Recently, I gave my class an assignment to discuss some of the gender inequalities that exist in parent responsibility. We watched media examples and discussed the plight of Supermom - a woman who does it all...working full-time, then coming home to respond to the needs of the entire household. As I added questions to our class discussion board, I noticed that the word "Superdad" (the assignment was to describe Superdad and explain why we have no media images of him) was flagged by the spell-checker. No word processing software on my computer recognized this word.
Understandably so, as there is no definition for Superdad. We don't discuss him and most of us don't even know him. Although there are Superdads found all over the globe, most of us don't expect to see him or know of his existence in our own community. We continually place the extra household and parenting duties in mom's lap and attribute them to her whether dad participates or not. As a result, when parenting distress signals go out into the sky, they are mostly met by the swift feet of Supermom. While Supermom is great, many children lack additional critical elements of development as they are left waiting...waiting for Superdad.
My suggestion is for all Superdads, children of Superdads, or those waiting for Superdad to speak up and call attention to the vital role that fathers play in the development of their children. It is time that dads are given appropriate responsibilities and the opportunity to shoulder the many family duties mom has historically been responsible for. Let's hold those less than Superdads' feet to the fire and encourage them to live up to the standards set by our Supermoms. Then one day, hopefully...millions of children can stop waiting for Superdad.