Dads Who Don't Change Diapers Are the New Deadbeat Dads

Love It! 53

dad babyWe all know the "detached dad" myth. That guy who reclines in his easy chair, reading the paper, while mom chases the kids and cooks dinner simultaneously. That guy who has never changed a diaper in his life because that's not his job. That guy with selective deafness who never seems to hear his baby crying at night or the kids arguing at the dinner table. Dad the "apprentice parent." Well guess what? A new survey is busting that detached dad myth wide open. Dads are into this hands-on parenting thing, in a big way.

In a nationwide survey of 4,000 dads, 9 out of 10 fathers of kids 5 or younger said they change diapers and bathe their kids several times a week. They also said they play with their kids and eat with them all the time. And 2 out of 3 read to their kids several times a week. Fathers of kids over 5 also claim to take an active role in parenting. Dads are more involved overall than they were just a few years ago in 2002. And they know it -- nearly 90 percent of dads said they thought they were doing at least a good job of parenting.

Well, that last one isn't surprising. Men usually aren't as riddled with guilt and self-doubt like moms are. (SIGH) I mean, if they're changing all those diapers, they're clearly living above expectations, so of course that makes them awesome dads. Also, it's worth mentioning that no one asked these dads' partners if they're really doing all this work. It's all self-reported data. But still, let's go with it.

Moms, I have two take-aways for us all.

1. Guys want to be good dads and they think they've got this whole daddy business down. So fine, let's hold them to a higher standard and let them really perform. Go for it, guys! We'll be at the bar down the block if you need us.

2. We should lower our expectations for ourselves to dad levels, because clearly that is working for the guys. Changed diapers "several times a week"? You get a gold star! Bathed your kid? High-five, you are doing "at least a good job" of parenting.

Seriously, though, I'm happy to see how seriously dads seem to take their jobs. They get it! Dads know that the real emotional fulfillment of fatherhood comes in all those little tasks they do for their kids every single day.

How do you think your husband or partner would respond to this survey? Does he think he's a great dad, too?


Image via Devinf/Flickr

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irish... irishrose13

I think he's the typical newbie dad. It doesn't make him a deadbeat.

AliPa... AliParker

The "men" that don't do the things mentioned above are not fathers. They were simply some poor woman's sperm. If you're not going to help in raising your child don't have one. It's ridiculous to me when I hear sad women talk about how their child's father wouldn't hold or change their baby. It's pathetic and those men should not be dads. It's still just as pathetic when they didn't do it because "she was a girl so they felt uncomfortable". That's just shows how immature and pathetic that "dad" is. A dad is someone who changes diapers, bathes, feeds, plays with and reads to their child. And teaches them right from wrong and a few life lessons along the way. Whether he works or not.

Elaine Cox

velez seems shocked that men arent as stupid and idiotic as she was lead to believe..

krist... kristendani

My fiance is an amazing father. We take care of the kids together.

nonmember avatar Alexandra

Silly article. Many men take an active parenting role just like many, yes I said many and not all, women do. It's archaic to think dads don't take an active role in parenting.

Mom2J... Mom2Just1

My husband is awesome!  He and our oldest read a book together everynight.  They are half way through the Diary of the WImpy kid series.  He changes all diapers in the middle of the night when the baby wakes. I nurse so he can't feed him.  He actively involved.  

jrphelps jrphelps

My husband has changed WAY more shitty diapers than I have!  I guess I must be a dead beat mom!

epuffer epuffer

me and SO made a deal that he gets our toddler and i get the newborn lol. shes a daddys girl through and through so it works and he just doesnt know how to handle a newborn to my expectations lol

lilmo... lilmoosesmom

My husband was afraid of our son at birth. While he wouldn't change or burp our child, he still got up with me in the middle of the night for those changing's, and feedings... I would change him, he would feed him, i would burp him, and he would rock him to sleep...... Once he got over the fear of hurting our child and grew a stronger stomach he did better.......... 

although I know if this one is a girl, I highly doubt he will change or give baths..... He's deathly afraid of what happened to a friend of his happening to him...


(Guys wife claimed he was sexually abusing his daughter. he wasn't. But because he was a male, and would change his toddlers diaper when the mother wouldn't, she tried to use it against him in the divorce. CPS ended the case before it got to far thank god.  && He happily got full custody of their daughter....But it still freaks my husband and most men I know out.) 

Roger Klingendorf

Nice way to take something that was positive and whip it around. That's completely unfair. I keep all this junk about equality, but when it comes down to it, I see so much more special treatment. "Well, I've had to put up with this for this long, so now you get to." That's phooey.

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