Father’s Day was first celebrated 102 years ago, on June 19, 1910. Lots of things have changed in a century. In 2010, there were more than 70.1 million fathers in the U.S. There was also an impressive amount of stay at home dads (154,000) and the numbers continue to rise.
Why the number of stay at home dads is constantly on the rise?
Childcare services can be quite expensive in America. More families have decided that one parent should remain at home with the kids. In the past, the woman became the house-spouse, but times are different. In general, the job market has been tougher for men (in 2007, 4 million men and only 2 million women lost their jobs). With more unemployed men there’s been an increase in stay-at-home dads. However, finances aren’t the only deciding factor.
New research shows that “fathers are launching a quiet revolution.” Experts at Boston College Center For Work & Family say that the dads that they interviewed “feel that being a father is not about being a hands-off economic provider.” A new generation of fathers is redefining fatherhood, declaring that it’s all about “paying attention, nurturing, listening, mentoring, coaching, and most of all, being present.” So, many fathers have left the workforce not because of finances, but by choice and have loved every minute of it.
Mind you, social and cultural expectations haven’t made it easy for most stay-at-home dads. Being a stay-at-home parent can be a lonely job but for men, it can be even more complex
. Some of these dads find that others may question their manhood because childcare is still considered a “woman’s job.” There’s also this stereotype of “Mr. Moms,” that these men are doing an adequate job, but that the mothers would do better.
In the end, househusbands continue to break barriers. There are blogs and support groups sprouting all over the country, dedicated to domestic dads. So this Father’s Day, the Mindful Living Network solutes all types of dads and their continued dedication to their kids.