I’m sure the only reason the following story ran last Sunday was because it was, in fact, Father’s Day and newspapers are notorious for noticing some huge trend that everyone else has been following for a long while, writing about it in a big way and then conveniently forgetting about it until the next holiday comes around.
Hello, Father’s Day and men staying home to raise their children.
I know I wasn’t all that unusual, other than being exceptional, you know, when I decided to stay home with the little dudes way back in the previous century. I love being able to say that. The previous century. As if that was all that long ago.
Anyway, there it was on Sunday in the St. Augustine Record, in a lovely little story by Sheldon Gardner.
Apparently, men are staying home and taking care of the kids. I know. Shocking, right?
“More and more fathers are full-time caregivers to their children either because their wives work or their female partners work outside the home,” said Krista Paulsen, chair and associate professor of the Department of Sociology & Anthropology at the University of North Florida.
Becoming more outdated is the family model with a reserved father whose main role is provider, Paulsen said. Men are contributing more time to child care and are becoming more enthusiastic about it.
“Their attitudes about parenting change quite a bit,” she said.
It seems there are a couple of reasons for this “sudden” influx of men into the household. For starters, some men want to be home for their little dudes and dudettes more than their fathers were. I can understand that one. I mean, my dad was there for me, but it was only by working his butt off to make it that he was able to be there. His job tried to keep him away a lot more than he wanted.
Another reason is that more families are finding that they have to have both parents work to support the family. Or that the woman in the relationship is making more money than the man of the family. (Hello!)
(Jeff) Tarr (a stay-at-home dad profiled in the story) has also realized the negative perceptions that some people have of stay-at-home fathers. Some people have told him that men are supposed to be the primary workers. Some people think he just hangs out all day.
They don’t know what it takes, he said. Choosing to be a stay-at-home dad forced him to put down his ego and do what is best for his family, he said.
“Being the man of the house may mean you have to stay at home,” he said.
Interesting call there from Mr. Tarr. I think I’d like this dude.
So there you go. It’s a brand-new thing, dudes staying home to be dads. Glad the newspaper discovered it. It will now be unremarked upon for the next year until we near Father’s Day once again. Can’t wait.
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