I volunteered to be class parent–which everyone calls “class mom” even though it is a gender non-specific position — for my 5th grader. The coordinators kindly sent me a list of the kids in my daughter’s class with emails in an excel spreadsheet, which is hugely helpful. The school has access to father’s emails as well as moms, but only mothers are on the list.
Of course, I understand why this is done. It is mostly mothers who volunteer at the school, there are no dads on the Home and School Association board, and in general, moms are more involved in the day to day of their children’s lives. But, maybe that’s because dads aren’t receiving the emails!
The times they are a changin’. More mothers work than ever before, work schedules for men are more flexible and the definition of dad has changed. My husband has a demanding job, but he is intimately involved in our kids’ lives. He wants the emails, if for no other reason than he can be more informed about their day and what is going on at their schools. He may not be able to run the bake sale, but he can drop off a case of water, ask them about the class science project or help them with homework.
I have been class parent before, and I always add the dads’ emails. They can always opt out. I find the dads at least as responsive as the moms, if not more so in some grades. What I did not realize, was that in including the dads more, I may be inadvertently giving them a better sex life!
A recent study, presented at the American Sociological Association, suggests that when childcare responsibilities are shared, sex is better. The study looked at data from 487 straight couples, and found more equal partnerships led to more satisfaction and less conflict in the relationship. The researchers were inspired to look at the connection between better sex and shared responsibilities in the home after reading an earlier study which found that more traditional male and female roles added up to more satisfaction in the bedroom. This study used data from the early 1990s, and Dan Carlson, a sociologist at Georgia State University was savvy enough to realize this is no longer the 90s.
Lord knows my idea of sexy has changed since then. I used to be turned on by my husband buying me a beer in college, now my husband buying me some free time by taking care of all the kids is a stronger aphrodisiac. I guess I’m not the only one who feels this way. So, men, even if you are still a caveman and think of child rearing as women’s work, you may want to roll up your sleeves, change a few diapers, organize a carpool and add your name to the class email distribution list. You’re Welcome!