It has been revealed that stay-at-home dad’s has more than doubled in the past year meaning that couples have decided that the mother will be the main breadwinner. Aviva insurers carried out the research which suggested that men performing the role of “primary parent” has risen to 1.4 million this year compared to 600,000 last year.
It doesn’t surprise me at all and there are a few obvious reasons as to why dad’s are taking on this role. Financial factors are thought to be a major factor and with the shift in the economy, the decision can be based on which parent earns the most money. I can identify with this scenario as the same happened to myself and my husband. Back in 2009 when I was due to return to work from maternity leave, my husband lost his job. It made sense that I returned full time whilst he looked after the children and stepped back and rethink what he would do. A tricky transition at the time but in hindsight was the best decision we made.
I was listening to Radio 2 just this week and a few stay-at-home dad’s were being interviewed. The outcome of each dad interviewed was mostly based on financial matters – losing their job, wife earning more and a complete career change. Amongst these dad’s a few were conscious decision’s to stay at home whilst others had not envisaged such a role and to support the family, the decision was made. It was interesting to hear that in the end they all realised what a positive solution being a stay-at-home dad was. Their families were better balanced and happy, career opportunities had been created for some dad’s whilst being at home which overall provided satisfaction. Also, the realisation that the early years where vitally important and being at home presented itself as a privilege.
Of course there are some negative outcome’s from the research and interviewed. Nearly one in five felt they “were less of a man” and one in seven wished they could find a jobs which would pay more than their partner so they could get back to work. Not all negative may I add, in that most dad’s felt comfortable in their role and within their family unit had collectively decided that this was the way life would be and it was their best solution.
I think the reasons overall for stay-at-home dad’s will be varied and will certainly rise more over the years. We are experiencing such a transition in our society and economy that new working patterns and needs are being shaped further, whereby it will be more familiar that men become the “primary parent”.