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men who change diapers change the world

Friday, 12 October 2007
Tribute to dad through the eyes of a 13 year old.




Sometimes it takes a smart kid, and a great post from one to remind us how we look in their eyes:

   Its Funny how something tragic can actually bring people closer then they ever were. For example, Michael had had a “hard” life, with a tiresome job. He was also not really able to see his kids or wife. But, in 1995 his life became even harder when he was diagnosed with (which is a lack of a certain enzyme in the body). Then in 1999 at the age of 39 it was found that Michael’s kidneys were no longer working and he was in need of a transplant. He could no longer work and had to be on a dialysis machine. In 2000, he received a transplant and could be free from the machine he had to be connected to early in the morning and late at night. It was said that he would die at the age of 40 like most people who suffer from Fabry’s disease, but because of the excellent treatment, he is living strong at the age of 47.

    If you haven’t guessed already, this man Michael is my dad. He means so much to me that I don’t know what I’d do without the strange jokes he uses to gross out my friends and I or even his obsession over electronics and super heroes. The main reason he is my unsung hero is because of his will to live. There are a lot of symptoms of Fabry disease such as: damaging of the nerves in the body, severe depression, and/or short term memory loss, but he tries his best to live each day. He still doesn’t work and is Mr. Mom for the household and I think that men of any age should learn from him. He is a loving respecting husband, father, and friend to his loved ones and I know I would be no where without him.

     The day my dad got called in for his kidney everything was in chaos. My mom was off the walls. I was balling my eyes out, my next door neighbors were cheering and my dad was just smiling. It was like something in the bible where the battle of St. Michael and the devil would be. My dad was St. Michael and the devil dragon was the disease. He likes to tell that story because of the tattoo on his leg. My dad’s favorite part of the story is when St. Michael wins. He is like St. Michael because he is strong but, not just physically. He is also strong mentally and emotionally.

     There were days I would break down and cry because daddy had to go to the hospital again. I was so afraid he wouldn’t come back that I would think to the future and see me sad without him there beside me. Most of all I remember crying because I thought about how daddy and I couldn’t dance at my wedding. It was a bad way to think but that’s what people do when they are worried, they think bad thoughts. When he went to an infusion, just for 2-3 hours, I would sit home and look back on the afternoons we would go get sushi from our favorite restaurant or go out driving and never know where we’d end up. Its days like those people take for granted but I could never do that. He is only one man, and he can only live once. He is my daddy, my father, my unsung hero.

[Manda1941 blog, and post]

Posted by athomedad at 9:08 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 12 October 2007 12:11 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 9 October 2007
No signs of LIFE in Time or Newsweek









 Last week both Time and Newsweek did the same old “new dad” story.

With the new dad getting older (37) according to a U Texas survey and the age of Time/Newsweek readers slipping closer to their age (44), it appears that the news magazines will be covering new dads more cause new dads are getting older.  (Got that?) 

 Now I understand it’s difficult not using the same references (and sometimes even the same cover) when serving the same demographics, but it was fun to ferret out the similarities.  With this in mind here’s a formula to help reporters who will be writing this story for the Time/Newsweek demographics for the uncoming Father's day season.

Recipe for the new-dad story

1. Take a look back on how good old dad wasn‘t there.

2. The negative reactions to at-home dads

3. Note how involved the new dad is.

4. Slam the “Mr Mom” comment. (no complaint here)

5. 2-5 Stats on at-home dads and involved dads. (you may use as many as 5 )

6. And a new twist here: Take a small poke at the daddy blogs after you get some info out of them when you close the article.

Below is the breakdown.

The Title

Time:  Fatherhood 2.0

Newsweek:  Just Don't Call Me Mr. Mom

The Theme

Time:  Men today are far more involved with their families than they have been at virtually any other time in the last century

Newsweek: Men more involved in child care than ever

The mention of the "old dad"

Time:  it wasn't so long ago that a man was that strong and silent fellow over there at the bar with the dry martini or a cold can of beer--a hardworking guy in a gray flannel suit or blue-collar work shirt.

: My dad is a surgeon and worked hard to provide for my brother and me. Even now, he is out of the house most days by 7 or 8 a.m. and at work for the next 12 hours. My brother and I never wanted for anything materially. But the corollary to all those hours: we didn't see a whole lot of Dad during the week. Even on weekends, he'd go on rounds.

