." She got her information from this press release issued by American Academy of Pediatrics. In it, they gave out the advice for Pediatricians to "Speak directly to the father as well as the other parenting partner, and solicit his opinions" In other words don't forget dad is sitting right there while your wife is getting all the lip service. I've heard a few stories of dad at office visits where the doctor never even acknowledged dad while he was asking his wife all the questions.

(Note: the following paragraph is very boring one about statistics, you may want to skip it unless you are a researcher of accountant) Back to the 4.3 million father-only households (single fathers) raising their kids. The Pediatrics press release notes the definition of a father as "biological, foster or adoptive father; he may be a stepfather, grandfather, teen father, father figure or co parent father in a gay relationship." Lots of gray area here. In searching for the definition of Father-only households I checked the US Census Households by Type report which estimated 4,201,824 "male householders" by 2004. I then interviewed Karen Thomson of the US Census Household Division this morning and she verified that all father-only households have at least one child 17 or under in the home. Here's the actual definition: Male Householder no wife present: This category includes households with male householders who are married with at least one other relative in the household, but with wife absent because of separation or other reason where husband and wife maintain separate residences; and male householders who are widowed, divorced, or single with at least one other relative in the household.

Thanks to a Peter B. McIntyre of the message board who alerted me to at-home dad Ben McNeill of Chapel Hill, NC. He has a stunning online journal (blog) titled The Trixie Update . There are lots of blogs out there with dads who talk about their families with all the cute stories, but this one takes an intensely objective tone. It's filled with charts graphs and stats about his daughter's every single movement (bowel or otherwise) that would put the US Census to shame. As I write this his site reports that the baby has been awake for 1 hour 31 minutes. has had 3 diaper changes the last one being 12:06pm.which brings the total of diaper changes to 1,965. (Ironically "1965 is the year Procter & Gamble continued to introduce Pampers nationwide. For a while, supermarkets, drug and department stores are not sure how to classify this brand new product or where to stock it. As a result Pampers can unpredictably be found in the convenience section, the food aisle, the paper product section, and even in the drug section." Source: The Trixie Update Here's an article about him in his local paper

Funny humorous comment to note by Tim Goodman of the San Francisco Chronicle who was making fun of Howard Dean's possible TV talk show. "After much discussing, the new Howard Dean talk show will be called "Quick to Anger." He will explore the challenges of remaining calm with a bevy of noted hotheads. Geared toward the stay-at-home dad crowd that has grown tired of soft talk shows like "Ellen" and, frankly, are at their wits end with the little snappers, "Quick to Anger" will essentially be 60 minutes of venting." At least someone out there knows we would like some alternative network programming besides Oprah & Dr Phil. The most popular daytime TV show that I have heard the dads talk about at the last At-Home Dad Convention is ESPN.

Posted by athomedad at 2:17 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 5 May 2004 2:34 PM EDT
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink | Share This Post

Thursday, 6 May 2004 - 10:11 AM EDT

Name: Rebel Dad
Home Page:

Thanks for mentioning the 4.3 million number -- further evidence that existing at-home dad stats are deflated. Sure, not all of those 4.3 million qualify as at-home dads, but they're automatically excluded in the Census Bureau's usual method of counting at-home dads by staring at the working moms ...

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