I knew from the time I was a teenager that if I ever got the opportunity, I wanted to try my hand at being a stay-at-home father. My youngest brother was born when I was 11 and I wound up learning a lot about child care – especially the knowledge that it was a special thing.Howie P.S.: My daughter is in high school, and appears to feel less in need of paternal love and affection these days. My own "stay-at-home" Daddying has been limited to brief intervals, but I agree with Neiwert 100% and continue to feel very much needed even now for transportation and revenue in addition to food provision (including take-out) and preparation. She is headed to Latin America this summer for six weeks to work in a small community doing volunteer work and I'm sure the separation will much more painful for me than for her. The photo above shows my offspring at age 10. Taking a look at fatherhood from another angle, Melissa Harris-Lacewell writes that Obama is right to focus on fathers, but his life story suggests a more complex reality. She observes
The opportunity didn’t come till I was in my forties, which was when my wife, Lisa, and I decided that it was finally time to have a child. I was looking for an opportunity to do something besides my longtime newsroom work, and she had just been hired by a major software company; we’d intended all along for one of us to remain at home when we did have a child, so I bid farewell to the regular paycheck, built up my freelance writing business from home, and when Fiona was born in May 2001, I launched into the serious work of being the primary caregiver for our baby girl.
Raising children -- especially in their first six years -- is something that a sane and healthy society should celebrate as one of its most cherished and celebrated jobs. It's how we shape our future, and that is a task for men and women alike, equally. It's a task to be embraced, not relegated to the back bench. And the more people – men and women alike – who learn that, the better off we all will be.
Had his father remained, Mr. Obama would never have lived in Indonesia,and his grandparents would have taken a less active role in his upbringing. Had his father been present, he might have had less adolescent angst - but that angst was part of what sent him into a world of books from which he emerged a formidable intellectual. Part of Barack Obama's greatness is his fatherlessness.