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Stay-at-home dads: More men choosing kids over career

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I know there is a lot of talk of SAHM's here (obviously) but how many of you have husbands or significant others that stay home with the kids while you work?

Stay-at-home dads: More men choosing kids over career

By Jessica Dickler @CNNMoney April 30, 2012: 10:58 AM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Before Jessica and Lance Somerfeld had their baby, they decided it would make the most financial sense for one of them to stay home to raise him. Since Lance made a fraction of Jessica's earnings, he was the obvious choice.

With wages at a standstill and child care costs skyrocketing, Somerfeld is just one of a growing number of dads who are staying home with the kids.

Among fathers with a wife in the workforce, 32% took care of their kids at least one day a week in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, which looked at families with children under 15 years old. That's up from 26% in 2002.

Of those with kids under the age of 5, 20% of dads in 2010 were the primary caretaker.

Not only has it become more necessary for men to pitch in at home, but fathers have also become more available to do so. "It's a combination of mothers going to work and fathers being out of work as a result of the recession," said Lynda Laughlin, a family demographer at the Census Bureau.

Men were particularly hard hit by the steep job losses during that time, losing 4 million jobs since 2007, while women lost just over 2 million during the same time period, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

While men have since gained back a majority of those jobs during the recovery, their unemployment rate -- at 8.3% in March -- is still above the national average of 8.2%.

Many find that having one parent at home does have its advantages, especially as child care costs continue to climb.

Couples do the math and realize that it makes more financial sense for one spouse to stay home with the kids. And while it's often the woman who decides to drop out of the workforce, more men are taking on the responsibility of child care as well.

A lot of that has to do with who makes the most money in the household. Even though the wage gap between the sexes persist, a growing number of women are out-earning their husbands. In 2008, 26% of women living in dual-income households had annual earnings that were at least 10 percentage points higher than their spouse, up from 15% in 1997, according to the Families and Work Institute's latest data.

As a New York City school teacher, Somerfeld said he made a fraction of his wife's salary. "She was probably making 80% of our household income and I was 20%," he said. Her career as a corporate actuary for an insurance company "was on a really good track and it made more sense for me to stay home."

But the decision they made wasn't strictly a financial one. "Too often, we hear that it's the economy that forces dads into these roles and that's certainly a part of it, but I would love to shatter that stereotype," Somerfeld said. "Being my son's primary caregiver is something I have truly cherished and embraced and never looked back."

Three years ago, Somerfeld started the NYC Dads group to connect with other fathers in a similar position. The group now has over 550 members.

"There are a lot of guys out there that had remote relationships with their own fathers and they don't want that with their kids," added Jeremy Adam Smith, a one-time stay-at-home dad and author of The Daddy Shift. "It's not just stay-at-home dads -- fathers in general are participating more in their children's lives."

Regardless of their employment status, nearly half of the men surveyed by Families and Work Institute said they take most or an equal share of child care responsibilities, up from 41% 20 years ago.

Just don't call them "Mr. Moms," said Ellen Galinsky, president and co-founder of the Families and Work Institute. "Like it's a female task, I've never understood that."

http://money.cnn.com/2012/04/30/pf/stay-at-home-dad/index.htm?hpt=hp_c1

by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 1:27 PM
Replies (21-30):
andiemomo3
by Andie on Apr. 30, 2012 at 3:15 PM
I don't. There are many Dads at my kiddos school that stay at home. The really seem to enjoy it and do a great job.
LillyJDv3.0
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 3:19 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting Peanutx3:

My husband had the best of both worlds.  He worked full time as a firefighter, he worked 48 hours straight and then off for 96 hours, and was a stay at home dad on his days off and I was at work.  He loved it.  He helped out at the kids school, went on field trips.  He did laundry sometimes and cleaned the kitchen occassionally while he wasn't working on project on the house.

That's so great that he had that time with them. When my grandfather retired, he stayed home with us. He went on every single one of my field trips, volunteered in mine and my aunt's classrooms, was there when we came home from school... now that he's gone (passed away this past summer) those field trips and and the time I spent doing my homework at the kitchen table with him are some of my best memories.

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Bieg9093
by Bronze Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 3:24 PM

 The men I've known who go this route have been fabulous at it.  I've often thought that my Honey would do a better job at staying hime than I did.  I KNOW the house would have been cleaner.

BTW...at the nursery school, we see lots of Grandpas who watch grandkids during the day.  I remember one who even did the Mommy and Me class with his grandson.  All the mommies LOVED him!

Peanutx3
by Ruby Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 4:19 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting One_Of_A_Kind:

 

Quoting mommaofemma:

I guess this is going to make.me seem like an ass. I am almost positive that some husbands including mine would love to be sahd for the mere reason of playing videogames all day and watching tv and then like an hr or so before we got home feed the kids and clean up and it would make him look like he worked all day to keep the kids happy and fed. Ugh lol

 I agree with you. I don't think a real man has it in them to be a sahd. That is a womans job if she choses too. A man should work not live off of a wife income. Men are suppose to be the head of the household. I hate being a SAHM. I have only been one for 3 years due to losing my job. I have been trying to find one but no one is hireing where I live or in the next state to commute.

