Stay-at-home dads: More fathers staying home to raise children
CINCINNATI (Meghan Mongillo) - Stay-at-home dads. Dads who do it all. Whatever you call them, the social trend is growing stronger.
Maybe it's due to financial or personal reasons, but whatever the reason, more and more fathers are staying home.
For example, it's the middle of the day, and Ralph Disylvestro and his daughter Ava are enjoying a board game. Ralph's other daughter Anne, who is 7, is at school, and his wife Katie is at work.
"Pragmatically my wife has a business degree and more of a career path, and my career as a musician and teacher is more flexible," said Ralph. "So it made more sense for me to have the more flexible thing."
Ralph is one of 2 million fathers who consider themselves "stay-at-home dads."
"Matter of checking your ego at the door, do what needs to be done and this is what works for us," said Ralph.
It's a trend that's become part of the social norm.
This June, Lego will introduce a "stay-at-home dad" in its collection. The father figurine has a plaid shirt, jeans and beard. He's also pushing a baby stroller. His Lego wife is wearing professional attire.
"People live happier lives when not put into roles, but chose roles based on their values in life," said Professor Don Hubin of the National Parents Organization. "By breaking up rigid rules, we free people up to pursue what want to pursue."
Don Hubin is on the board of the National Parents Organization, he says 47% of the workforce is women and one-third (1/3) of wives out earn their husbands.
So in a lot of families this "stay-at-home dad" setup makes good economic sense.
It also can teach kids that parenting or a marriage is not a competition. Ralph agrees with that.
"Them seeing, experiencing, the non-traditional role reversal That's the most important part of it," said Ralph.
In addition to caring for the kids during the day, Ralph says he also does the cooking and grocery shopping. His wife does the laundry, and they both clean.
At night Ralph gives music lessons and that board game that he and ava were play, Santa's Sleigh Ride, well, Ralph created it.
But he says his #1 job, and the job he loves the most, is being able to stay home and be a great dad to his daughters.
There are resources out there for stay-at-home-dads.
One is a National Network of Working Fathers, and we have a link here.