Today, we know that a father's participation impacts his children, and a close relationship is good for those maturing children.
Two generations ago, not too many fathers were found in the kitchen on a regular basis or taking on major child-raising chores. A generation ago, more fathers were more involved in their households and with their children. These days it isn't uncommon to see Mr. Mom at home and running the household, while mom has a career outside the home.
Mothers were and still are viewed as the nurturers and caregivers at the expense of fathers, although this is certainly changing in some cultures. In some countries, where months of maternity leave can be taken by mothers, a similar period of time can be taken by fathers, allowing for closer bonding.