Stay-At-Home-Dads On The Rise? Not So Fast…

Stay-at-home dads are all the rage in the media since this rotten economy has forced many unemployed men back in the ranks of the homestead. Judging from the plethora of Father’s Day articles celebrating stay-at-home-dads, you would think that dads across the United States are turning into Mr. Mom at an unprecedented rate.

From a profile in Michigan’s Lansing State Journal:

[For Chris Singer], raising Tessa–who has huge, Gerber-baby blue eyes, adorably chubby legs and a smile that could melt the hardest of hearts–is mission one. That means nights without sleep, trips to the library and zoo, loads of diapers, bottles, burp cloths and the conviction that he’s doing the right thing right now.

From columnist Jeff Gillenkirk in the San Francisco Chronicle:

The number of stay-at-home dads rose nearly 60 percent between 2003 and 2008 and is expected to keep rising as the economy and family roles continue to change.

Don’t be fooled. These feel-good stories are trotted out for Father’s Day, but the reality is not so rosy. It’s true enough that the tide of layoffs has hit men harder than women. But bona fide primary caregiving fathers are still rare, and a man doesn’t automatically become a primary caregiver of the children simply because he’s unemployed or underemployed. The horrid worldwide economy has simply created a larger number of unemployed/underemployed men who aren’t picking up the slack at home.

In The New York Times, author Catherine Rampell describes the more complex reality:

On average, employed women devote much more time to child care and housework than employed men do, according to recent data from the government’s American Time Use Survey analyzed by two economists, Alan B. Krueger and Andreas Mueller.

When women are unemployed and looking for a job, the time they spend daily taking care of children nearly doubles. Unemployed men’s child care duties, by contrast, are virtually identical to those of their working counterparts, and they instead spend more time sleeping, watching TV and looking for a job, along with other domestic activities.

So despite media fantasies, men getting laid off means that many moms are now acting as both the primary caregiver and primary wage earner. Slacker dads, get up off your duffs and do the right thing by supporting the mothers of your children both financially and in the homestead.

Photo from Flickr user makelessnoise under Creative Commons 2.0.


  1. Justice for kids says:

    Excellent article!!! I hear from working mothers all over the country who are all complaining that their nonworking husbands/live in boyfriends do very little. When these moms get home after working (part or full time) they enter into their second job. Taking care of baby. Though they are not complaining about mommy duty, they are complaining about the nonworking father and his lack of parenting & helping out.

    You nailed this article, thanks!!!

    • I am a Middle aged Gram-pa, I have adopted two of my grand daughters, ages 2 years and 9 months. This is a very one sided message to the world. I am a Part-Time Police Chief, and a full-time care giver of our girls. The dead beat dads statement has been going on for years now. I can tell you in my career in Law Enforcement the dead beat mom’s is real equal now. Dad’s are not the only one’s to leave there children behind, neglect them, abuse them and so on. You have to be apart of real life problems to understand, instead of gathering bogus info and posting one sided Information. I raised five children alone with no help. I am not saying I need praise for doing my duty as a dad, just give the the good dad’s a break. Thanks

  2. And when divorce time hits, although dad has reached high levels in Farmville on Facebook, or has mastered the latest Guitar Hero release, he will be considered the primary caregiver and the children will be having to say “bye bye mommy.” No, mothers do continue to take care of the family even though they work hard at a job all day (or all night), often for much less pay than a guy would be receiving. She’ll have to make it stretch even farther when she has to pay child support to the loafer that rocks on Guitar Hero, while the children’s situation takes a turn downward. Dear old dad will have help in doing this to mom even though he may be unemployed with help from organizations who get Fatherhood Initiative grants, from our U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to get legal help to get custody from her….with OUR TAX DOLLARS. She will be denied this help because she’s not a father. Yeah, these guys have it made. Every day is “Happy Father’s Day” here in the U.S.

    • Nancy, I don’t know what in the world has made you so sour, that you must uniform all men in this category. Sorry, but that is far from the truth. I am a stay at home dad, and I would love to go back to work, and also finish my degree, however, I would not trade one second of the fun that me and my children have, as well as the ability to properly discipline and pass on great morals that our ONCE great country knew. I hope that YOU address what ever anger issues that you have against men in the future with a professional.

