Recently my 11-year-old son declared, "I want to grow up, get married, and have my wife work while I stay at home with the children!"
My wife was momentarily stunned by this and quickly pointed out that he would have to find a wife willing to go in on the deal. Nevertheless, he was drawing from personal experience. I am a stay-at-home father. And I'm not alone. On any weekday morning in our Brooklyn playground, there are plenty of dads tracking toddlers -- and across the country, more and more fathers are the primary caregivers.
So before you assume that the guy pushing that stroller is just killing time until the babysitter arrives, put aside your stereotypes and consider that he might be part of a new generation of fathers who hang out by the swing set, quote Goodnight Moon, and prefer giving the kids piggyback rides to punching the clock. With that in mind, here are nine little-known facts about today's stay-at-home dads.
This point struck home recently when my wife was minding the children and I was walking alone down my block, hands free at my sides. A neighbor squinted at me for a moment and then tapped me on the arm with an anxious stare. "Where are the kids?" he asked, wide-eyed, as if the man before him were incomplete without an infant squirming in his arms and another child dragging his shoes along the sidewalk. The revolution is here.
Copyright © 2004 George Hagen. Reprinted with permission of Parents magazine February 2004 issue.