Just read some parent blogs today, and one thing is actually quite clear. We, the “parents of today” spend more time with our kids than our parents did. I knew this, and you knew this. Only maybe the radicals that think a “woman’s place is in the home” didn’t think this was true. Because how could parents that both work, spend more time with their kids than the good old 50’s model Stay-At-Home Mom did? They refused to believe it. But a new study in the New York times confirms what many parents today already knew, Married and Single Parents Spending More Time With Children, Study Finds.
So how could this be? Well we can take partial credit because parents today tend to be more involved in their children’s lives by choice. But honesty dictates that I also admit there is a bit of “fear factor” that is involved that guilts us into it as well. We worry about, predators and crime, and careless people and tend to watch our children like hawks today more than ever before, not always necessarily because we want to, but because we feel as if we have no other choice.
When I was growing up, perhaps maybe my first year on Little League, my parents drove me to most (if not all) of my practices and games. But from then on, until game day, I was usually on my own. Hop on my bike, with my glove dangling from my bat which was over my shoulder, as I would ride across town to the park.
I can’t even imagine such a thing today. Heck I can’t even imagine my wife dropping my daughter off at practice, leaving and then returning to pick her up. Nope. She is there the entire time. (Why not me taking/picking up for practice is a whole other story for a whole other day. Suffice it to say that my wife thinks I am “too competetive” for the little kids, and I tend to agree).
But, as the story points out, it is certainly not all about the guilt and worry. Men and women both spend considerably more time with their kids than in the past. We spend more time getting involved in their activities, and trying to nurture them, rather than the old, “go out and play, and I don’t want to see you back in this house until I call you for dinner”
So, overall I guess on a whole, we are not as horrible as Focus on Family and others would lead you to believe. Turns out that we can work and spend time with the kids. And despite baseless claims to the contrary. We are doing it. So grab a drink. Sit back. And Relax. Moms… Dads… This [insert beverage of choice] is for you.