  3. Excellent article! I have been watching all the news headlines of children being harmed and killed while ‘in the care of their father’. Many times those stories will state that the mom was at work. Ok, I get that the economy is down, whatever…that still doesn’t give these men the right to abuse their kids. I’m sure there are many many good dads out there and usually we don’t hear about them; however, trying to make it sound all good and noble to be a stay at home dad is just sickening. When these men SHOULD be out there working, just like the women are, to support the whole family. Yeah, it’s good that the good dad’s are doing a good job of taking care of the kids; but they too should be bringing money into the home as well. Many years ago fathers worked and mothers stayed home…it was the norm. That began to change into a society where both parents worked, and then a shift happened where more and more families had at least one parent working from home…but still earning a paycheck. Why are we going backwards as a society now with having one parent stay home without earning a paycheck? And, why in the world are we trying to sugar-coat it? These men for the most part are NOT doing all the housework while their wives/girlfriends are out working…they are taking advantage of the situation.

  4. Abusers love and support any idea or trend that will help them gain and maintain full, unfettered access to their small victims.If a “father” gets custody-he can even be paid by his other victim-his divorced wife. Some of these criminals “have it made.”

  5. Excellent article. As A Victim and survivor– where the batterer has complete control and custody of my daughter–

    I cringe on fathers day- as the male entitlement of ‘fathers’ (abusers) is so staggering in our society– year round-

    The entire family has to jump to his (the abusers) demands- and fathers day as well as any other day or holiday that takes the spotlight away from the abuser or demands even more—

    (I just described today’s incident in my own life with my daughter- a day that is every day for us and so many other women and their children)

    This article is so ‘right-on’ and most fathers are good fathers- but the ‘abusers’ omg- they will stop at nothing to continue to hurt mom and the children- and call it Fathers Rights.

    • as a stay at home dad of 3 boys for 11 years my wife thinks i got it made, hmmmmm. lets see i never get out, i do all the laundry cooking cleaning shopping yardwork car repairs and help her out at her business and i pay for the household expenses.from the money i get on disability from the marines she goes out with her friends after work and guess where i am? at home with the kids, my kids remember this and always will, my day is coming though. oh and when she comes home drunk she is very abusive

    • I feel for you I really do,

      Fortunately for me and mine, we have not experienced the consequence of this. I pray we never do, and deed within me, I know I would never ever stoop so low.

    • I really feel that this article doesn’t address the truth about couples.

      First and foremost,when your married, it is BOTH people at all times, or its a sham and a fail of a marriage. I don’t do one thing without my wife, and she the same. choices and housework are always supported. There was only one time that I disagreed with my wife, and that was when she was disciplining my son and I believed that it was a little heavy handed. Bad idea. Lets just say, don’t tell your wife how to correct your children, unless you are very sure you know exactly that the action deserved less.

  6. Surely, the concept of shared parenting – in divorce – should begin at birth, not start at divorce. Women should accept no less. If men share parenting from the moment the child is born (divorce rates might even lower), they would deserve shared parenting at divorce. As it stands, they are not contributing enough, yet reaping the 50-50 parenting plan which entails them to lower or no child support and status. With equality comes responsibilities, time to “man up” as they say.

  7. [A] comparison of the nurturing roles in primary care-giving father and primary care-giving female families revealed marked differences between mothers and fathers. In the primary care-giving female family, the child most often turned to the mother for nurturing. In the primary care-giving father family, the child utilized both parents for nurturing, but still turned more often (56% of the time) to the ostensibly “non-primary care-giving” mother. The study’s author fudged this a little: “While primary care-giving fathers may be ‘capable’ of nurturing, the child preferred the working mother as often as the primary care-giving father when both were available. As a consequence, the working mothers were providing an equal share of the nurturing in primary care-giving father families. ”

    “[W]hen the working mom comes home, she tends to move back into her traditional role. For example, she might help with dinner, and she does the bath and the bedtime routine.”

    “Working mothers tend to know what their child’s schedule is (i.e., classes they take) even though they are at work all day. Traditional fathers generally don?t know what their child’s schedule is.”

