21st Century Dad
One Dad's Thoughts, Ideas, and Feelings.
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Good Dad or Good Employee. Pick One.

May 15th, 2008 . by 21st Century Dad

You Need to Buy Low and Sell High, Stanley!

Photo: foundphotoslj

What does it mean to be a father today? Cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead said that fathers are “a biological necessity but a social accident.” That might have been true for generations past, but the fellow dads I’ve met in person or in the blogosphere are nurturing, caring, and as involved as ever. These men really do everything except breastfeed.

It’s a wonderful feeling to be a 21st Century Dad. I take pride in being there for my daughter. I have been to every doctor visit with her so far. I play with her every day. I change her diapers. I feed her (now that she’s been eating solids) and clean up too.

Much of this “nouveau dad” talk is centered around babies and toddlers. There’s a teenager living here too. Teens may want more autonomy from their parents, but when he needs a dad, he’s got one.

Sometimes I feel like working a job gets in the way of being a good dad. Some would argue that working at that job is a big part of being a good dad. The people in charge are from the generation where fathers were breadwinners then came home and planted themselves in front of the TV while mom cooked dinner. How many of them did the feeding, clothing, bathing, and diapering?

Flex time, telecommuting, and other concessions are being made, but that’s only anecdotal knowledge to me. Tales of men being treated poorly in the workplace abound. I know two men who were recently fired because they had the nerve to ask for paternity leave. They were granted that leave with smiles and congratulatory remarks. To add insult to injury, poor job performance was cited as the reason for their dismissal upon their return to work.

I make it my business to see what “21st Century Dad” turns up in the search engines. I found this great article about dads and their blogs. The excerpt below sums everything up perfectly:

In 2006, dads are feeling pressure from both sides. At home, many dads carry heavier parenting loads; they face their own traditional expectations, while at work they face baby boomer bosses who believe the job comes first, according to Joan Williams, director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.”

The flexibility I need isn’t there in a 9-5 job. What would happen if I told my boss, “Can I take the afternoon off so I can take my daughter to the pediatrician?” I’m sure the boss won’t like it. Being a dad today is harder than ever.

Relief from the 60, 55, 50, 45, 40 hour a week 9-5 job is out there in non-traditional arrangements. Freelancing is frowned upon, but has plenty of advantages. When the baby is sleeping, a lot of work can be done. Work-at-home dads with older children can get the bulk of their job done before the kids come home from school.

You can’t change the world overnight, and you can’t do it by yourself. I believe in changing the world one child at a time. We teach them values. We provide them with nurturing environments in which to grow up. We teach them how to become better people. They, in turn, positively influence all the people they encounter. The best way to do this is with both parents hands-on. When you have a generation of fathers doing this, the possibilities are endless.

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21st Century Dad Admin: News and Notes

February 18th, 2008 . by 21st Century Dad

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Traffic Jam

I’ve scaled back the posting schedule a little to step up the traffic-building effort. So far, I’m enjoying Entre Card. It’s a win-win for you and for me. The widget serves up a different ad daily.

As a blogger, I’m also leaving comments on other blogs. To leave intelligent and worthwhile comments, I have actually read the posts. What a concept!

The Blogroll

I’m rethinking my approach to the blogroll. I want to keep the list fresh. Some of my favorite blogs will remain, but I’ll weeding out blogs that I don’t read anymore or blogs that haven’t been updated in a while. They will likely move to a separate page of links.

The RSS Feed RSS

I did some digging in my Feedburner account and finally set it up so you can subscribe via email.