Nashville Dads: What’s different for new dads today

Nashville, Tenn. (WKRN) – A lot has changed about being a dad for this generation of new fathers.

The stereotype about dads is still alive and well, with many people not believing how involved and excited dads can be.

It turns out all those clichés we hear about parenting — “The days are long but the years are short,” and “It’s the hardest job you’ll ever have but also the most rewarding,” — are spot-on accurate.

Parenting is an important job, and no one wants to mess it up. However, it turns out that moms and dad feel differently about how it’s going.

A recent national survey found that 51 percent of moms say they do a “very good job” of raising their kids.

Only about 39 percent of dads can say the same, though.

“I definitely cried the first time I was lone with my first kid. I just didn’t know what to do,” one father told News 2.

The days of a dad coming home from work to read the paper while mom tends to the house and the kids and the dinner are a thing of the past for many families.

In 1965 most dads did a little more than six hours of housework and child care each week. Compare that to moms who did more than 42 hours of housework and child care.

Now, new data shows that most dads do 17 hours of housework and child care while moms spend 32 hours a week doing the same thing.

“When you go to the playground now it’s usually one dad and then like 10 Moms,” one dad told News 2 at Sevier Park in Nashville.

In today’s two parent households, two out of three homes are dual-income households meaning both parents work outside the home. So, the work away from work, so to speak, is split a little more evenly.

However, getting everything taken care of can still be a struggle.

“It was a difficult transition. But at the same time, even though life kind of stops and restarts, it’s the greatest restart ever,” said Nathan Schmitz.

Our phones connect us to our jobs 24 hours a day and seven days a week. More than half of working parents say balancing work and family is difficult. It’s clear that many fathers today have a hard time separating the job that pay the bills from the job at home.

Dads today, like Eric Welch, still have advice for new parents. It’s advice that hasn’t really changed over the years.

“Just enjoy it. They grow really fast. Way too fast.”

Nashville Dads is a week-long special that airs all this week at 6:45 a.m. On Tuesday, we talk with an expert on things dads can do to strike the right balance between work and family and how to feel better about all of it.