    See Frank, Robert A. (1996) “Is the male in child care role changing? Primary caregiving males demonstrate the changing family structure: Implication for social work practice.”; Frank, R. A. (1993). The role of the primary caregiving father. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Loyola University, Chicago.; Frank, R. A. (1995). Who’s watching the children? Unpublished report, now removed from original URL. and

  8. Thanks for a wonderful article. Stories about fathers taking on more of the responsibility for child care are news because they are out of the ordinary. I think it is fine for the media to publish such stories if only they would put the exception in the context of mothers continuing to do the overwhelming part of the housework and child care. The worst part of the creation of myths about fathers’ role in child care is that the untrained professionals that predominate in custody courts use these stereotypes and myths instead of up-to-date research as they send children to live with abusive fathers.

  9. clarissa says:

    Making a choice to stay home to raise/nurture your children is completely different than being laid off and unable to find a job so someone’s gotta do it (take care of the kids). Being unemployed (when you were formerly employed) can be majorly stressful and depressing. These emotions transfer to the care of children and could very well be the reason for the rise in “caretaking” dad’s child abuse and deaths.

    In how many families in which the mom stays home can you say that dad comes home from work and then assumes ALL the child caretaking duties? Now put the situation in reverse, as the author described. Totally different.

    Gimmie a break with all the fatherly back patting. Fathers that have been doing the job already know who they are.

    This also reminds me of Glenn Sacks decided NOT to go back to teaching (I think he quit his job), citing bullshit about it being unfair, blah, blah, but now glorifying how he is the primary caretaker. What bullshit.

    • Well, how about I provide you with a different case study?

      Over Five years ago I was a ‘fast mover’ within one of the largest banks in the United States. However, My wife in the location for where we were, could not for all her abilities find a job. So, she started looking elsewhere for employment, and found a job back in the city for which I grew up (go figure, they tend to pull you right back to where you were trying to get away from). So, I decided at that time, that her career meant more than mine, as she was young in age, and needed to get her foot in the door. I resigned. I became a stay at home dad, because, WE both believe that it was for the best. Not just I, WE. Now, I am still at home watching the kids, but times are changing, soon my son will be entering Pre K. My daughter, will probably be making her first steps into day care. Where does that leave me? IN this location, there are no banking jobs for the field for which I was above and beyond expectations. So I have decided to possibly take work as a Customer Service Representative, and at the same time, attend school and finish my degree, as I am a Vet, and its paid for. What do you have to say about that?

  10. Mary Lou says:

    Shared parenting should begin as soon as the children are born. Men have been whiney losers for far too long and blame work, golf, the guys, the football for not participating. Time for all fathers to man up and share in the workload!

  11. Excellent article! Mr. Mom could not even handle the vacuum if memory serves me…he couldn’t really handle anything. Children are often left int he inept hands of an abusive father and more likely to be seriously hurt or killed.

    • Marc,

      Don’t drink that Kool-Aid!. I’m an African American American male. Society believes, characteristically, that black men leave their families. I agree. But this is a part of the social and psychological damage done to the black community.

      I’m the product of a black male single-parent; my mother died when I was nine. My father was fifty-one when I was born; but he was stable, working for Bethlehem Steel more than 40 years. My mother was 17 years younger than he. He had children from a previous marriage that were old enough to be my parents. I’m now 54.

      The point is my parents did not divorce; they just died. That makes a difference. The “messed-up” men that abuse women are often from broken homes and raised by their mothers. Women from these situations just don’t do well with male children. They are often bitter, overwhelmed and destined to parental failure, because they often can’t overcome the problems of the broken relationship. Men from these backgrounds have no good male involvement to overcome the “trips” their mothers impose upon them. That is why there are so many abusive men. They are the product of female-headed homes that can’t give children what they need. Some of these guys even come from two-parent homes where the fathers just weren’t involved, early, with the development of the male child. That is, changing diapers, feeding, getting-up with the child, etc. Guys are just not taught this or take this on! But I did, because I was a single parent of 4; I had three daughters, whose mother left me when the youngest child was 3; she was a female. This child never knew her mother; her mother is now dead.

      I was out one day at the playground with my own infant son, when a lady with her son came there. Her son had a disgruntled look on his face as he got into the swing next to my son; he looked to be about 10 or 11. The mother was not far away, using her “Smart Phone”. In a frustrated voice and a angry face, he yelled at her, “…when is dad going to call?”. Pretty typical scene of the day. I can only presume the kid wasn’t happy with home life?

