The number of stay-at-home fathers has more than doubled in the last decade. In 2001 there were about 81,000 Mr. Moms in the U.S. (about 1.6% of all stay-at-home parents). In 2011 the number of men watching the kids all day jumped to 176,000 (3.4%), according to U.S. Census data. Certainly the recession has something to do with the trend. But so does the new-age dad and the evolving state of manliness in society. According to the results of a new study from Boston College gender roles of parents are in flux. Once was feminists thought a woman who chose to bring the kids up instead of having a career had sold their freedom. But they never said anything about men staying at home.
Brad Harrington, a research professor and executive director of Boston College’s Center for Work and Family, told FoxNews.com that its new study The New Dad: Right at Home “found a distinction from dads who were laid-off and those who chose to leave their jobs.” Harrington says more and more dads are choosing to be Mr. Moms.
The original “Mr. Mom” was a 1983 movie in which Michael Keaton plays a hapless dad who is laid off and is forced to become a stay-at-home father. He learned how much work moms who stay home to raise the kids have to do.
As for manliness, a real man changes diapers. However, if you begin watches soaps and talking about diaper brands with genuine interest, as Michael Keaton did in Mr. Mom, then you’re losing you machismo—as with so many other things, it’s how you do it, not what you do.