Rob wakes up each morning with his cup of coffee and tablet in his favorite chair. He takes a sip as he starts doing research for his consulting job. It’s quiet for the most part, but at seven fifteen, Rob climbs the stairs to his daughter’s bedroom. He opens the door and peeks in just as her alarm clock goes off.
“Time to get up and get ready for school.”
Rob then moves over to his son’s room. He opens the door and flips on the light. He shakes him awake with a big bear growl. His son groans, but eventually starts laughing as the tickling commences.
“Time to get up for school.”
By the time that both kids bound down the stairs and slide into the kitchen, Rob has made a quick breakfast, packed a nutritious lunch, and Rob is spoon feeding his third child at only eleven months.
At school, Rob pulls his SUV up through the carpool lane and says his traditional goodbyes to his children. He turns to the baby in the car seat and says ‘ready?’ Then he heads to work—back at home.
For a lot of dads in this Millennial age, the concept of the ‘TV Land’ model of the traditional family escapes them. In fact, the idea of a traditional family is foreign in general. Gone are the expectations that there has to be a father who works, a mother who stays at home, a meal on the table every night when dad comes home tired from work and ready to read the newspaper.
New Age, New Family Roles
Instead, the roles of the family are being re-imagined. Why? Because roles in life are being re-imagined. More women are in the workforce, more options are available to work at home, and there is a great need for a push in the presences of fathers in their children’s lives.
So what does it look like for stay-at-home dads these days? Why is there such a growth in the amount of them? What challenges do they face? Let’s take a look.
Consider a Reality Check
The general assumption and stigma in the past were that moms wanted to stay at home and be with the babies or the kids. They wanted to take care of the house and be a homemaker. In some cultures, it was expected.
On the other side, we’ve automatically assumed that the dad wouldn’t want to be at home with the kids taking care of the house. We’ve assigned them the role of only working a job outside of the home and making money to pay bills. Advancements in our society have now taken those two sides and combined them giving the opportunities for roles to be shared by both and enjoyed by both.
For some couples, this doesn’t make sense. Again, with the way the world is changing, it is perfectly logical for the father to stay at home. Working mothers have jobs that are pulling in money equal to and sometimes more than their husbands. Money is an issue that needs to be discussed when it comes down to having and raising a family.
It also makes sense in the fact that just as women can do anything that a man can do in the workforce; a man can do anything that needs to be done at home, and for the kids, it honestly doesn’t make a difference if the father or the mother is home; as long as one is there.
Stay-at-Home Dads Are Trailblazers
The thing is that this is a new era of fatherhood. There are no stay-at-home dad fixtures to look to when trying to figure this out. The dads of this day and age are the trailblazers trying to figure out how they can bring being an at-home dad and husband into their own. As this is happening, these dads realize there can be some benefits all around to being Mr. Mom.
- Children get a chance to bond with dad. Mom already has a significant advantage in the bond created between mother and child during pregnancy and childbirth. In the previous more traditional structure, we see the mother’s influence as being significantly stronger than the father’s, resulting in less of a connection between dad and child.
- Fatherhood is promoted to a society where fathers are predominantly absent. The lack of father figures in children’s lives is staggering and has been a common subject, and the new roles give involved dads the opportunity to fix that stigma.
- Connections for fathers grow deeper. Along with absentee fathers, there is a lack of friendships for men. Being a stay-at-home dad is offering the opportunity for fathers to foster more relationships whether they be with other parents groups, PTA and school meetings, or other activities that the children are involved in.
Rob enjoys being there for his kids, and while it’s still a transition for society, it has been a very comforting one for him and his wife who works full time. His family loves it, and that’s what matters.
But for a lot of dads out there, the transition to being a stay-at-home dad is not seamless. Still, for others, the option of being on may seem very intimidating and embarrassing. You may be one of these fathers, and we want to assure you that you have help and support here.
We support fatherhood at Fathers EveⓇ. Being a dad is a crucial part of success for children in our society. We uplift and support dad, helping you be at your best for your family. Whether you are a stay-at-home dad, a single dad, or honorary day, we believe in you.
We’ve got plenty of resources and event listings for dads just like you on www.fatherseve.com. We want to be there for you so you can be there for your family. Fatherhood takes a team, so lean on us.