      Little boys need their dads. That’s just flat the way it is. If these guys are truly abusers, that should have been discovered during dating. Sometimes women hit a “trigger” in men that make them abusers. Even in homes where the father is there, mothers take over the male child, emotionally and men let them. These men’s mothers often did everything in the home they were raised in and they acquiesce and do the same. Then the cycle continues.

      Little boys naturally attach to the mother. Yet, what has “evolved” in American Society is a mutation of single-parent female homes, out of which come frustrated, dysfunctional male children, who can’t handle women. Their mothers spoil them and the first victims are the teachers. If teachers can’t get these little guys under control, they will recommend drug therapy!!! Then it’s all over from there.

      Good fathers don’t get enough press; just the bad ones! Men, like myself and my father are unique, based upon what men generally do. The system is set- up for bad men, not good ones. There are feminist men, often raised by their mothers, whether their fathers are there or not, that sympathize with women; but they can’t speak to the real problem–women who can’t handle male children. The women, themselves, often don’t come from homes with fathers present. Then they choose men who didn’t have fathers and these two dysfunctional people try to have a relationship. Neither is equipped to handle the problems of family life and thus, create a disaster.

  12. Why should we praise them for what they should already be doing and over joyed to have the chance to do?????..after all it is their children too…what are they supposed to do…give them to day care while they hang out…or let their diapers stay wet until Mom gets home? give me a break. I’m so tired of men being praised for what they should be doing anyway.

  13. silvereyes1945 says:

    Great article! I’ve been saying the same thing most of the other commentators have been saying for a long time. Bonafide primary care giving dads are RARE. The working mother still ends up doing most of the childcare/housework when she gets home plus she’s the sole provider. Male breadwinners usually don’t do much of anything on the homefront when mom stays home. It just goes to show that women are usually the primary caregivers even if they are the sole providers, part of a dual career couple, work part-time, or not at all.

  14. surviving the system says:

    Finally, an article as well as comments that expose the smoke and mirror tactics employed by some abusive men. There are good men out there who have taken on the responsibility of being the primary caretaker of their children. It would be nice if the court would order the abusive fathers to learn a thing or two from these benevolent men.

  15. I think it is time for both men and women to take equal responsiblity for the home and kids. Many relationships are already like that today.

  16. "…dads across the United States are turning into Mr. Mom…"

    As someone who has been a full-time stay-at-home father for four years not, by choice and not because of a job loss, let me just tell you how sick I am of this absurd "Mr. Mom" reference. "Mom" is the word for a female parent, not a primary caregiver; if one parent stays home during the day to take care of the kids, that person is not automatically "Mom." The word for a male parent who stays home during the day to take care of the kids is "Dad." It's insulting to imply otherwise.

  17. "The word for a male parent who stays home during the day to take care of the kids is "Dad." It's insulting to imply otherwise."

    And I don't consider a male parent who stays home during the day to take care of the kids automatically the "primary caregiver" either. It's quite easy for a dad to toot his own horn as the primary caregiver WHEN MOM IS AT WORK! However, most women still end up doing the majority, if not all, of the childcare/housework when they are at home PLUS they are the SOLE PROVIDERS. The majority of stay-at-home moms don't have this luxury when their husbands come home. To call these dads the "primary caregiver" is insulting to imply otherwise. Daddy Daycare is more like it!

    • This is very true. I have witnessed it with friends who have a stay at home dad. The place looks like a ship wreck when the mother comes home and she ends up trying to clean it up and works so hard to do so. What about it men, what do you do when the kids are all in school?? Ok, laundry, the evening meal but do you work towards a full-time job or are you all going to let your wives support you the rest of your lifes. A stay at home Dad only has to stay home as long as the kids are home. When they are all in school they could be working to try to feed their families also!!

  18. Wow. I'm an offended stay at home dad. Clearly you are taking a portion and blanketing the masses. As a stay at home dad who busts his ass for his kids all day long, it's unnerving to read this crap. Incidentally, it's the same crap I hear on the streets.

    Instead of writing an unfairly one sided and completely ridiculous article about stay at home dads, how about you go communicate with the men YOU DECIDED to marry. And instead of nagging and complaining your way to trying to change them, and wondering why they won't, try appreciating them and working WITH them to get the better life you want.

    This article sucked.

  19. Stay at home dads are demanding hoopla and fanfare for their "hard work." Show me a stay at home mom who demands such rewards and over the top recognition? You can't. Moms who stay home with their children do their job simply because it is what we do. Fanfare is not necessary.

