Why are dads invisible? As I sit here and watch two couples with children—the moms are pleasantly chatting with each other while the fathers are quietly sitting, one tending the children the other reading a paper—I am struck by how the dads occupy this strange, quasi-invisible space. They could have stayed home with their children, allowing the moms to have a child-free rendez-vous. Yet the moms clearly dragged the dads and kids along. As if the moms are complete when seen in public with dad and children. Sort of family as accessory.
This trend to accessorize with fellow progenitor and progeny repeats itself in a quick google search. The terms “main line dad” returns five hits. The terms “main line moms” returns about 27,000, everything from main line moms who run personal-family blogs, to main line mom facebook pages, to YouTube videos. As in the case before me now, in many of these pages and blogs, dads play a supporting role. The dads are mentioned at key moments to fill out the mom’s image. They are posed with the kids in idealized scenes. Like an expensive handbag, Coco Chanel sunglasses, or a venti-half-caff-soy-no-foam Starbucks latte, dads are an essential accoutrement for the well dressed main line mom.