Some recent Pew Research out in March 2013 - is telling us what we already know. Things have changed dramatically over the last 50 years and even more so over the last decade - particularly when it comes to parenting and Mom and Dad roles.
Look at the increasing number of single parent families or even same sex families - with all sorts of variations on IVF surrogate pregnancies etc.
Most likely though is that a woman and man come together - conception takes place and roughly 9 months later - a baby is born. So baby has a Mom and a Dad.
The old idea that Mom stayed at home and cared for the kids - and Dad went out to work so that he could provide for his family - has changed enormously. Even before the Global financial crisis - there were many women earning more than men - so when it comes to child rearing - sometimes the couple will opt for the Dad to stay home and care for the kids.
To date research shows that with equal support and experience - both mom and dad can be EQUAL caregivers to their baby, though obviously Dad is not able to breastfeed. The way parents look at this usually depends on their cultural background or their family situation.
What Moms need to know is that research also shows that when Dad is involved it improves the whole family dynamic. The Mom feels more supported, she doesn't have to carry the whole load of caring so is less stressed, and more able to respond lovingly to her baby. Research also shows that Dads involvement leads to a happier relationship and happier family.
Recent Pew Research (March 2013) from data collected in the USA shows that more Dads than Moms want to work fulltime, and 45% of Mothers and 41% of Fathers think that it's best to for a young child to have a Mom who works part time.
Research also shows that an involved loving Dad has a life long impact on his child - and that working together at parenting your baby as a team - improves Mom and Dad's relationship.
Men still face numerous obstacles to being a loving involved Dad - and generally have to try harder than Moms to be given the opportunity.
Sometimes the Mother is his first obstacle! As early as 2004 - Richard Fletcher and his team at The University of Newcastle in New South Wales Australia - identified what was termed "the gate keeper" - where all knowledge or practice regarding childbirth and how her baby will be cared for - has to be approved by the Mother.
This pushes the Dad away.
Australian Social worker Meryn Callander in her book "Why Men Leave" reports: "As a man feels himself to be incompetent, invisible, superfluous, he distances himself from home and from involvement with his chid, and seeks redemption in the world of work and career" etc.
Mom - if you do want the best for your baby - it really is important that you know more about the huge benefits of having Dad involved - because he IS going to make a difference whether you let him be involved or not.
To learn more go to: http://firsttimeparent.tv/dads_role