    • …huh? Loads of stay at home mothers go on about how great they are for deciding to stay at home for the kids and not do paid work.

      People comment on the stay at home dad thing because its weird in our society. But people comment on the stay at home mum thing too because nowadays women are pressured into giving up their children into the hands of paid childcare because of the financial requirements for two incomes and the social stigma of not being in paid employment. In both cases there is a lot of (reasonable) noise made to try and get the important role of childcare and household management given the respect it’s due.

      Being a stay at home mum or dad takes a great deal more intelligence, creativity and independent thought than say working as a checkout person in a shop or a data entry worker in an office. It deserves respect but in our society is devalued purely because it doesn’t involve a wage. That is where the problem lies.

      • I agree I am a stay at home dad who has raised two children. Also for the last seven years I have been employed part time as a baseball umpire and four and a half years as a substitute teacher. I also do all the laundry, keep the house cleaner than most stay at home moms. Also make sure the kids get to preschool and 1st grade respectively. It is a very rewarding and sometimes unappreciated job but., I do it as I feel it s important for the child to have a parent there if possible.

      • You are right Sophia,

        As it is, this article is biased, and I tell you what, when you want to stand up and fight for changes for the equality in treatment, I will be the first one 100 Percent behind you. Stay at Home, is just that, Stay at home, doesn’t matter the gender at all.

  20. I am a man who has decided to take on the full time job as dad and I love it. This was not an economic decision, I was not laid off, this was a well thought-out decision to provide our son with the best parenting we can. And with my wife working 80+ hours/week as a doctor, that means me staying at home. I love being a SAHD and I've come to think that I'm very good at it. I know many other families who are in the same position and many dads who love being stay-at-home parents. Great stay-at-home dads may be "rare", but they should not be dismissed out of hand.

  21. Although there may be Father's out there that do not have interest in their children and do not help financially or with childcare, your biased article falsely depicts the modern man of today and his ability to greatly benefit his child by being actively involved in his/her life from the beginning. Instead of showing your gender bias towards women and claiming that men do not help with their children even when not working, you would be more influential on others showing the huge benefits to a child when an Unemployed Father spends extra time caretaking his child.
    -Unemployed Father with an unimaginable bond with his infant

    • Les Kafka says:

      Amen to that! I have been a stay at home dad since my daughter was an infant. my child has bonded far more with me than her mother, which is obviously due to the fact that whoever cares more for the child is the one for whom he or she will inevitably bond with. The women who wrote this article as with many women , shows her contempt, jealousy, and cat like disdain for the true heroes of our society, that is the full time stay at home nurturing dads. Women have to learn to get over themselves. Women are not entitled to be full time mothers simply because they gave birth, men are not biologically able to do so, that does not mean they should have any less rights. Children are not the property of the mother as most would like to believe. Thank God the courts are recognizing that and giving fathers their due consideration when deciding on custody. By the way, you don't hear about it in the media, because the media has no guts, but women are statistically worse dead beats when it comes to child support then men. Hopefully female society will let down it's selfish guard and welcome full time dad's as the equals that they are. We certainly know the kids do, but they havn't been exposed to the adult female prejudiced yet. Society needs to grow up.

  22. What about the stay at home dad who watches the children until Mom gets home from work and then works, who is also the primary breadwinner?

  23. I left a career nine years ago in order to be a stay at home dad in order to enable my wife to advance her career to the increase security and security. I have been in this position since the olest was five months old and the youngest was born. Caring for an infant and todler at once was a huge challenge, a gift , and has been a profound passage in my life despite the negative consequences it has had upon certain aspects of my life.

    It was my wife’s suggestion to be a “stay at home” and had never heard of such a thing when she suggested it. I began this role in the family in Seattle and it has continued to South Florida.

    Through all of it, I do believe it has made me a better person and would not trade it for a six digit income and a pile of air miles. Nurturing behavior is not an exclusive female trait although I do understand how most men do not possess it.

    There does seem to be a lot of bitterness towards stay at home dads by some women which seems entirely unfair. Some women might like to consider the simple fact that is not an easy situaion for men to hold a female role. I have taken my fair share of insults by some females and although have done my best to let is slide, it does get old and is not fair. I think most men in the role as a stay at home parent do the best they can.

