Stay-at-Home Parenting Not Just for Moms

By Rita Brhel, managing editor and attachment parenting resource leader (API)

Perhaps you and your spouse have decided that stay-at-home parenting is valuable for your family, and you’re trying to decide who, between you, is the best fit for the job. According to About.com’s Dawn Rosenberg McKay her article “Stay-at-Home Dads,” there are several factors that need to be considered:

  • Which parent earns more money?
  • Which parent has the better health insurance policy?
  • Which parent stands to lose more by taking time off from his or her career?
  • Can either parent switch to part time or a more flexible schedule?
  • Can either parent work from home?

Don’t be surprised if the better fit is Dad. Today, more than ever, more fathers are choosing to forgo their breadwinner roles to embrace the homemaking, child-rearing tasks of the stay-at-home parent. The tide is changing: At one time, not too long ago, “Mr. Mom” was said in jest about a father who had to stay at home with his children, even for a short period of time; today, it’s considered an offensive label put on men who freely choose this family role.

According to the latest U.S. Census report, 143,000 of the 5.4 million stay-at-home parents nationwide are men. A slight proportion compared to women, but the number of stay-at-home fathers is growing. There are now enough stay-at-home dads out there to warrant support groups or father-only playgroups in some local areas, such as Seattle Stay-at-Home Dads and At Home Dads of Greater Dallas; and websites devoted to stay-at-home dads are populating the Internet, such as www.rebeldad.com, www.dadstaysathome.com, and www.daddytypes.com.

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