What is it like to be a work at home Dad? We have no shortage of work at home mom opinions and perspectives but equality has been a bit scarce when it comes to work at home dads. You remember the movies, “Daddy Daycare”, “3 Men and a Baby” and numerous others that attempted to put the spotlight on this growing trend. Playful and entertaining as these movies were, they missed the mark when compared to the real world of modern parenting. It’s natural to see parenting roles shift when dad works from home.
Parents today really are more accepting of gender role reversals than in the past. We assume this because the number of fathers who are working from home either by choice or necessity, is increasing each year. The changes haven’t been easy, many dads have some tough decisions to make, both from a career stand point as well as an emotional one. Men are finding that they too have choices when it comes to working at home and stepping into the caregiver role. While stay home dads don’t get a lot of respect, they usually find the experience quite rewarding.
The new generation of moms and dads have crisscrossed over the gender lines many times and proven that men are capable of much more when it comes to childcare just as women are capable of much more in the working world. Don’t underestimate the role that movies and media play in changing opinions and inherited behavior. The more men see and hear what it’s like to become the stay at home parent the more they understand that it is an important role to take on.
Many women believe that true strength comes from the knowledge that you are doing the best thing for your family and yourself, and if that just happens to mean that you work from home or have a “Daddy Daycare” going on; then go for it!
I know of several cases where couples have to make very difficult decisions to accommodate unique situations such as when there are special needs for one or more children or other health problems. In many cases there are is only one option. One of the parents must stay home to be the caregiver to save on expenses and provide nurturing and medical care. The parent who has the highest salary and the strongest benefits and insurance package is inevitably selected to continue working and often it’s the woman who fits that description.
Surprisingly, this poses vastly different emotional and physical challenges on both parents. Depending on what the health issues are and the age and gender of the child, this can be an overwhelming and stressful environment for everyone in the family.
In spite of these and many other challenges dads are choosing to step down from the corporate ladder and step up to parenting full time. Adjustments are made, careers put on hold, while happy fathers around the country are getting closer to their kids every day.