    As I am in the point of trasitioning out of these postions, I will forever cheerish the opportunity and time that I have had in these roles, the bond established with our children, know that I did the best I could in a very non-tradtioinal situation, and my life has been enhanced and is better for it. I do believe most men would benefit from time raising children in the home and for that matter so would most women as there are many women who do not understand what it is like.

    Seems the one thing some men and women do not understand about being a stay at home parent is how much children teach you about what is really important in life. My two children have reminded me of such basic principles of life and so much more that I never knew about my self, others, and yes life. Despite the negative impact on certain apsects of my life, I can honestly say it was all worth it. Love may not pay the rent but it does grow children and in turn produce better adults.

    On that line, I somewhere on a wall etched in stone-

    “The beauty of marriage is not that children produce children but that children produce adults.”

    Pardon the typos and spellings I have to go pick up the kids from school and do not have time to edit this……………………………………………………………….


  24. "What about the stay at home dad who watches the children until Mom gets home from work and then works, who is also the primary breadwinner?"

    Your talking about households where mom and dad work opposites shifts and take care of the kids when the other parent is at work. This isn't a stay at home dad. These are couples that both work and share childcare duties. However, even in these cases. mothers usually resume the primary caregiver duty WHEN BOTH PARENTS ARE AVAILABLE.

  25. I'm a stay-at-home dad and former academic. My wife is a cancer treatment researcher who loves her job and we did not want our children to be raised in a daycare center. To say the least, I'm appalled by the anti-male bigotry in this article and comments. I thought this was a feminist site, but all I see here are extremely regressive generalizations that imply that a woman who pursues a career and leaves a child in the care of the father is an accomplice to child abuse. To me, that sounds an awful lot like something that would be muttered by Rick Santorum or some misogynistic right-wing preacher.

    And to those who are angry that stay-at-home fathers would like a little respect, for their work you sound an awful lot like men who dismiss feminists as nothing more than women demanding "special privileges."

    Clearly, your hatred of men has turned you into a disturbing reflection of the bigotry you oppose. Pathetic.

    • sick of men haters says:

      I completely agree. I was a stay at home dad and loved it. I also worked my butt off and to read an article like this only shows that this person really hates men.

      • You are correct.

        This article doesn’t prove anything. It only relies on anecdotal evidence from women. If I tell you that I work harder than my wife, does that make it true? Of course not.

        • “This article doesn’t prove anything. It only relies on anecdotal evidence from women. If I tell you that I work harder than my wife, does that make it true? Of course not.”

          Yeah, and the stay at home dads on this thread who boast about how much childcare and housework they do is anecdotal evidence as well. In reality, a lot of these guys probably can’t wait for their working wives to get home so they can get away from the kids as soon as possible. Most stay at home moms don’t have that option unfortunately.

  26. All these “offended” stay at home dads on this thread make me want to puke! Most of you guys get A LOT of help from your wives when they are not working. In a lot of cases, you guys have the luxury of a working wife who will come home and relieve you of childcare/ housework duties so you can have some time to yourselves or do what you want to do. Most stay at home moms take care of the kids and house all day when hubby is at work and continue to do so because the working dad is “just too tired” and wants to sit in front of the tv. You guys are not so special, and you rarely do as much as you think you do. Oh yeah, the stay at home dad who thinks a mother who gave birth shouldn’t have more rights to stay stay home than the father is an absolute idiot. Should the mother be forced to go back to work full-time still bleeding and in pain to support your stupid ass just so you can demand your right to be the stay at home parent? Bullshit! If anything, childbirth gives her more right to stay home with her infant than the father. If the mother wants to go back to work full-times and mutually agrees with the father that he should be the stay at home parent, that is one thing. A father demanding his right to stay home is quite another. Carrying a child for nine months and giving birth is not gender neutral, nor is it insignificant like you guys want to make it out to be. A father doesn’t have the right to demand to be the stay at home parent over the needa and desires of a mother who just gave birth. It’s as simple as that.