The at-home dad reaction

Time: "There are definitely some guys who look at me and think, 'What's up with him?'

Newsweek:  "What do you do all day?" and  "When are you going back to work?

The Statistics


The number of stay-at-home fathers has tripled in the past 10 years. The Census counts less than 200,000, but those studying the phenomenon say it's probably 10 times that number. (US Census)

The average dad spent about a third as much time with his kids as the average mom did. By 2000, that was up to three-fourths. (U Michigan)


Same 2 used

The "Mr Mom" comment

Time:  From Michael Keaton in the 1983 movie Mr. Mom to Adam Sandler in Big Daddy (1999) to Eddie Murphy in Daddy Day Care (2003), the sight of a man caught in the act of parenting has been a reliable laugh getter--always a good indicator of what the culture considers uncomfortable material.

: He rallies against Martha Stewart Living's "Mr. Mom Show"

Mention of Daddy Blogs?

Time? Yes - And it wasn't so long ago that a man was that strong and silent fellow over there at the bar with the dry martini .....He sired children, yes, but he drew the line at diapering them....he didn't
review bottle warmers on his daddy blog...

Newsweek? Yes Sure, you'll have to endure the occasional hipster dad who slaps a Sex Pistols decal on his
$800 Bugaboo stroller. Some of us will....diligently document our every self-important, profanity-laced insight on our blogs.

Another observation: The stories of the 50’s dad being at work all day gives the impression that our nuclear dads were simply not there at all emotionally. My dad went to work all day, but he was there for me at night and on weekends. To put things in perspective, here’s a quote in an article in Life Magazine titled My wife works and I like it.

Like any husband of a working wife Jim has to shoulder a large share of the housework, “I don’t mind it as long as we all pitch in” he says. “We all live here so why shouldn’t we all help out? The children, Jim feels actually benefit. “We make it a point to be with the kids more”

The date of the article? Dec 24, 1956 in Life’s Special Issue on the Working women.
















 Sure maybe they didn’t change the diapers or do the dishes, and neither did my dad, but I think current media should gives them a bit more emotional credit that they offer. Something tells me these dads didn’t get surveyed in 1956

.FYI:  Dana Glazer and Dallas Hayes (who is a subject in Glazer’s upcoming movie The Evolution of Dad) were liberally interviewed by Lisa Cullen of Time but didn’t make the hardcopy cut, however, they did get a nice mention in Lisa's Cullen’s blog.

time, newsweek, time blog]


Posted by athomedad at 9:38 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 9 October 2007 9:51 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 3 October 2007
Male students banned from taking homemaking class

 A lot can change in 100 years, or can it? South Western Baptist Theological University is kicking off their 100th year by introducing a 23 hour course in homemaking as part of their BA in Humanities.

Apparently God has been looking at the wrong census numbers because men are not allowed to take the course.  The cataloge description notes it will prepare women to model the characteristics of the godly women as outlined in scripture.  They intend to do this by making sure we can sew, or as they put it Clothing Construction with lab.  

Not that I would join the class, I took home Economics in Junior High (boys had to take it) and the only thing I remember was to watch for the bubbles so I would know when to flip the pancakes.  It was fun but that was enough for me.

I can't even imagine any women clamering to take this course.  Julia Heathcote over at the Ethical Palaeontologist isn't too excited about it either:

 I don't think I'm angry about it. As long as I'm never expected to cross paths with a graduate of that class they may as well do a degree that's going to further segregate themselves from the rest of society. I'm a bit non-plussed by the fact that it is only open to women, but I assign this to the same internal directory as all that surrendered wife bollocks. But Jesus H Christ on a bike - what a thoroughly boring class to take when there are so many more useful and interesting subjects, even at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

















[ref: SWBT catalogeThe Daily Targum at RutgersThe Ethical Palaeontologist]


Posted by athomedad at 9:35 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 4 October 2007 12:41 PM EDT
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Monday, 1 October 2007
What to expect when you're naked and your wife walks in.

Check out Chicago Pop's fabulous lead-in over at Daddy Dialectic. It starts out like a playboy forum fantasy should and ends like... a well....

