The Rise of the Stay-at-Home Dad Is Good for Everyone

Inspiring 15

stay at home dadThe number of families opting for dad to stay home with the kids while mom brings home the bacon has more than doubled in the last decade. In 2001, dads made up a scant 1.6% of the at-home parent crowd, but by 2011, they made up 3.4% of the demographic. Still a small portion, but it’s a significant increase within the time frame.

It might be tempting to blame the recent recession for the uptick in stay at home dads, but researchers postulate that shifting gender roles and widespread acceptance of women in the workplace as the more likely culprits for this trend. Most couples that live this lifestyle do so by choice, citing economic or pragmatic reasons.

"It just makes better sense in some situations," said Lance Somerfeld, founder of the NYC Dads Group, a New York-based social group of nearly 600 at-home fathers. "Any dad is truly capable of being an at-home dad if they have the support and the means to do it."

"I embrace the role. To be there early and often for my child’s life," added Somerfeld, also a former teacher who took an extended leave of absence to care for his four-year-old son, Jake. "My wife loves it because she is able to pursue advancement in her career."

It makes total sense, and we mamas may giggle from time to time at dudes unsuccessfully attempting to tie a watermelon into a baby sling, the fact of the matter is that dads are just as capable as moms of being nurturing. None of us could have figured out how to tie the baby into the Moby without someone (or a YouTube video) to show us how.

With costs of reliable childcare being what they are, it doesn’t always make sense for both parents to work outside the home. It makes even less sense if one of them would much rather be home with the kids anyway. Families need to figure out what works for them, and if it’s a career-driven mom climbing the corporate ladder while super dad manages the house and kids, more power to them.


Who is the primary earner in your home? Is it by choice or circumstance? 

Image via eastbayjay/Flickr

bonding, back-to-work, babywearing, childcare, in the news, maternity leave, work


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Pinst... Pinstripes4

He earns more but we split housework down the middle. He does dishes, laundry, yard work and light cooking. I do heavy cooking and all of the leftover cleaning. It works gloriously for us.

cmjaz cmjaz

Unfortunately, when I tried that with my ex, he just sat on the computer all day. I'd still come home to a messy house and have to cook dinner for everyone and bathe the kids. All this after working a 10 hour day and traveling another hour for work. I think it takes a really special and upstanding guy to be a stay at home dad and not think he was on vacation.

the4m... the4mutts

I'm the SAHP in our house, by choice. It just doesn't make sense to pay for daycare, when we can comfortably live on my SOs income. I HAVE worked. I've owned, and sold for a profit, more than 1 business. My first was a used book store at the age of 21.

My SO was a SAHD while I worked 2 years ago. He honestly didn't enjoy it. He felt like he wasn't doing his job, and I felt like I was missing out on too much with the kids. Our lifestyle works for us.

xreds... xredstarsx

Mine would love to be a sahd however he doesn't clean anything and rarely cooks. So its not good

nonmember avatar Dee

I'm a stay at home mom, but my dad stayed home with the three kids when we were growing up. Both my husband and I felt it was important for me to be at home with our kids since he is gone so much for work(military).

Brook... BrookieCookie1

So, now where is the working dads vs. SAHD debate??? It's funny, when a man does it, we rush to give him a big attaboy and a pat on the back, it's proress, it's great... but when a woman does it, well, there's the whole debate thing...I find that rather peculiar.

aimdo aimdo

For the first couple of years I was a SAHM, for the last 3 my dh has been a SAHD.  We now have 3 in school and one in kindy, so he works 2 days a week.

Works for us, but at first he found it a bit isolating - he didn't do playgroups and stuff like I did when I was a SAHM.  But after a while he found his groove!


littl... littlelambe2

I agree with BrookieCookie1. It's too bad that sahm's don't get the same respect as sahd's. It's the same job. And yes, it IS a job.

jalaz77 jalaz77

I think there is no debate because men are not emotional like women can be. You don't see a stay at home dad saying things like, why would you pay someone else to raise your kids or don't have kids if you don't want to raise them comments like we see on mommy debates. So that debate may never happen. Basically, you won't see daddy wars because they just don't feel the need to scream at the world they have the hardest job when all parents can say that because parenting is hard no matter what.

Evaly... EvalynCarnate

I'm the SAHP here...When my daughter was born it just didnt make sense for both of us to work, since I would basically just be working to pay for daycare (and all the drama that comes with it - The ones around here dont have many good things said about them anyway). We live comfortably on the one income and I think we're both pretty good at what we do :-p

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