More Stay-At-Home Dads, But Most Don't Choose The Job

A new study by Pew Research Center shows more dads are staying home with the kids than ever, but mostly for reasons like unemployment or illness.

More Stay-At-Home Dads, But Most Don't Choose The Job
Wikimedia Commons / Ldorfman

According to a study by the Pew Research Center, more dads are staying home with the kiddos during the day. 

But as USA Today points out, the reasons are complex — as many of them don't take on the responsibility willingly. 

‚ÄčAccording to the study, 23 percent of stay-at-home dads can't find a job, and 35 percent say they're housebound thanks to an illness or disability. Only 21 percent of stay-at-home dads said they were at home mainly to care for their home or family — compared to 73 percent of stay-at-home moms.  (Via Pew Research Center

Although there are still more moms who stay home, the number of fathers who didn't work outside the home almost doubled from 1989 to 2012. 

And as Time points out, "The large numbers of dads who are home unwillingly is reflected in the economic wellbeing of those families." Almost half of stay-at-home dads live below the poverty line, and one-fifth of them don't have a high school diploma.

But some stay-at-home dads find they enjoy this role. One man who stays with his kids during the day due to unemployment points out he and his wife now see more of each other than when they had reverse roles. He also has a little advice for other dads who don't work outside the home. "I am so thankful for an opportunity to have so much time to spend with my kids. It's hard. Some days I long for the office, but then my kids do something that makes me laugh and I realize I've got one of the best jobs in the world."  (Via FamilyShare)

But even for the dads who are leading the transition, it's still a bit of an uphill battle. According to the study, just 8 percent of Americans feel dads should stay home.