Mr. Mom Numbers Doubled Over Last Decade

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Mr. Mom Numbers Doubled Over Last Decade

Attitudes toward being a stay-at-home dad (sahd) have changed for many men over the last decade. What was once considered a stigma is now considered a badge of honor.

Fox News reports that nationwide, the number of stay-at-home dads has more than doubled in the past decade, as more families redefine what it means to be a breadwinner. In 2001, there were only 81,000 Mr. Moms. This number represented about 1.6 of all stay-at-home parents. In 2011, that number rose to 176,000 or 3.4 percent of stay-at-home parents, according to U.S. Census data.

Some assume that the rising number is due to the recession—dads being laid off from work. However, a new study titled “The New Dad: Right at Home,” by Boston College, suggests that the rising number is due to choice and changing views toward the gender roles of parents.

Brad Harrington, research professor and executive director of Boston College’s Center for Work and Family, told, “The hype around stay-at-home dads is due to the ‘man-cession,’ but the Census data shows that during the economic downturn the numbers were down.”

Harrington also said, “We found a distinction from dads who were laid off and those who chose to leave their jobs.” The reasons men gave for leaving their jobs include: maximizing household income, avoiding daycare, and staying home to raise their children.

Harrington sees no problem with this trend. He believes that, just as society has embraced women as workplace equals, it should also view fathers as being just as effective as mothers in the role of caregivers.

“It’s really about who is in a better position,” Harrington said. “It’s a pragmatic approach being made by many couples.”

Just because society accepts a new gender role for men, doesn’t make it right or good. There is a reason God designed the man to be the provider for his family. Here is what we wrote on in an article titled “Recapture Value in True Manhood”:

The Prophet Isaiah wrote this about our current social values: “Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us? Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding” (Isaiah 29:15-16). Isaiah criticizes our leaders—the men and women who influence our culture—by showing they are guilty of turning things upside down. “Upside down” is an apt description of our society and its values. It is a perfect description of many of today’s marriages and families. The new roles carved out for men and women today are not as God designed them to be.

Be sure to read the entire article, along with its companion article, “Recapture Value in True Womanhood.” Also, order or download a copy of The God Family Vision.