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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 (31-40):
Peanutx3
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 4:56 PM

Firemen make great stay at home dads.  :)

Quoting punky3175:

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. :-)


punky3175
by Punky on Apr. 30, 2012 at 4:58 PM
1 mom liked this
Well I've found myself an IT geek. We'll see how this goes. If it doesn't work out, I'll start stalking firehouses. :-D

Quoting Peanutx3:

Firemen make great stay at home dads.  :)

Quoting punky3175:

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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SerenityMom420
by Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 4:59 PM

You don't seem like an ass.  It sounds like your husband is similar to my exhusband, especially in the videogame department : ) 

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

 

mandaday
by Silver Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 5:14 PM
2 moms liked this

I take back any nice thing I said about you. Seriously. Who the hell are you to imply that my husband, who busts his ass 24-7 instead of 9-5 M-F is not a real man?

If it's a job when a woman does it, it's still a job when a man does it.

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.


kailu1835
by Ruby Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 7:23 PM


 

Quote:

 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."

This part is especially funny to me because it is traditionally a female task for a reason.  Men tend to be far less nurturing than women.  Which leads me to believe this has more to do with the fact that men today have less testosterone then men in decades past.

kailu1835
by Ruby Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 7:25 PM
1 mom liked this

 I agree.  That is seriously a pathetic view to take of men.  My husband was a SAHD for the three weeks I was on bed rest, in the hospital, and at my sister in law's recuperating.  He busted butt.  And yeah, he likes to watch TV, but there's no way he could have kept the house this perfect while only doing that.  How dare anyone belittle a man who works hard for his family in ANY fashion!

Quoting mandaday:

I take back any nice thing I said about you. Seriously. Who the hell are you to imply that my husband, who busts his ass 24-7 instead of 9-5 M-F is not a real man?

If it's a job when a woman does it, it's still a job when a man does it.

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.


 

babiesbabybaby development

thecoffeefairy
by Bronze Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 7:30 PM
1 mom liked this
It's a thankless task no matter who stays home. I applaud any one who does this, regardless of gender. I prefer to work outside the home, where I get a raise, vacation, and sick days😃
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im23vaughn
by Silver Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Good for them. It may work in their house, it wouldn't work in ours. My DF would never be a SAHD. He is a provider and loves providing. We also have clear career goals and objectives that wouldn't get accomplished if he sat at home all day waiting for the kids to come home from school.  That's just not how his mother raised him.

paganbaby
by Teflon Don on May. 1, 2012 at 1:50 AM

Ha! Exactly,lol.

Quoting Veni.Vidi.Vici.:

I love that men see the benefit of being there for their kids.

My husband told me that if I asked him to stay home I would come home to both of my kids swinging from the ceiling fan by their belt loops.


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paganbaby
by Teflon Don on May. 1, 2012 at 1:52 AM


Quoting kailu1835:


 

Quote:

 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."

This part is especially funny to me because it is traditionally a female task for a reason.  Men tend to be far less nurturing than women.  Which leads me to believe this has more to do with the fact that men today have less testosterone then men in decades past.

Huh. Now there's a thought...

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Breastfeeding tickers

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