This article focuses on mothers, but it’s not always mom. My wife works 4 days a week at 3pm and Saturday morning which has me building blocks, reading stories, and taking my kids to play in the snow. While my parents weren’t neglectful, I remember them sending me outside at 5 (the age of my middle kid) and sending my younger brothers into our fenced back yard even younger.

The time parents spend in the presence of their children has not changed much, but parents today spend more of it doing hands-on child care. Time spent on activities like reading to children; doing crafts; taking them to lessons; attending recitals and games; and helping with homework has increased the most.

I feel it in the lack of leisure time for myself. I distinctly remember my mom reading and sewing and sending us out to do “something” so she could relax before diving back into dinner, laundry, and a myriad of other tasks around the house.

I’m not saying that I should be sending my 2-year-old, and very busy 5-year-old across the street to the park on their own (though I would have been allowed). I’d love to not get worried what some other “concerned” adult will think if I send my very responsible 8-year-old across the street to play on her own for a bit.