  27. Hi there,

    I am a stay home dad! I have read all these articles and understand that dad’s are obviously not the right people for the job of childcare! in my case i was working everyday as that is normal. When my daughter arrived my wife told me that i am not going to work the day after, so i decided i would take the day off cause this was all new to us. The second day i woke up got ready to go work, my wife wakes up and says where are you going? i need you to stay and help me! i told her that i have to go work as i will be fired if i don’t! She did not seem to care. At first i thought ok one more day but this continued every day! Eventually work called and told me that i could no longer be employed as i am not dedicated. Turns out my wife just did not have a clue on what to do with my child! I told her that it will come naturally! She seemed pleased that i got fired and was like oh well you will get another job! As time passed we where both home with my daughter, which seemed great at the time but bills needed to be paid! my wife decided to go back to work early from her maternity leave and i would stay home with my daughter! Shocked! at this i thought wow i did not see this coming! I don’t know if something happened in the passed with my wife but this did not seem normal! I found myself taking on the roll as a mother as my wife just expected me to do everything from cooking to cleaning, feeding and nursing while she slept! She told me that she is depressed and was suffering from post natal depression! So i took on the roll of a stay home dad thinking my wife will get better and this will pass! Time went on and nothing changed she went back to work and i stayed home looking after my daughter as she had no clue or experience on how to!

    It has been almost three years now and still get nothing out of her, all she can do is work and bring home money! She is still depressed everyday and still shows no interest in helping me at home! I am a very clean person and i hate a mess i clean everyday! when my wife come home she sits in front of the tv and does nothing to help make food or do dishes EVER! She has not even cleaned my daughter’s potty once or even attempted to clean the house she just makes a mess and leaves it for me. I try to tell her to do something around the house and all she can say is i work! WTF? You would think after the sacrifices i have made to do what i am doing she would at least try read a book to my daughter or maybe take her for a walk or try to participate in this family! I feel like i have no say in what goes on as she thinks because she works and i don’t she can do what she wants! I am looking for work now as my daughter is now almost three and ready to start making friends! I feel betrayed as now we are in a bit of debt too and all my wife can say is get a job!

  28. I concur 100%. This article was so biased it is ridiculous and insulting.

    You would think that stay-at-home Mom’s would be able to find sympathy and empathy for male counterparts.. Instead the person who wrote this article, promotes “misandry”, and the women who cheered this article were clearly biased prior to reading the article.

    It would be great if both Mom and Dad could stay home, and it would be great if both Mom and Dad could be bread winners. Unfortunately, today’s tough economic times really can play with those ideals.

    My wife and I have worn both hats at different times.

    The last thing this world needs to do is promote more prejudice and misunderstanding.

    The hate spewn by some of these women writing diatribe responses on why the man is ALWAYS this way and that the woman is ALWAYS the saint are obviously being subjective based on their own bad experience.

    There are good moms and dads out there, and there good husbands and wives too – and there are unfortunately lazy good for nothings of BOTH sexes too.

    Let’s applaud the stay-at-home Dads that are doing it right.

    • I’m also a stay at home dad. I enjoy my new role and my wife thinks I’m doing a great job. We have a very happy and healthy baby who gets lots of attention from both mom and dad. I agree that fathers should be doing more and so I AM. I’m sorry that so many of the ladies here have dead beats for husbands and I hope more men step it up. I think that most of the stay at home fathers that talk about their experience are the ones that are trying their best to do it right. I I disagree with the article in that it proposes that “ALL MEN” are not doing what they should. That’s simply not correct, but I bet there are quite a few stay at home dads who are doing a better job as fathers than many at work fathers.

  29. Wow. Reading these comments is pretty scary; the level of animosity and vitriol towards men is pretty intense. Is this what the majority of self-styled “feminists” truly believe: all men are lazy, incompetent, and physically/sexually abusive? The level of misandry here is appalling and those spouting it should be ashamed of themselves.

  30. Interesting, but the recent census shows that SAHDs are actually on the rise. Up 6 percent since 2005. When partners work or go to school, dads care for kids 32 percent of the time. So…One in three is not a trivial number of dads choosing to care for the kids.

