'Don't Forget Dads' Instagram Reminds Us Dads Aren't Babysitters

Don't Forget Dads Instagram
dontforgetdads/Instagram

When most of us think about dads, we think of the men we see at our kids' birthday parties, at school drop-off, and every Saturday at the park. Modern dads are hands-on, active parents who are involved in almost every aspect of their children's lives. Still, fathers are often subject to stereotypes -- like fumbling sitcom dads -- that paint them as clueless or uninvolved. That's why the popular Instagram account Don't Forget Dads was started to challenge everything we think we know about modern fatherhood.

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The pro-dad account originally began as a clapback to the common misconception that dads are less involved with their kids than moms are. You've probably seen dads out solo with their kids and heard people ask how they got roped into "babysitting" that day. Well, that's why the tagline for Don't Forget Dads is, "Fatherhood without fear: I don't babysit. I parent."

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Each day, the account features images submitted by real fathers, along with a short story about the photo that captures the sweetest, silliest, messiest, and realest moments in fatherhood -- like this babywearing picture that shows an exhausted father "refueling and Dad-ing at the same time."

Refuelling and Dad-ing at the same time. â��ï¸ï¿½ @emilyalexandra #dontforgetdads

A post shared by Fatherhood Without Fear (@dontforgetdads) on

Or, this gorgeous photo that shows a dad catching his first glimpse of his brand-new baby. I'm not crying, YOU'RE crying.

The photos are meant to show men's devotion to fatherhood, as well as the myriad ways dads are present in their kids' day-to-day activities. Our society doesn't really give enough credit to the contributions of dads. Sure, we ooh and ahh over photos from daddy-daughter dances, and we spend a lot of time praising celebrity dads like Ryan Reynolds for being super cute with their kids. But, when it comes to everyday childcare tasks, we still tend to view moms as the default parents.

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My daughter's school still calls me first whenever there's a problem, and our pediatrician's office still fills my voicemail with test results and appointment reminders, even though my husband is the one who takes the kids to their checkups. No matter how active a dad is in his kids' lives, we still tend to treat them like spectators, and that's why this Instagram account is so important.

Decades ago, moms really were the primary caregivers. Moms usually stayed home with their kids, did the grocery shopping, made the appointments, took care of dinner and baths, and were solely responsible for their children's well-being. That's not always the case anymore.

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In fact, research shows modern dads are more involved in their kids' lives than ever before. According to data by the Pew Research Center, dads have nearly tripled the time they spend with their children since 1965, and as many as 57 percent of fathers say they view being a parent as a central part of their identity. The data also shows 48 percent of dads would rather be home with their kids than work, if they had the option.

Daddy-ing like a boss. �:@wusage_livinnlovin via @mydadnessisdope #dontforgetdads

A post shared by Fatherhood Without Fear (@dontforgetdads) on

Sweet dreams friends. �� �:@nathaliebhardt #dontforgetdads

A post shared by Fatherhood Without Fear (@dontforgetdads) on

Don't Forget Dads is important, not only because it celebrates dads, but also because it supports dads and encourages them to take pride in their roles as fathers.

Chances are most of us already know how much dads rock, because we see it every day -- in our homes, at our kids' baseball games, and even at the school bake sale. But, for anyone who needs reminding, this Instagram account is a stunning look at the incredible love, devotion, and contributions of modern dads.

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