Procter & Gamble is Dissing Dads. Again. Seriously?

Dear Mr. Dad: About a year and a half ago, you wrote a column about Procter & Gamble’s “Thank You, Mom” campaign that ran during the summer Olympics. You correctly pointed out that P&G was completely ignoring dads and how important they are. I thought P&G had gotten the message, but in the run-up to this year’s winter Olympics, they’re running the very same campaign. What’s their problem?

A: You’re absolutely right. P&G’s campaign during the London Games (which, by the way, was just a tweak of the “Proud Sponsor of Moms” campaign they ran four years earlier, during the Beijing Games) is back. This time, it’s worse. Here’s why:

First, they’ve made the spots more tear-jerking than ever. Each one is a masterpiece. But each one also reinforces the message that mothers are the only parents who care about their children and encourage them to achieve great things.

Second, they seem to be going out of their way to slap dads in the face. Yes, moms deserve a ton of gratitude and thanks. But so do dads. How ‘bout a second campaign that thanks fathers? Or just “Thank you Mom and Dad”? Nope. P&G is doing everything they can to convince consumers that dads don’t exist.
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No, I’m Not Babysitting: I’m Their Dad

Dear Mr. Dad: I’m a stay at home father, have been for about two years, and really like it. But I’ve been feeling guilty. My wife works long hours and attends school while I do only about six hours of chores (throughout the day, not all at once). She says she’s perfectly fine with me being at home as long as I’m cooking and cleaning. Should I give in to social convention and get a job? Am I a failure as a husband? And, most importantly, why are stay-at-home dads frowned upon?

A: Wow, that’s a lot of questions. But let’s start with something you didn’t actually ask about: the phrase, “only about six hours of chores.” Dude, that is a lot of chores. Being an at-home dad is not supposed to be indentured servitude. Keeping the house clean and putting meals on the table (which, by the way, not all at-home moms do every day), is great. But your primary responsibility is to take care of your kids. No matter how good a day care or nanny is, having a parent with them is so much better (for them and for you).

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