Was there even such a thing as a stay-at-home dad in the 60s? I asked my father this, and for the look he gave me I might just as well have asked him if donkeys can do long division. The role of the dad has morphed so remarkably over the last couple decades that 21st-Century Father and his mid-20th century counterpart can barely be considered members of the same species.
Take birth, for example. Dad remembers fondly (or so he says) the day that I arrived, a sunny Sunday morning with the church bells ringing across the street. While Mom was sequestered among an army of medicos and doped-up out of her mind on painkillers, my dad spent his morning just as Darrin Stevens and Rob Petrie did--pacing, smoking his pipe, watching a bunch of other guys pace and smoke their pipes, and wondering if his son would get here before his noon teetime.
Fast forward to 2002, when I spent my morning walking my wife around Greenwich Village to accelerate dilation and effacement. She was in labor for a total of 36 hours, and I was there for every second until OneBert finally came. And I was there, holding my wife's hand, mopping her brow, and watching wide-eyed while 9.5 pounds of boymeat squeezed through her birth canal. Where was my dad? Probably at home looking up what "effacement" means.