A few male twitter users recently blasted me for neglecting to include stay-at-home dads in various online discussions. I honestly hadn’t given a serious thought to the fact that there are plenty of fathers filling the shoes stay-at-home-moms traditionally stand in. I shamefully admit that I was oblivious to men who are staying home to care for their children. While the definition the US Census Bureau has been using to base their family and living arrangement statistics on produces small numbers, the reality is much more impressive: nearly 1.5 million men are SAHDs (Stay-at-home-dads) today, and this number continues to climb as women are assuming more demanding / valuable roles in the workplace.
The Census Bureau defines a Stay at home Dad as “a married father with children under 15 years old who has remained out of the labor force for more than one year primarily so he can care for his family while his wife works outside the home.” According to the bureau, this definition technically eliminates men who have been paid for any part time or freelance work as well as those who’ve pursued a job search to any extent – even simply browsing the web or revamping a resume. The US Census Bureau reports that only 189,000 dads stay at home to care for their children, but the numbers are actually much higher. At the end of the day, if you’re a father who is staying at home with his children while the mother is working outside the home as the family breadwinner, you’re a Stay at home Dad. Plain and simple.
There’s much to be said about this growing trend, and sadly, media is slow to pick up on it. The life of a Stay-at-home-mom is examined frequently,with plenty of national morning news segments and publications geared specifically toward females. The Today Show recently featured a segment on the growing mompreneur trend, educating stay-at-home mom viewers about how they, too, can start successful businesses from home while caring for the kiddos. While on maternity leave, I had the opportunity to view this segment live – and after previously being enlightened by a male acquaintance who is a proud stay-at-home-dad that he was interested in a question I’d geared toward moms on twitter – I watched the segment with one eyebrow raised.
What about dadpreneurs? Perhaps I missed that segment.
As recruiters, we frequently come into contact with women who have taken some time off to care for their young children but are ready to re-enter the workforce. On occasion, we’ve interviewed fathers who are in the same position. If we’re seeing it in Albany, we know it’s a growing trend elsewhere.
Are you, or do you know, a SAHD? How did your position come to be? What are some struggles you’ve faced in your parental role?