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Stay-at-home fathers could offer moms tips

Author John Thompson
Submitted 25-06-2008

Stay-at-home fathers are still a rarity in the US compared to their female counterparts, but it is a growing trend both among single dads and those in a relationship.

Now, it looks like dads who act as the primary caregiver to their children may already have a thing or two to teach moms about raising kids.

USA Today spoke to Andrew McDade, a teacher in New Jersey who decided to stay at home to raise his daughter when she was born nine years ago.

He found that many moms would be constantly coming up to him to offer unsolicited advice on how to look after his children, which may not be surprising considering that on average, working fathers provide about 40 per cent less childcare on a daily basis than their female counterparts.

However, the magazine spoke to a number of experts who suggested that fathers that do the bulk of the childcare could have some valuable tips to impart to moms.

For example, stay-at-home dads generally break with the traditional assumption that the person who raises the children should also do the housework. "When you think about it, the task of caring for kids is logically different from doing the housework," Joan C. Williams, director of the Center for WorkLife Law at Hastings College of the Law in California, told the publication.

In addition, research has found that such fathers are also more likely to take time out for themselves than their female counterparts, keep a hand in the workforce and take an equitable approach to childrearing; all positive traits.

For parents who want to take a totally different approach to raising their children, the New York Times recently reported on the phenomenon of shared parenting, where both moms and dads share all the responsibilities of child care equally.