I joyfully celebrated the Resurrection of Jesus in a standing room only sanctuary surrounded by babies, toddlers, and their parents last Sunday. As it happens with babies and toddlers, Attention Needed To Be Paid. There was the little girl with the runny nose. There was the baby who applauded every time the choir sang. There was the skirmy little guy who needed to be held, then not held, then held again. There was the baby who needed a new diaper.
Yes, these little ones could have been in the nursery, but they were not for whatever reason. And towards the end of the service, some parents near me left to go retrieve their children who were in the nursery during worship so that they would be ready for the post-worship Egg Hunt.
So, here’s what I noticed: Most of the parents doing the hands-on duties were dads.
I remember a time when only mothers left worship to change diapers, picked up the baby at the nursery, or kept emergency toys in their pockets. I have no recollection of my own father changing anybody’s diaper as a father, grandfather, or fun uncle. Maybe he did, but I never saw it. What I did see on Sunday were many fathers doing fatherly things: making puppets out of their fingers, bouncing babies on their shoulders, offering sips from water bottles.
Thank you Working Fathers.
On my commute to work yesterday, I came across this article about working moms and a cool new website called Power to Fly that connects professional women with jobs that allow them to work from home. Awesome.
But it’s interesting that this website is not also for men. Fathers interested in spending time with their young children and working from home are also seeking similar positions, I would think. What about married gay dads? What about single dads? What about dads who can do their jobs digitally who are married to spouses required to work at construction sites or in operating rooms?
I get that this is a niche market specifically for women looking for this sort of thing, but here’s a plug for working dads: fathers need this as well.
HH and I shared a single job when our kids were young – which worked out for us but might not work out for others. Even when our children were older, HH was always A Working Dad. He coached lacrosse and drove Brownies and went to PTA events. It was helpful that he could do some of his work from home.
My point is that there are many working fathers out there who have done what I’ve done as a working mother – parented while trying to balance work from the home and work outside the home. And don’t get me started about “stay-at-home moms.” They are obviously Working Moms too even if they do not earn an income.
All engaged parents are working parents. How can we best support each other in this?
Image is part of a mosaic celebrating the Feast Day of Joseph the Worker ordinarily observed in late April.