Fatherhood 2.0

Jared and AceTIME put out a great article titled Fatherhood 2.0.  Now you have probably heard the phrase Web 2.0, but do you know what it means?  Nothing is different about the technical aspects of the internet, just the way we use it.  It is kind of like a new way of thinking about the internet.

This article is making the same implications about fatherhood.  The original version of Fatherhood is going out the door and a new way of thinking about fatherhood, simply called Fatherhood 2.0, is rolling in.

Think back to how different you are as a father than your father was, or your father’s father.  Most likely many things have changed.  Do you think that your Grandfather was a Stay At Home Dad while Grandma was out bringing home the bacon?  I highly doubt it.

For years the man of the relationship was the bread winner and the woman took care of the house, but not anymore.

In the recent past women have gained more respect in the workforce.  They are moving up the corporate ladder and no longer are companies ran by just men.

During this transition period for women in the corporate world, many households have had both the man and woman at work while the kids go to daycare.  I myself live in this very category. 

My wife and I have always worked until recently.  My wife quit her job to stay home with Ace during the day.  The reason she is staying home and not me is because I make more money than her.  What would have happened if she made more money than me?  You bet I would have quit my job to be a Stay At Home Dad!

This mentality is what I believe has coined the phrase Fatherhood 2.0.

The article from TIME also brings up another good question.  Does Fatherhood 2.0 make a man less manly? 

What defines a man?  Better yet what defines manliness?  All men are men by default, but there are manly men and then there are not so manly men.  Does the definition of manliness change as society changes?

I consider myself to be a manly man.  I like most of the manly man things.  I like to work on cars, get dirty, drink beer, etc, etc.  However I also like to stay at home and play with my son.  I like to change his diapers and get up in the middle of the night to give him a bottle.  Does this make me less of a manly man?  I don’t think so.

What does society think?  Does society think I am less of a man?  Is society catering to the Dad that has upgraded to Fatherhood 2.0?  In some ways it has and in others it has not.

When Ace was first born, people, including my family, were completely shocked to see me change a diaper.  They were awestruck to see me carrying Ace through the grocery store while giving him a bottle.  Some people looked at me like I had a second head. 

On the other hand I got many smiles and looks of acceptance, almost as if they were telling me that what I was doing was extraordinary.  They were accepting and embracing the fact that I am an involved father.

I think this makes me a better man, a more well rounded individual.  I think this makes me a man and father of the 21st century, and I hope my son will turn out to be a better person because of it.

In the end it is not about me.  I don’t care if people think I am a little wuss for carrying a diaper bag.  So what if I need a day off of work to take my son to a doctor appointment.  Who cares that I have created a blog that has nothing to do with technology, sports, or cars?

As far as I am concerned, Fatherhood 1.0 is outdated and has been discontinued.  I’m upgrading to Fatherhood 2.0!

18 Comments

  1. BusyDad says:

    I think the easiest thing for people to say is that we’re (dads) now more in touch with our “feminine” or “nurturing side.” I think that is a total cop-out because it’s not true. It’s simply the easiest answer. We’re not wussier just because we’re assuming a more involved role in child rearing. If anything, this gives me a chance to make sure that my values as a guy’s guy are properly transitioned to my son. You think mom is gonna box with him? Is mom gonna torch black widows in the backyard with him? Is mom taking him to the monster truck show? Heeelll no. That’s me. If that also means that rotate in to change a poopy diaper, cook his dinner and take him on play dates, then so be it. If I start knitting, or watching chick flicks on my own, you can call me a wuss. If I bake a batch of cupcakes for his school bake sale, you better just buy one and compliment me on my mad baking skillz!

  2. Momo Fali says:

    My husband is as “manly” as they come, but there’s nothing sexier than when he’s playing catch with our son, or playing Monopoly with our daughter!

  3. Tot's Mom says:

    Times have certainly change dramatically. Nowadays, if you leave all the child rearing to the woman, your child will grow up being distant with the father, which is only natural and which I think many Asian families are still experiencing. So, good on you that you are one very hands on dad. I’m sure your partner and son will appreciate and love you more for all the effort you put in.

  4. Joe says:

    Dads parent differently. Period. It is just nowadays dads actually have an idea behind parenting. I have an interesting roll as a stay at home dad to 3 daughters. There are so many positives to being the central male role model in their lives and doing so when they wake up and go to bed. That being said, I believe society is a little slow adjusting to the whole stay at home dad phenomenon and a good portion don’t know what to think about it. I get comments, jeers and strange questions a lot still, even after 7 years in the industry. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but I do realize that the stay at home world is largely a woman’s world and marketed as such.

  5. tanya25m says:

    Sorry.. the little brat hit the ‘Submit’ button…

    To continue, IMHO Fatherhood 2.0 is great. Doesn’t make you any less of a man.. in fact, quite the opposite. At least, that’s what I think when I see daddies feeding and changing their babies.

    And when you see your own husband do it… Oh such a turn-on!!!

  6. Jared says:

    @BusyDad: Can I just erase my post and replace it with your comment? You summed up exactly what I was trying to say! Also, I bet you make some killer cupcakes!

    @MomoFali: Walmart is open 24 hours right? I’m going to run out and buy a baseball, a glove, and a Monopoloy board. 😀

    @XBox, Jen, Tot’s Mom: Thanks for the comment!

    @Joe: I like how you refer to it as “7 years in the industry”. Awesome!

    @Tanya: You must have been one of those women smiling at me in the grocery store! 🙂

  7. Good for you! My hubby also says he would stay home in a heartbeat. Dads Rock!

  8. Beagoodmom says:

    Hooyah! I agree with you 100%. I am married to a man of your type and I love it. I would not be nearly as good a mother if he was not such a great father.

  9. George says:

    Father 2.0 is definitely an upgrade.

  10. terancedubya says:

    It takes the manliest of men to go against archaic societal values like “men work and women make/take care of babies”. A real man knows that whatever needs to be done to take care of his family comes first and then does it. We rock for knowing this.

  11. mamajama says:

    Being raised by a stay-at-home dad creates such a different dynamic in the family. I think of my family as kind of a social experiment in this way. I am the oldest of four girls. Me and the next oldest were raised in a very traditional home where our mom was the stay-at-home parent. Well my parents ended up having kind of a second family, and my youngest two sisters have had the opposite. My dad was the stay-at-home parent for them.

    What’s amazing is the change in my Dad that I see. He has become so much more nurturing. I have to agree with BusyDad, he is no less of a man…still loves being outdoors and beating his chest every once in a while…but there is definitely a new side to him that I never saw when I was growing up. Great post!

  12. dorky dad says:

    My wife and I strongly considered having me stay at home, more or less for the same reasons your wife does — plus, I could conceivably earn some income sitting on my butt.

    Man. That would be great. Earning money sitting on my butt. Actually, I do that now, but I have to get off my butt to get to the place where I sit on my butt.

  13. Jared says:

    @mamajama: Very interesting to see how it changes a man!

    @dorky dad: You are hillarious!

  14. jen says:

    I tagged you for a meme 🙂

  15. Jeff says:

    As a new dad, I’ve gotten a ton of wonderful parenting tips from http://www.dadlabs.com/. It’s a terrific recourse; I highly recommend it.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>