Coming home from work to find your wife nude in the living room is supposed to be one of the classic male heterosexual fantasies. So I naturally wondered if the reverse might be true when, at about 6:30 one evening, I stood naked at the top of the stairs as my wife came in the door below..... [more]

Playgroup Update: I've added 3 new playgroups to the playgroup list, The MatSu Dads  Anchorage Alaska,  Baytown Area Daddy and Me Playgroup  Baytown, Texas (Houston area), and Salem, Oregon. e-mail

Posted by athomedad at 9:35 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 1 October 2007 9:45 AM EDT
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Thursday, 27 September 2007
Celeb-dads* go back to work

Is it me? Or are all the celebrity dads "going back to work" at the same time? I really don't mean for this to turn into a celebrity baby blog, but I find myself in the midst of a new trend I just can't ignore, dads who stay with their kid(s) for a year or so, then run off to make/promote their new movie.

The latest celeb-dad* to join the Clooney/Pitt/Cruise gang is Jerry Seinfeld who dropped by Toronto's Varsity Cinema and offered his take on parenting to the Theater audience before showing a few teasers of his new film "Bee Movie":

I was one of those guys who just didn't get it,” he acknowledged, saying he was mystified by watching parents push strollers around and the idea of living with another person who “craps in their pants while looking you right in the eye.

“I love the kids,” he added, but said he still has a hard time with the endless chain of reciprocal birthday parties, at which “I envy the piñata.”

Children “don't like to see humans on screen,” but enjoy cartoon characters with human behaviour, he said.

He said bees seemed a natural choice: “They have an office, they have a product, they have bosses. … [They have] a little corporation, hanging from a tree.”

Then there's Richard Gere who had plenty to say about Fatherhood while promoting Hunting Party which came out a few days ago, And on Friday The Rock comes with Disney's  The Game Plan: "In my movie I play a superstar quarterback who suddenly discovers the kids he never knew he had"

You  get the idea, I'll skip the research on the last two movies I gotta take my kids to marching band practice. (Watch for my movie in 2010.)

* celeb-dad will be my new made up word if this is a new trend. (watch out you mom-blockers)

[ref: The Boston Visit, Globe and Mail]

Posted by athomedad at 3:32 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 4 October 2007 12:56 PM EDT
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Micheal Douglas has a new confession and he's pissed

Add Michael Douglas to the growing list of celebrities joining the at-home dad ranks while mom takes her turn in the spotlight. A reporter out of nottingham reported that the Wall Street star has apparently "confessed"  that he is now an at-home dad to his two kids Dylan (7) and Carys (4) while Catherine Zeta-Jones (38!) rakes in the cash. Says Douglas (63!):

"The kids know what mummy does for a living, but they have never seen daddy's movies, so mummy makes movies and daddy makes pancakes,"

Gorden Gekko's stint as an at-home dad has proved perilous. While scuba diving in Spain, he was zapped by a jelly fish and had to ask son Dylan to take a wizz on him. He shared the moment with Jay Leno:

"My son was there. I said: 'Dylan, please pee-pee on daddy's back.'

"He kinda thought it was a trick question. So he peed and it helped but the problem was that for the rest of the summer he was looking for jellyfish."

Of course with celebrities, these dad stints never seem to last as long as the marriages they are in, he managed to sneak in one indy movie which opened a week or so ago and will start on his Wall Street sequel Money Never Sleeps when the sreenplay is ready at the end of the year.

[ref: The evening post, Nottingham via The Sun (uk).]

Posted by athomedad at 9:47 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 27 September 2007 9:51 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 26 September 2007
Steve Carell puts the home in the home office

Whats a real at-home dad movie with out those "tricky love triangles. "

The latest at-home dad flix starring our favorite office guy Steve Carell starts Oct 26th.

[advance reviews: Daily Film Dose, Dan's Real Life

Posted by athomedad at 1:45 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 26 September 2007 2:59 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 25 September 2007
The Mr Mom Farwell Tour

The Mr Mom gang loses their lead singer Richie McDonald. 

[Farwell tour dates]

Posted by athomedad at 9:13 AM EDT
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Thursday, 20 September 2007
1996 article on the first at-home dad convention.

