This Sunday is Father's Day.
I am one of the lucky Canadians who can claim to have the best father in the country. My brother and I have enjoyed his (and my mother's too but her day was last month) unconditional love and support our entire lives.
Neither of us would be who or where we are today without him. I'm pretty sure he knows that. But just in case he doesn't I've got his father's day gift all ready to go. Because nothing says thanks and I love you more than - oh wait. I can't tell you what I bought him. He reads this blog.
Unfortunately, when it comes to the greeting card holidays, dads get short shrift compared to moms.
The National Retail Federation in the U.S. estimates Americans will spend $9.8 billion on Father's Day gifts and meals and activities this year, about $94.32 per person. While that is up slightly from last year, it's still significantly lower than the $14.6 billion, or $126.90 per person spent on Mother's Day.
Why we spend less on dad than we do on Mom is anyone's guess. Maybe moms are just easier to buy for.
While moms are still more likely to take on more responsibility for kids as stay-at-home parents, single parents, and take more parental leave when kids are born, dads are getting more into the act.
According to some stats posted by Statistics Canada in time for Father's Day:
- In 2006 there were 8.1 million dads in Canada compared to 9.2 million moms.
- That same year, 20 per cent of single-parent families were headed up by dad.
- In 2008, 12 per cent of fathers outside of Quebec planned to take parental leave up from 9 per cent in 2004. Within Quebec, 82 per cent of fathers planned to take parental leave, up from 22 per cent in 2004.
- In 2009, 12 per cent of two-parent families with a stay-at-home parent assigned that role to dad. That was 58,000 families with a stay-at-home dad. There were 437,000 families with a stay-at-home mom.
- Perhaps the most discouraging statistic is that neither mom nor dad spend as much time with their families as they did two decades ago.
- In 1986, dads reported spending an average of 250 minutes per day with their families - 4.17 hours. Moms were slightly lower at 248 minutes per day, or 4.13 hours.
- In 2005, dad's family time diminished to 205 minutes per day or 3.42 hours, while moms spent on average 209 minutes, or 3.48 hours.