In the current economic climate, many families are forced to make choices about whose career to support and who’s to put on hold while children are home. Most couples make these decisions based on economic realities, as one partner’s job may offer better advancement, compensation or benefits. Other couples make the decision based on more emotional concerns. One partner may have more patience and skill with children, or more enjoy the process of homemaking. When fathers choose to stay home, they may face particular challenges. Many stay-at-home dads report feeling isolated, and have difficulty adapting to environments where they are the only man around.
Fortunately, there are many printed, on-line and organizational resources for dads who take care of children full-time. “At-Home Dads” has held annual conventions for the past dozen years. DC Metro Dads , a local DC area chapter of “Daddy’s Home” sponsors play groups, picnics, dads-only parties, and camping trips.
The effect of stay at home fatherhood on the marital relationship may be complicated. Moms may feel ambivalent about their husbands taking on what was once thought of as the “mommy” role, while dads may feel pressure to provide economically for their families. In working through their feelings and decisions, sometimes couples can benefit from marital therapy, which can help mothers and fathers find the best arrangement for their
families, and find satisfaction in their roles.