With the 12th At-Home Dad Convention coming up in Kansas, I thought I'd share my article on the first convention held on November 1996, reprinted in it's entirety from the hardcopy At-Home Dad Newsletter.

Men Who Change Diapers Change the World

by Peter Baylies

Reprinted from At-Home Dad, Winter 1996/1997, Issue 12

The Christian Science Monitor, The Baltimore Sun and The Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal were all clamoring to talk to them. The questions came in rapid fire, "What is it like to be an at- home dad?", "Did it bother you to be called a Mr Mom?", "What does your wife think of this arrangement?" One dad was asked, "How do you handle 5 kids all day?" The last question was posed to at-home dad Eric Rosenthal, who along with his wife, Ann, was attending the first ever At-Home Dads convention held in Chicago Nov 23rd.

When our researcher, Dr. Robert Frank, called me earlier this year with this brainstorm, I thought of it as an oxymoron... An At-Home Dad Convention? I didn't think dads across the country would get in their minivans without the kids to attend such an event. But it was worth a try. So Dr. Frank armed himself with a five page proposal, convinced the Oakton (IL) Community College board to hold this historic event.

It turns out Dr. Frank was on to something... his idea worked. Forty-five at-home dads did make the trip to Chicago. The group also included 7 couples, one of which was Eric and Ann Rosenthal. One reason this couple may have gotten the most attention from the media, was because they brought their five-month-old Daniel who was the only one wearing diapers at the convention. Even with forty-five dads milling around, it was relatively quiet to them, since they have 4 other children, ages 2,5,7, & 9, being watched by a sitter at their Cedar Rapids, Iowa, home.

Since I've never heard of an at-home mom convention being held, it was the first time any national convention was held exclusively just for parents who stay home with the kids. The night before the convention, I joined several dads at a local restaurant. Since many of the dads there participate in a weekly America Online chat, we felt like getting our keyboards out and "chatting", but settled for the real thing this time.

Those attending the dinner were Mike Bliss of Minneapolis, MN, (who brought his laptop and was proudly sporting a Kermit the frog watch); Steve Klem of Cocoa Beach, FL; Dennis Finley from McLean, VA; Bill Balmer from Waukegan, IL; America Online's at-home dads chat leader David Boylan of Glen Ellyn, IL. Also joining the group were two DAD-to-DAD chapter leaders Jim Mains from Oak Park, IL; and Casey Spencer of Encino, CA. Starting off the dinner, Casey toasted the wives for making all this happen. Later he expounded, "I don't often see many measurable, tangible benefits are in this activity for her, even though they exist. She gave up 3 days, though, and they were very valuable to me." Boylan echoes, "I think is too easy to forget what they (our wives) have gone through to get us to where we (as a family) are." Boylan also noticed that a Baltimore Sun reporter, Ken Fuson, was surprised that he didn't hear any wife bashing at the table. He said, "I thought that was cool. I've sat in many coffee clutches where the women bash their hubbies. We didn't even come close to that bitter idea. I'm proud of us." (After the convention the reporter spent the following week at home in Iowa with his kids, partly due to the convention's inspiration.)

The following day the crowd (some a bit tired after staying up til 2am), listened to the first speaker, Dr. Lynn Casper, of the Census Bureau. She explained the difficulty of tracking down exactly how many at-home dads there are, and determining how involved they may be. She joked, "Since there are 45 at-home dads in the room, I can only positively say there is between 45 and 1.9 million involved at-home dads in America."

Counting at-home dads who were unemployed, Dr. Casper shows that in 1993 there were 340,000 of us. With employed dads added to the mix, the estimate jumped to 1.9 million. These figures were all from families with working wives. In some cases, even though a dad could be working outside the home, he could still be the primary care-giver. For example, a fire fighter who may work his full 40 hour shift in two days, may find himself home the other five days caring for the kids while his wife works the full week.

From the many stats offered to the dads, they realized it was tough to figure how involved these dads really were and how many made the choice purely for the sake of the children instead of for economic reasons. Noting the number of questions Dr Casper has to ask in her surveys, Barry Reszel of Libertyville, IL mentioned to Dr Casper that the only question he has asked was to his 2 1/2 year old boy...Milk or Juice?

