Some of the most rewarding research I’ve conducted has been on stay-at-home fathers (SAHF). I’ve published 4 peer-reviewed articles on this topic, using a range of research methodologies. A few years ago, I had the thrill of being interviewed on the Today Show, discussing some of my research I’ve also had the privilege of being an invited speaker at the national At-Home-Dads Conference. Yet what has been most rewarding has been listening and learning from these men about their paths, decisions, and fathering perspectives.
I believe that believe SAHFs are making a difference not only in their children’s lives, but in re-shaping gender roles. Simply by being in this role, they are helping challenge and re-construct, outdated assumptions about parenting – and fathering in particular. I remember one participant who spoke about how (as a man) he will always hold on to his need to be a ‘provider’ for his family. Yet his idea of what a provider was had evolved considerably, from financial to doing what’s needed for his family. Without question, I expect the number of SAHFs to continue growing. I also anticipate the increased visibility of these men will have a further positive impact on everyday guys (like me) that work full-time yet aspire to be active, present, and involved fathers.