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Dads: The New Moms

By Madeline Holler |

father-breastfeedingMove over, women, there’s a new mom in town. He may go by the name “Dad,” but really? He’s Mommy.

Men parents have been encroaching on mom’s turf for some time now, but this year it seems to have reached a critical mass.

Let’s start with the research. Dad gains weight and experiences mood swings during pregnancy just like his pregnant wife — the original mom. Studies also show that Dad doesn’t value  himself as a parent, which is such a self-deprecating and motherly thing to do.

And you know those special skills women claim to develop along with raising kids — better at multi-tasking, sharper senses, more motivated? Turns out we’re not the only ones. These days, Dad develops a freaking mom brain, too!

Fathers have also taken over the momoir genre — made quite apparent with all the fuss over Michael Lewis (who runs down kids and unromanticizes parenting, which, come on!, has been the territory of mothers for decades — Erma Bombeck, holla!).

It gets worse.

Moms used to hang curtains and pick floor tiles, but now Dad’s the one making his house a home and writing about it in painstaking detail on the Internet — like some damn mommy blogger! What next? A risky business venture as mompreneur?

Brace yourself for this next one. Dad has encroached on that most sacred of mothering territory — stay-at-home parenting. Then he goes and bitches about a problem with no name! (Depression over financial dependence on your spouse — get in line, stay-at-home Dad, get in line.)

Fathers opting out has become so common, in fact, that news producers hoping to mail one in are going to have to come up with a less cringe-inducing term than “Mr. Mom.” They might even get their own war! Watch this pithy Today Show segment – the reporter tries to get the stay-at-home dad to say he’s a better parent than a working dad. Sound familiar?

Seems the only thing left exclusively for women is the child-bearing (maybe not, Thomas Beattie) and breastfeeding. Though on the latter? I’m sure some selfish dude’s going to come a long and demand weekly rounds of prolactin shots — you know, until a good latch and ample supply is established. Huh. A La Leche Leader named Dave, how quaint.

All this is my way of saying, happy Father’s Day, Dads. Oh, man, this just hit me: are you guys taking over the second Sunday in May, too?

What do you think? Welcome social development or bad for mother-martyrs?

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About Madeline Holler


Madeline Holler

Madeline Holler is a writer, journalist, and blogger. She has written for Babble since the site launched in 2006. Her writing has appeared in various other publications both online and in print, including Salon and True/Slant (now Forbes). A native of the Midwest, Madeline lives, writes, and parents in Southern California, where she's raising two daughters and a son. Read bio and latest posts → Read Madeline's latest posts →

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6 thoughts on “Dads: The New Moms

  1. Twyla says:

    Love it, love it, love it! I am a little tired of hearing about how dads don’t do enough. Face it, some are amazing. I married an amazing man who is an amazing father.

  2. He’s not one of the breastfeeders, is he, Twyla? Kidding. Congrats … and happy father’s day to your hubby!

  3. Twyla says:

    No, I took that job. He is also not a “mommy” type dad. He is very much a manly dad.

  4. Sierra Black says:

    My kids’ dad does a lot for them: makes breakfast, tucks them in at night, takes them to about half their classes and appointments. But I am firmly in charge of the breastfeeding and mommyblogging, and I think we’ll keep it that way.

    Sierra @

  5. Kaitlin says:

    I think it’s great that dad’s are doing more.

  6. mouth says:

    im a stay at home dad (with a night job I sleep at, how lucky am I, right?) and I love it. Its hard to find people who are satisfied with our situation. They either think I need to be working and let the wife stay at home or they see I cook and clean and take care of the kids without breaking a sweat and they tell me to get rid of my “woman parts”. I think more men nowadays are embracing a cohesive yin and yang, regardless of how “crazy new age” that sounds.

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