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Number of Stay-at-home Dads Doubled in the Past Decade

And it’s time for them to exercise their power

By Jeremy Greenberg Jun 18, 2012 2:36PM

Photo: Zia Soleil/Stone/Getty ImagesOver the past decade men have doubled the size of something—but it’s probably not what they would’ve hoped for. From 2001-2011 the number of stay-at-home dads has climbed from 1.6% to 3.4%. In the United States, there are now about 176,000 men who spend their days throwing their kids’ teddy bears through indoor basketball hoops.

My concern is not how this is happening. Some blame the “man-cession,” in which men are more quickly forced to walk the plank to keep a business from sinking. In some situations it’s simply an expression of liberalized gender roles. Women want to work, and the guy wants to have extra time to coach sports and play video games. Or, it could be that the woman is simply much smarter, stronger, and more ruthless, and so it makes sense that she should earn the income. Whatever. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that men must now use their growing clout in the nose-blowing community to make some long overdue changes.

For starters, men should finally declare than any towel that is not on the floor is by definition folded and put away. And tri-folding towels should be declared illegal—because it’s just stupid. Secondly, putting clothes on a hamper is just as good as putting them in the hamper. What’s the difference? We’re going to wash them anyway.  And finally, men must start the new family tradition of eating over the sink.  For those kids not tall enough to crowd over the sink by themselves, let them have their very own sink-eating step-stools decorated in their favorite cartoon characters. Even push the babies in high chairs as close as possible to the sink. When everyone’s done eating, the father must then remove the sink spray nozzle attachment and hose off his family, so that they're clean and ready for bed.

From Beevis and Buthead to biotoxins, men have made many great contributions to society. We should continue our creative ways into the new frontier of homemaking. I dream of a day in which asking, “May I be excused?” is replaced by children all across our nation burping the words, “I’m done” as they slide off their chairs and on to the floor, and then slither away.

Can men do as good of a job raising kids as women?

Photo: Zia Soleil/Stone/Getty Images

 

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