Dads get credit on their day |

Dads get credit on their day

Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune

Father’s Day may be the lesser-heralded of the two major parental holidays each year. But with one recent study showing fathers are spending more time raising their kids than previous generations, it might be time to hand out some extra thanks to dad this Sunday.

In 2007, researchers at Cornell University found the amount of time spent, on average, by fathers on primary child care and housework has more than doubled between 1965 and 2000.

While the study also finds moms still spend nearly twice as much time on child care and housework than dads, South Lake Tahoe visitor Aaron Bentley said the study’s findings make sense in his household, composed of his wife, daughter and three young sons.

“I definitely do more of that than my dad did,” Bentley said.

The Portland, Ore., resident said Mother’s Day and Father’s Day get equal billing in his household. And, while he didn’t have anything in particular he was hoping for, his wife Christina noted “sleeping in and breakfast and bed” might be the ideal gift for a father who spends his days chasing after four kids.

Sleeping in, or sleeping at all, would likely be the perfect gift for South Lake Tahoe dad Ruben Zavala. The 25-year-old was quick to admit that the mother of his 7-month-old daughter, Geneveve, does more of the housework and child-rearing than he does, but added the challenges of raising a newborn often arise in the wee hours.

“She doesn’t let me sleep,” Ramon said fondly – and wearily – while taking Geneveve on a stroll to Regan Beach on Friday afternoon.

South Lake Tahoe resident and single father Samuel Garcia can undoubtedly relate. Raising a son, 21, and a daughter, 18, included a litany of challenges, not the least of which was receiving benefits that typically go to single mothers, Garcia said.

The single dad became an expert in all things child-rearing when his wife left the family when the his kids were in elementary school, Garcia said.

“Basically, I was doing everything a mom would do,” Garcia said.

But the hard work appears to have reaped benefits.

The love of both of his kids tops the list, but getting gifts on both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day was another one, Garcia said with a smile.

Although Garcia didn’t discount what mothers often do for their children, he said dads who are stepping up and taking on more involvement in their household don’t always get their share of the credit.

“In this day, it’s tough to be a father too,” Garcia said.

Click on the link to read Tribune staff reporter Sara Thompson’s column about her father

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