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Rad Dads 

A shared vision of parenting becomes the new American standard

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Statistics back up the idea that Morris' embrace of full-time dad status has gained headway. Studies like one by the Boston College Center for Work and Family show that more fathers are staying home by choice, countering the assumption that they do so because they're unemployed.

A stay-at-home dad to his 15-month-old son, Bryan Clark, 39, works part-time from home and does the childcare in addition to cooking and cleaning.

"My wife has a good-paying job as a full-time behavioral specialist, so it made sense for her to retain her work," says Clark. He and his wife have come to a place of equality in the raising of their son, explains the Santa Rosa resident. They both take him to doctor's appointments, and his wife's schedule allows her the flexibility to come home and nurse. But Clark admits that he sometimes struggles with the fact that he's not contributing more financially.

"My dad was the kind of guy who brought the money in," he says. "It's definitely not what I'm used to. All my guy friends don't do what I do; they're all the main ones making the money."

It's an issue acknowledged by Jeremy Adam Smith, who affirms that we haven't stumbled upon utopia when it comes to male caregiving, but that the situation is better than what we had before.

In focusing on new studies, rather than Romney's "woman as martyr" narrative, there looks to be a nation of parents moving toward a more equitable model. Today's complicated financial realities demand an ability to think creatively about what it means to parent. It's a world where fathers often know just as well the fastest route to the emergency room, and where both parents can fathom the feeling of a "love so deep" for their children.

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