15 Mar '15

In praise of ‘Latte Dads’

We believe that a good coffee shop reflects the vibrancy of the people and community it serves.  Visit a London café in the middle of the day and in amongst the eclectic mix of people, you may start to notice a new type of customer – a ‘latte dad’. In Sweden, many dads choose to say at home to bring up their children, enabling mothers to go back to work.  So prevalent is the phenomenon that it has been given its own name – latte papa meaning ‘latte dads’ because Stockholm’s cool cafes are full of men with their babies or toddlers.  Being a stay-at -home dad has deep roots in Swedish society where generous paternity benefits have made it normal for dads to take time away from work for months or years to be the main carer.

Other urban cities are following in Sweden’s footsteps and the traditional gender roles of mother and fatherhood have converged to give rise to positive co-parenting.   London’s increasing child focussed lifestyle appears to show that more families are adopting a co-parenting role and we’re seeing the rise of ‘latte dads’ who take time out in the day to chill out in a café with their child.

Having been woken at 6am for a morning feed, sorted out the laundry, ordered the groceries online and been out in the park for a walk, dad and toddler are often ready for a sit down in a café mid-morning or afternoon.

This new urban father travels light where he can.  Baby might be snuggled into a baby carrier or a nifty stroller with the minimum of baby paraphernalia, so that he can zip in and out of cafes to satisfy his child’s curiosity of the world around them. The friendly ambiance of a café provides a relaxing and sociable place to be.  Some dads might use it as a regular part of their daily routine, popping in with their child to socialise or spend a quiet moment.

We think that shared parenting is a great idea. Nordic parents might be leading the way, yet on this Mother’s Day we’re celebrating anyone who is sharing parental responsibilities.