The men of the Duggar clan, whether they were born into the family or married into it later, aren’t exactly known for their progressive views on gender roles. The strict religious principles the family lives by divide men and women — and their roles as mother and father — into tidy little boxes. The men go out and work to provide enough bacon to feed an entire army of Dugglets, while the women stay at home to have babies, wipe bums and keep the barracks clean.
That’s why it was a bit of a surprise to learn that at least one newly initiated Duggar dad — Ben Seewald — is actually kind of progressive when it comes to parenting 4-month-old Spurgeon. It seems Jessa Duggar’s husband is more than willing to step up to bat (or at least to the changing table) when someone needs to be on doodie duty.
Tons of people tuned in to watch the premiere of Jill & Jessa: Counting On, which follows the two Duggar sisters who have left the nest to start their own families, where we learned that Seewald is perfectly comfortable with a box of wipes and a fresh stack of nappies. “Pretty much I take care of all the input, and he takes care of all the output,” new mom Jessa Duggar said, laughing.
Who would have thought? A Duggar patriarch that doesn’t mind doing a little dirty work? Now we’ve seen it all.
In all seriousness, diaper duty has long been a point of contention in the division of labor in modern parenting. There was a time when such tasks were squarely “women’s work” and dads would just hand off a stinky infant when the time was right. Now the pendulum is slowly beginning to swing in the other direction, as dads find more and more fulfillment in some of the more hands-on aspects of parenting. That’s especially true in cases where both parents work outside the home and practically a guarantee for the rising number of stay-at-home dads.
Still, even as involved fathers push for changing tables in both bathrooms and take pride in rolling up their sleeves, a recent survey suggests that the percentage of dads who take on diaper duty still hovers right around 54 percent. That’s more than half, but it raises the question: What’s up, remaining 46 percent of dads?
The jig is up, lads. It’s practically official: If a Duggar dude can take on parenting’s most thankless and foul-smelling tasks, there’s no excuse for any other guy to let it fall by the wayside. After all, we’re talking about a group of men that are so staunch in their beliefs that they won’t even do a full-frontal hug until all the right rings are on all the right fingers.
If one of them can dip a toe into the waters of the 21st century, then the men who don’t subscribe to a school of thought that says too much book-learnin’ in little ladies is dangerous can surely breathe through their mouth while they take on whatever blowout their kids send their way.
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