Stay-At-Home Dad’s

We all know there is constant talk among the media about stay-at-home mom’s and mom’s “opting out” of the workforce and all the barriers they face when trying to “re-enter” the workforce.

I think there was something on this morning on the “Today” show but I wasn’t paying attention.

All this talk and drama has gotten me to thinking, what about Stay-At-Home Dads?

Yes, I realize there are much fewer of them than there are SAHM’s but they’re still out there. And I suspect the number of them is slowly on the rise over the years.

It seems to me that when a couple is evaluating their childcare situation when the wife is pregnant (NOTE: there is no “We” are pregnant on KT. Until “We” are constipated and peeing ever 2 hours all night and gain 40 pounds and carry a life inside of us, there is no “we” in pregnancy here.) – so back to when the wife is pregnant. Each couple evaluates who will take care of the child after maternity leave. Every couple has their own personal list of reasons why they make the decisions they do – and whatever – it seems to me that when the Dad ends up staying home, it has much to do with the same reasons why the Mom does.

The wife is probably making more money and/or happier in her career – is likely the biggest reason.

So what I’m left wondering is – what happens when these Dad’s want to re-enter the workforce?

Let’s presume that these young Dad’s don’t actually plan to be out of work for the next 20 years. Let’s say they figure maybe 2 years tops.

So what happens?

Are they faced with the same kind of “on-ramp” issues that the media so shrilly declares that women face?

How do employers evaluate a job candidate when they see this man has been raising children full-time the past 2 years?

I really want to know. I’ve been curious about this a while. And well, because I do have a full-time job that isn’t KT, I only had limited time to do an online search.

But I did one.

I poked around to see if I could find figures on Dad’s re-entering the workplace and if the hurdles they face are no different than women. And frankly, why should they be?

In fact, I wonder if they have bigger hurdles because it would require a progressive workplace to think it’s valiant and admirable for this man to have let his wife support him and the baby as he stayed home and cleaned poopy diapers and did the laundry all day.  And read Elmo’s Potty Time day-in-day-out while he potty trained the young tyke.

SO really – what’s the deal?

Why did I find very little online about this trend?

Here’s what I did find from a Salary.com survey last year:

“Given that the U.S. Census Bureau estimated only 143,000 dads stayed at home with their children while their spouse worked in 2005, out of 26.4 million married fathers with children living at home, it was difficult to calculate precise statistics on how stay-at-home dads spend their time,” said Cuddeba.

OK – so that data is a little dated. But still – it’s a start.

After a few more key word searches, I found out that Colbert did a funny piece on Dad’s at Home and there is a “At Home Dad” Convention:

http://www.athomedadconvention.com/

But still no commentary or research on dad’s re-entering the workforce after staying home.

What I did find was that it seems more common that these at-home dad’s are keeping a link with the workforce. They might be consulting or freelancing, but they are maybe keeping some kind of link going.

So if that’s the case, then why?

If you have read anything on this – send me the link. I want to know if men are treated differently than women? I want to know if they are given more or less flexibility with employers when they want to stay home.

I want to know more about this because of the 143,000 at-home Dad’s in 2005, surely some of them have gone back to work full-time.

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