  31. joeSchmoe says:

    Moms and Dads of the world let this be a lesson to you. If you want your child to grow up and share the responsibilities of the house work then you must teach your child from an early age on how to do these household tasks. In my situation my Mom would do all of the housework while my Dad would mow the lawn and get mad when he had to fix something. And while I was young I couldn’t understand this. Why doesn’t my Dad do more? Now, as I’m older, I have figured out why he didn’t do a lot of work around the house. So, here it goes; My wife and my Mom would nag about how a job was not done correctly instead of showing the correct way it is done. So, I empty the dishwasher and leave 3 dishes on the counter I get yelled at for not putting them away. So, I get yelled at for doing 97 percent of the task. While the easy way would be to show me where those dishes go she instead nags that I didn’t put them away. I fold the towels from the dryer, she nags that I didn’t fold them the way she folds them. I vacuum the whole house. She nags that I didn’t vacuum the stairs. Again the 90 percent. Now mind you I was never taught as a child how to do these tasks I was just made fun of by my mother that I didn’t know how to do them. In my Dad’s case he just found it easier not to do the housework because “I get yelled at when I do it and I get yelled at when I don’t. It’s just easier not to do anything and get yelled at for that.” So, I feel that from an early age, that boys and girls need to be taught on how to correctly do the house work otherwise they are set up for failure in the future. I bet all of these “lazy” SAHD simply did not learn how to do the tasks are are too embarrassed to ask how they are supposed to do them. So now, depressed that they lost their job, and don’t have the necessary skills to do the housework are left watching TV, and caring for kids that they don’t know how to care for, and getting yelled at by their wife that they didn’t do anything when they were gone at work further increasing stress and depression.

  32. Stay at Home Cautionary Tale says:

    I am currently a SAHD and having been for about 5 years since my oldest was having problems in school. I dropped out of the final phases of a PhD program to do it at my wife’s suggestion–as I remember it. It was a huge mistake. I tried pretty hard to take care of five kids while my wife worked. I did as much of the housework and childcare duties as I could manage but my wife never approved the any of the work I did with the kids–clothes didn’t match, I didn’t discipline them correctly, I didn’t do enough etc.

    Maybe she is right I don’t know. I didn’t sit around playing guitar hero all day. I spent all day trying to clean the house, take care of the 5 kids, homeschooling one with another under school age. I tried doing the house repairs running errands and the rest of it. Maybe I could’ve done better if I were someone else.

    All I know is that I spent all my time at it. I haven’t been to a movie in 5 years. I haven’t been out to dinner for a non-child occasion in 3. I would wake up at 6 am and be all about the kids until she got back at 8 pm. Then she took the youngest to her room and I put the rest to bed etc. I did laundry, meals, supermarket runs etc.

    I took care of all the pets (we have over 10 cats–she won’t stop bringing them in despite the problems I have keeping up with all the extra cleaning they entail).

    And even after I am doing all this, she still expects me to make extra money. So I found a job that I could do from home that made enough money for me to pay for groceries, gas and eventually car payments.

    She works very hard, I do not doubt that. But for 3 years she has pretty much stopped doing anything house related. She comes home and goes to her room and that is it.

    Starting last year she started staying out late and leaving to go on runs every Sunday. Pretty soon I started finding lingerie and other sorts of items that suggested something was going on (I did the laundry, so I guess she was sending me a message about what she thought about me). When I started snooping I found out what I guess I shouldn’t have guessed from her obvious contempt. She has been having an affair for about year. I tried to patch it together. Tried to work even harder, make more money, do as much as possibly could. Though since I already pretty much spent every moment on-call, being “daddy” I couldn’t come up with much more.

    She just continues to see me as a sponge. Not even a man, I don’t think.

    I guess giving up my career, friends, and given all of my time to my family wasn’t enough. I felt like I was trying but there just weren’t enough hours in the day. I was just tired of being tired.

    I completely agree with the posting. Women can’t handle men being the primary caretaker; men can’t handle being the primary caretaker. All that matters when it comes to being a man is how much money you make.

    So I have understood now: I have left my wife; I am not asking her alimony or child support. I will get a job and she can have it all. Here is my advice to men: don’t change any diapers or doing any child related activities other than taking them to park on weekends. Focus 100% on your career. Get divorced when you get tired of your wife and marry your secretary. That’s the kind of men that women really want. A-holes. I will work hard towards becoming one. As you can see I am well on my way.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ms. Magazine, Persist. Persist said: Stay-At-Home-Dads On The Rise? Not So Fast… : Ms Magazine Blog: via @addthis […]

  2. […] last time I wrote about stay-at-home dads was June 20, right around Father’s Day because I figured – rightly – that there […]

  3. […] last time I wrote about stay-at-home dads was June 20, right around Father’s Day because I figured – rightly – that there would be a […]

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