Work Life Balance
Stay-At-Home Dads On The Rise
The idea of dads staying at home to raise the kids is nothing new. It’s been happening for ages, though more recently the notion has infiltrated the mainstream. In the sitcom Up All Night, for example, Will Arnett plays a lawyer-turned-stay-at-home dad who cares for baby Amy all day while his wife works ’round the clock as a television producer. It’s a common scenario – I can name at least two or three friends with a similar setup – though it does come with its own set of issues. No matter. Stay-at-home dads are on the rise – big-time.
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New research from Aviva shows there are now 10 times as many stay-at-home dads in the UK than a decade ago, with one in seven fathers acting as the main childcare provider. This means that more moms are out there in the workforce. In fact, the study finds that 25% of women are earning more than their spouses, while a further 16% earn roughly the same.
Almost half of stay-at-home dads said they felt “lucky” to be spending more time with their kids, though they’re also facing some challenges along the way. For example, one in five admitted to feeling like “less of a man” with their stay-at-home role (yikes!). Meanwhile, 13% claimed they found looking after the children harder than going to work, and 13% wished they earned more than their partner so that they could go back to work. (Gee, this is sounding a lot like the plight of the stay-at-home mom.)
It’s nice to see that more families are breaking out of traditional gender norms – it’s about time! That said, nothing is fool-proof. The fact that so many stay-at-home dads feel “less manly” in their roles is not a good thing; it really just goes to show that while dads as primary caregiver becoming more common, it’s still not totally accepted. Plus, within my own group of female friends who are the primary breadwinners, their main complaint is that they work all day and then still feel like they have to handle most of the domestic duties at home like figuring out meals and handling homework. It just goes to show that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
(Photo: IT Stock Free)