Magazine article Newsweek

The 'New Dad'? Give Me a Break

Magazine article Newsweek

The 'New Dad'? Give Me a Break

Article excerpt

Byline: Lorraine Ali

My 4-year-old is asking for apple juice, all we have is margarita mix and I have two deadlines and 400 e-mails to attend to before I can make it to the market. As for my husband? I believe Raj hasn't seen the inside of a grocery store since he worked at one back in high school. Stocking the fridge is my task, as well as getting our son to school, scheduling his speech-therapy appointments, making dinner -- I wouldn't mind if raising our child was my sole job, but it's not. My husband and I both work full time, and though he's definitely a modern, "hands-on" dad, I'm still juggling most things kid-related.

Still, Raj is more dedicated than any father I know. He stayed at home for the first year of our son's life while I worked, and has been present every step of the way -- from changing diapers to teaching our son classic Bollywood dance moves (an endless source of amusement). It's clear that, like a growing number of his male peers, he sees parenting and career as equal priorities. I'm lucky my husband embraces fatherhood with a zeal and devotion unheard of among previous generations, but I still have to wonder why, when men are far more involved in child rearing than ever before -- and even talking about it to one another -- women are still left carrying the bulk of the load?

Though men may now mirror their mothers more than their fathers when it comes to parenting, they still only spend about seven hours a week caring for their kids, while their spouses put in twice as many hours. No wonder I'm so tired, and my husband is still unclear about where we keep the Thomas trains or which days we attend swim class. Our son knows exactly who to go to when he's lost his favorite Babar book (mom) or wants to play a backbreaking game of airplane (dad).

It's difficult to know if the parenting roles we've slipped into are simply hardwired (i. …

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