The Rise of the House Spouse.
(ThyBlackMan.com) The stay-at-home dad goes by many names, home father, house dad, househusband or house-spouse. Are you one of those mentioned?
The concept of the stay-at-home dad is a fairly new one. 30 or 40 years ago this was practically unheard of, but now it’s growing in popularity. With most women working outside of the home the structure of the traditional family is not the same as with our parents and grand-parents.
In 2010 it was reported that there were an estimated 70.1 million fathers across the country and of that number 25.3 million fathers were married with children.
154,000 men were estimated to be stay-at-home dads in 2010. These married fathers with children younger than 15 have remained out of the labor force for at least one year primarily so they can care for the family while their wives worked outside the home. [site source] In spring 2005, 16% of preschoolers were regularly cared for by their father while mom worked. [site source]
Today 5.1 million Americans have lost their jobs during a down economy. This has put more men out of work then women according to The Bureau of Statistics. This in itself has changed the family structure and the duties within many households.
When having only one income, paying for day care may became difficult for some. Because of this many families have chosen to remove children from day care to allow dad to care for them. Also with the cost of gas and traveling back and forth to work other families feel that keeping the father home may be the best option. Financially this makes sense for some families.
As with anything there can be a downside. The downside of being a stay-at-home dad is sometimes evident when men attempt to return to the workforce. Many find it difficult when explaining their position as stay-at-home dads. This may be looked down on the eyes of some human resource personnel.
Men also have to deal with the ridicule of staying home to raise children due to societal beliefs that believe that only women should stay at home with children and men should leave the home to work.
Five Reasons Dads Staying at Home Just Might Work
1. If mom brings home a larger income and travel/day care bites away a large chunk it may be more feasible for dad to stay at home.
2. Strong bonds are developed between the father and child.
3. It makes him more of a man. Not less but, a stronger one.
4. Parents are in complete control of how their children are raised.
5. It gives men the opportunity to work from home while caring for their family.
One brother stay-at-home father suggests to new stay-at-home dads, to embrace the unnaturalness of it all.
Another one says “be grateful and resolve to make the best of the situation. Take a realistic look at the pros (family time, home project time, study/school/re-training time) of your situation instead of just the cons (loss of job and wages). Remember: you are not on vacation! Make a decision to contribute to your family considerably more in areas you may have previously been lacking and set concrete goals. Be sure to talk with your family about an exit strategy, whether that involves returning to work or starting your own business after completing the goals you’ve set during your stay-at-home time.”
Stay-at-home dads are getting a bad rap. They are looked at as men who are bums, instead of participating in raising their children. Sadly this is a widely accepted concept within some communities.
But in the words of one brother he looks at it differently. “If a man will not work or care for his kids in any manner, then I believe that he deserves scorn and ridicule because of his refusal to Man Up. However, if he is at home rearing his children in a respectful manner, he should be commended. Different people have different gifts and talents. If a man has the gift of teaching and nurturing, there is no reason why his children shouldn’t be the main beneficiaries of their father’s talents.”
Is he right? Should a man solely work outside the home leaving the task of staying at home and raising the children up to the woman? Should this be frowned upon or should these men be praised?
Let’s hear from you? What do you think?
Staff Writer; Eleanie Campbell