The social landscape is changing, and no one knows what to do with it. Things used to be simple in the past: Men worked all day, while women stayed home to raise kids. There was nothing natural about this arrangement, but since it was pretty much the norm, people got used to it, to the point where they thought it was natural for all men to work outside the home and to barely see their kids, and for all women to consider their ultimate goal to be raising kids.
Then things changed, and now no one knows what to do with the changes. Well, we know what to do with some of it: most Americans no longer accept the idea that women can only be happy at home. Staying home with the kids is no longer "natural," but is considered a choice. Some women "lean in" or "opt out," or whatever the buzz word of the day is for the decision to stay home to raise kids, and some women work outside the home.
The same is still not true for the other part of the equation. For many in the US and elsewhere, masculinity and work outside the home still feel like they're naturally connected, while the decision by men to stay home and raise kids is still considered unnatural, or emasculating.
The media has some hit and misses with portrayal of parental roles. Unfortunately, some shows take the easy path and portray stereotypes as natural, instead of questioning these stereotypes.
"Modern Dads," a new reality show on A&E, will try to break apart the stereotypes and show men who stay home with their kids as real people, who may have many problems, but feeling like they're doing something unnatural isn't one. At least that's what we can hope the show will do. Reality shows can sometimes focus on the scandalous rather than on the mundane, which is fair enough, but in this case, probably the best advertisement for stay-at-home-dads would be if their lives were shown as not very dramatic.
What I'm trying to say is that I hope this new show portrays stay-at-home-dads in a positive way and has little negative drama, but if something does happen, I hope the people behind the show treat the participants and the subject delicately and with respect. I'm optimistic, since I know one of the people working on the show (Adrian from the Dad or Alive blog), and I hope the show succeeds in showing that staying home to raise kids is as natural for men as going out to work outside the home.
If you want to read more about the show, including Q&As with the cast, videos, and more, click here for the show's website.
A&E has given me a chance to offer a giveaway related to the show. The prize pack will include:
An A&E Mug
Stain Remover Stick
$25 gift card to Toys R' Us!
I'll put a Rafflecopter below for a week. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
One more thing. A&E is hosting another, bigger giveaway on their Facebook page. I've copied and pasted the details below. Good luck!
Submit a photo of your best "Dadget" to show us how you've hacked parenthood and you could win a $1,000 gift card to be used to fulfill your gadget invention! Enter on Facebook by uploading your photo in the "Submit an Entry" section, or by posting a photo on Instagram or Twitter tagged with #DADGET
Submissions and voting will take place until September 6, 2013 at 12:00pm. On September 6, 2013, the top ten Dadgets with the most votes will be posted. Voting for the top ten will conclude on September 23, 2013. The winner with the most votes will be announced September 24, 2013.