Their numbers are on the rise, and they have a message for America: Don’t pity us!
Across the country, full-time dads want you to know that they’re happy. And confident. And they consider what they’re doing to be as “manly” as any other job.
“When you meet people and they ask what you do, there’s a noticeable pause – and then a need on their part to be over the top with encouraging words,” says Frank Quinn, a full-time dad in Dunwoody, Georgia. “But most of the time their words don’t match their eyes and body language.”
“There is definitely still a stigma around it,” he says.
Chris Routly, in Portland, Oregon, says people are constantly offering to help him find a job.
“The biggest thing that people don’t realize about my life as a stay at home dad is it’s a life that, in conjunction with my wife, I chose. I’m not out of work or unemployed. And ours is not a unique situation. Most dads that I know chose to do this… And I think if more people understood that it might not look quite as strange.”
Routly’s doing his part to get the word out, blogging about his daily adventures at daddydoctrines.com.
Some guys did become full time dads because they lost their jobs in the “mancession.” But that doesn’t mean they don’t take pride in their new role.
Nick Lara recently lost his job, and now spends his days playing with his 2-year-old son – often coloring or using building blocks. He cleans and cooks. And vacuums, mops, scrubs toilets, bathes the dogs, and even prepares lunch for his wife who drives home from work for the mid-day meal.
During his son’s nap, he exercises with kettlebells and a stair climber.
In fact, Lara sounds like a working mom’s dream.
“I feel since I'm home there is no reason for my wife to do anything but just relax when she comes home from work and spend time with our family,” he says.
“I'm not a lazy husband or dad.”
Dads and moms can make great stay-at-home parents, but that doesn’t mean they do it the same.
Say it with me: Dads Do it Differently!
“A stay-at-home dad assumes the role of taking care of all of the ‘traditional house chores’ like cooking, laundry, cleaning, etc., but we also still do all of the ‘traditional dad chores’ like shoveling snow, lawn care, fixing things, car care, etc.,” says Quinn.
“The working moms do not usually pick up those things. Not that it is a complaint, but that is different.”
Lara chimes in on that front as well. “I believe stay home dad can do just as good of a job as a stay home mom, maybe even better - LOL.”
A playful gender battle over who makes better stay-at-home parents? Now that’s a sign of the times.
— Josh Levs (@joshlevscnn) February 27, 2013
Be sure to tune in for Dads Do it Differently, with Josh Levs, every Friday on HLN’s Raising America with Kyra Phillips at 12 p.m. ET.