Bob Frank followed with info from our last survey showed that on average a couple would lose $27,000 of income when dad is at home. Dr. Frank recounted to the dads how one producer from CNN's Financial Network, (CNNfn) asked him. "Why would anyone stay home if they lost $27,000 income?" Dr. Frank stated, "She did not understand that we wanted to be with our kids and that the money wasn't the issue...." Ned O'Reilly, of Crystal Lake, IL, agreed, "I don't even think of lost income when I'm at home, it's not even an issue with me."

Of the convention, Frank noted, "I thought it was a great opportunity for stay at home dads to unite and network. I finally was able to meet many of the people that I'd previously only known through phone conversations or e-mail. It re-affirmed my belief that stay at home dads are a nice group of people. With dads flying in from across the country and some couples driving hundreds of miles to be at the convention, it confirmed our belief that stay at home dads are interested in this type of get together."

Speaker Bruce Drobeck, a marriage and family therapist from Dallas, TX, looked around at the media and remarked, "You know you have arrived when the media doesn't show up."

He then got the dads talking with a group discussion. Topics ranged from money matters to the ESPN2 cable channel (a lifesaver for one dad). The discussions brought many unanswered questions. On money matters, Jim Mains noted, "When I buy my working wife a dozen roses, who's money is it? It makes you think twice when you are paying $42 of her money to get flowers." Drobeck replied "The only guy who really afforded to be an at-home dad was John Lennon."

Mark Abraham, an at-home dad of just one month, wanted to know, "When is the honeymoon going to end?" Drobeck than asked for a show of hands on how many started "cold turkey", that is direct from work to home with no inkling of what the experience would be like. The room filled with hands. Seeing the response one dad noted that it took him one year to realize that by 5pm his shift was not over like it used to be at work." Steve Klem chimed in, that while we are at home we are always working, don't think we are not."

On the topic of isolation, Dennis Findley of VA said that to he "likes to take off one or twice a month by himself.. it really helps." Mike Coombs of Oak Park, IL, does almost the same thing with trips to the local library. Dr Drobeck's agreed and expanded on the idea noting that, "We also need individual time with the wife and time with the kids to balance out our new lifestyle. Some dads suffer in silence... we may have more in common with at-home moms than the traditional working dad. The nontraditional life style is a test of our marriage, and you really have to work together to make it work."

During the convention a separate DAD- to-DAD meeting was lead by chapter leaders Casey Spencer and Jim Mains who offered tips on starting and running playgroups. Mark Abraham was surprised and excited at the number of dads listed in the At-Home Dad Network and is ready to start up his own DAD-to-DAD group when he returns to his home town of Golden Valley, MN. Mark noted that he is "Interested in seeing a 'think tank' group identified to talk about any future activities on a regional/national basis." He added, "I've realized how important it was for me to come and meet the other AHDs in our world, and feel there are many others who would love to know a group like this exists." Mains noted, "It was so nice to be able to put faces with the names you have seen on the computer screen, newsletters, and television. The best thing was the mental stimulation! Obviously other dads felt the same, based on almost every session ended with fathers hands in the air wanting to ask another question."

After comments by myself on running home businesses and a speech by David Boylan on the importance of connecting with dads, Dr Frank ended the day by taking parenting questions and announced that Oakton College would like to host the 2nd convention (no date set).

As we left, Casey Spencer (a photographer by trade) took a group shot, and just like that 45 dads, 7 moms, (and one 5-month-old) were on their way back home to their kids for another year of baby wipes, diapers, spot cleaning, sinks filled with dishes, and of course, ESPN2.

Posted by athomedad at 4:48 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 21 September 2007 1:03 PM EDT
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I can guarantee you this man will not be at the At-Home Dad Convention.

      Donald Trump has his word on at-home dads:

I’m impressed with these men and with their patience and dedication to their families, but I don’t think I could do what they do. I love my children but really like the world of business. I’d miss being in the middle of big-time deals too much if I gave up the boardroom for the playroom.

Yea but aren't those great big boardroom tables great for changing diapers?

P.S. Mr Trump, here's the latest info on the At-Home Dad Convention if you do decide to go.

                                        [ref: The Trump Blog ]

Posted by athomedad at 1:54 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 20 September 2007 2:06 PM EDT
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