This generation of parenting looks a lot different from generations past, and it has nothing to do with the trend in super expensive strollers. What makes raising kids in the U.S. stand out these days is the fact that you're more likely to see dads doing the things moms had overwhelmingly been doing back when today's parents were growing up.
This isn't an example of enlightened Americans, though. We're not the only ones doing it.
A global survey released on Tuesday found that more men than ever, worldwide, are involved in parenting.
According to the results reported in NBC News, out of the 18,180 adults surveyed across 22 emerging and developed economies—including the United States, India, Russia, Great Britain, Indonesia, Turkey and South Africa—nearly 70 percent of people thought that men had a "greater responsibility for the home and childcare" than they ever had before.
When it comes to countries agreeing to what degree Dad participates in parenting, though, respondents differed. Those in India, Argentina and Indonesia were mostly likely to say that men now have more parenting duties, but those in Russia were least likely to agree with that statement.
Meanwhile, the role of women as homemakers is now being questioned across the globe as well. Only 37 percent of those who responded to the online poll said that the role of women was to be "good mothers and wives." Interestingly enough, those in Indonesia (76 percent), Russia (69 percent) and India (64 percent) were the ones most likely to agree that women belonged in the home—though it's a bit surprising that India and Indonesia are two countries where the survey found high support for the attitude that women belong in the home while also reporting that men have more parenting duties than ever.
Is that perhaps because both cultures place high emphasis on family life?
Although men are participating more than ever in parenting duties, women can't exactly kick back. A lot still falls on Mom. There's, interestingly, growing attitude that she should work outside the home.
'The world remains divided over the role of women, but the majority do not think women should stay at home and have children.'
In a recent study, the International Labour Organization (ILO) presented findings that further the changing roles of men and women in the home. They found that, worldwide, 70 percent of women and two thirds of men would actually prefer that women work in paid jobs. However, their recent study also found that balancing work and family is the biggest challenge that prevents women's participation in the labor force in developed and emerging economies.
And so, the question remains, is it worth it?
According to ILO's data, women on average still earn 77 percent of what men earn. It's clear that women are still not equal. In fact, a World Economic Forum study conducted last year found that efforts to close gender gaps in the workforce have slowed dramatically. They determined that men and women may still be 170 years away from reaching economic equality.
However, the news isn't all bad as more fathers take on responsibilities in the home, hopefully allowing moms to choose to work if that's what they want. Will it be too long before being a stay-at-home dad is as normal and accepted as being a stay-at-home mom? Afterall, there's less pressure on women overall to even become moms.
"The world remains divided over the role of women, but the majority do not think women should stay at home and have children," said Claire Emes, senior director of Ipsos MORI, in a statement.
In any case, it seems that the world is ready for dads to be more present in the home. And to that, we say, hooray!