The world is changing! Dads currently make up nearly 20% of stay-at-home parents, denoting a major shift in our preconceived notions of child-rearing. As more and more women become the primary breadwinners in their households — and as childcare costs continue to increase at (what feels like) exponential rates — the number of stay-at-home dads is on the rise.
Unfortunately, the social stigma surrounding this change is not changing fast. One dad, in particular, has voiced his struggles despite being one of the founding members of the popular El Paso Facebook group “Moms On Board.” Boasting more than 5,000 members, the group does more than just discuss what it’s like to be a stay-at-home parent: they’re actively making changes in their community.
“So far, we’ve put more shades at parks, changed tables in men’s and women’s restrooms, we’ve worked with the City on a lot of issues.”
From upgrading the park to establishing a Children’s Museum, Mommys On Board is making a difference, but David Parish, said dad in question, is looking to make some changes of his own towards ending the stigma encapsulating his new life as a stay-at-home dad.
“I have begun to wonder if there are other men out there who are primarily with their children during the day, as well as to think about the men in all your lives (the dads) …Families come in all shapes and forms, but to cut half of them out of the equation certainly doesn’t help us reach our maximum potential.”
Parish describes social isolation and exclusion from play dates and activities organized by women. One of the group’s other founders, Adrianne Moody, agrees that the members need to be more inclusive and is currently attempting to organize community events where they can all come together to get to know each other, and maybe even form friendships.
Stay-at-home dads may be responsible for the fact that fathers have tripled their amount of time spent on childcare in recent years, but that could also be attributed to a professional solution that balances parenthood and work: telecommuting.
Around 80% of employees view the option to work from home as a perk, and with good reason — if you’ve got a bustling family to provide for, you may not be able to spend as much time with them as you’d like. On the flip side, you might also not be able to afford to leave your job to care for them full-time. Telecommuting meets you perfectly in the middle, allowing you to provide an income for your loved ones while also giving you the flexibility to spend the days with them.
If you have the financial stability to be a stay-at-home dad, why wouldn’t you? You’ll be able to witness and experience every moment of your children’s lives, your presence will remind them that there’s someone they can trust and rely on, and your relationship with your kids will deepen as they grow. However, if your family needs the support of two incomes to thrive, telecommuting is a great way to guarantee a similar experience.
Don’t miss out on the important moments because you were too busy working; you’ll regret it for the rest of your life. Likewise, don’t let the social stigma surrounding stay-at-home dads affect your family negatively.
Great men and dads do whatever it takes to take care of their family, even if that means staying at home while their wife goes to work.
I don't know any stay-at-home dads personally, but this is really interesting!