With Father's Day just around to corner, a new research study from the Boston College Center for Work & Family tackled the question of stay-at-home dads. Any working mom who's struggled to balance work and life has probably fantasized about having an at-home spouse taking care of family responsibilities. Turns out, according to the center's research, stay-at-home dads are pretty darn happy and fulfilled in their role.
The research relied on in-depth interviews with 31 stay-at-home dads and follow-up interviews with 23 of their spouses. Of the men, 30 percent were laid off initially and 70 percent chose to quit their jobs to take on full-time child care. But even some of those who lost their jobs involuntarily welcomed the change and made a conscious decision to stay out of the workforce while their children were young, according to Brad Harrington, the center's executive director.
Some of the men did worry about what the long-term career implications were," Harrington said in a call today with reporters and bloggers. Virtually all of these fathers seemed to be extremely happy and fulfilled in their role as a stay-at-home dad."
He also stressed the importance of employers offering flexibility to all employees, since caregiving is no longer women's exclusive domain. "Nearly all fathers are increasingly likely to experience active caregiving and the result will require employers to adapt their thinking and their actions regarding who needs support to do so adequately. This is not simply a women's issue," Harrington said.
Are you a working mom with a stay-at-home dad? Do you wish you were? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.
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