You can kiss my REAL man's ass!  He did both, he was the head of the houshold and he stayed home with our kids.  You and your judgmental attitude just astound me.

One_Of_A_Kind
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 4:21 PM

 

Quoting Peanutx3:


Quoting One_Of_A_Kind:

 

Quoting mommaofemma:

I guess this is going to make.me seem like an ass. I am almost positive that some husbands including mine would love to be sahd for the mere reason of playing videogames all day and watching tv and then like an hr or so before we got home feed the kids and clean up and it would make him look like he worked all day to keep the kids happy and fed. Ugh lol

 I agree with you. I don't think a real man has it in them to be a sahd. That is a womans job if she choses too. A man should work not live off of a wife income. Men are suppose to be the head of the household. I hate being a SAHM. I have only been one for 3 years due to losing my job. I have been trying to find one but no one is hireing where I live or in the next state to commute.

You can kiss my REAL man's ass!  He did both, he was the head of the houshold and he stayed home with our kids.  You and your judgmental attitude just astound me.

 lol

lizmarie1975
by Gold Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 4:23 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting One_Of_A_Kind:

 

Quoting mommaofemma:

I guess this is going to make.me seem like an ass. I am almost positive that some husbands including mine would love to be sahd for the mere reason of playing videogames all day and watching tv and then like an hr or so before we got home feed the kids and clean up and it would make him look like he worked all day to keep the kids happy and fed. Ugh lol

 I agree with you. I don't think a real man has it in them to be a sahd. That is a womans job if she choses too. A man should work not live off of a wife income. Men are suppose to be the head of the household. I hate being a SAHM. I have only been one for 3 years due to losing my job. I have been trying to find one but no one is hireing where I live or in the next state to commute.

You are a piece of work.

One_Of_A_Kind
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 4:25 PM

 

Quoting lizmarie1975:

 

Quoting One_Of_A_Kind:

 

Quoting mommaofemma:

I guess this is going to make.me seem like an ass. I am almost positive that some husbands including mine would love to be sahd for the mere reason of playing videogames all day and watching tv and then like an hr or so before we got home feed the kids and clean up and it would make him look like he worked all day to keep the kids happy and fed. Ugh lol

 I agree with you. I don't think a real man has it in them to be a sahd. That is a womans job if she choses too. A man should work not live off of a wife income. Men are suppose to be the head of the household. I hate being a SAHM. I have only been one for 3 years due to losing my job. I have been trying to find one but no one is hireing where I live or in the next state to commute.

You are a piece of work.

 thanks :>)

punky3175
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 4:29 PM
That wasn't a compliment. But I'm sure you already knew that.

Quoting One_Of_A_Kind:

 


Quoting lizmarie1975:


 


Quoting One_Of_A_Kind:


 


Quoting mommaofemma:

I guess this is going to make.me seem like an ass. I am almost positive that some husbands including mine would love to be sahd for the mere reason of playing videogames all day and watching tv and then like an hr or so before we got home feed the kids and clean up and it would make him look like he worked all day to keep the kids happy and fed. Ugh lol

 I agree with you. I don't think a real man has it in them to be a sahd. That is a womans job if she choses too. A man should work not live off of a wife income. Men are suppose to be the head of the household. I hate being a SAHM. I have only been one for 3 years due to losing my job. I have been trying to find one but no one is hireing where I live or in the next state to commute.


You are a piece of work.


 thanks :>)

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Nighttiger
by Bronze Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 4:45 PM
2 moms liked this

Generalizations can really hurt productivity in our society. Your statement is as bad as telling your daughter she can't do math or go into leadership because she's a girl, or limiting your sons passion for cooking because he's a boy. From your line of thinking, this may be exactly what you are telling your kids, but I think its sad.  We lose a lot of talent as soon as we determine others limitations before ever meeting them.  In our case, DH and I both have the same level of education and given the same time in the work force, he and I are equally capable of financially supporting our family. We are both equally capable as SAH parents as well.  Because of this, we work very well as a team. No one is the head of the household. We make decisions together. I can't imagine working under the assumption that one person is incapable of a job just because they were born with certain anatomy they didn't even control.  IMHO, a real man is a man that can take care of his family in whatever way is needed, which includes taking care of the household and kids. 

Quoting One_Of_A_Kind:

 

Quoting mommaofemma:

I guess this is going to make.me seem like an ass. I am almost positive that some husbands including mine would love to be sahd for the mere reason of playing videogames all day and watching tv and then like an hr or so before we got home feed the kids and clean up and it would make him look like he worked all day to keep the kids happy and fed. Ugh lol

 I agree with you. I don't think a real man has it in them to be a sahd. That is a womans job if she choses too. A man should work not live off of a wife income. Men are suppose to be the head of the household. I hate being a SAHM. I have only been one for 3 years due to losing my job. I have been trying to find one but no one is hireing where I live or in the next state to commute.


punky3175
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 4:52 PM
I'm happy to see so many SAHD's helping with the kids. My ex was completely incapable of taking care of the kids on his own (still is really) so it gives me hope I'll find a man who can. :-)
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