It started with Mr. Mom, then Daddy Day Care, and most recently Househusbands of Hollywood. What was once a seemingly incomprehensible task for a dad became a comical idea, and now it's a reality: the rising trend of stay-at-home dads. With the teetering economy and still-high unemployment rates, parents are switching up traditional gender and parental roles to meet the needs of their children and finances.
Sign of the Times
Nowadays, seeing a SAHD on the playground is just as normal as say, snow at Christmas. In an age when we can videoconference business colleagues who are halfway around the world, the thought of mom going to work and dad staying home is no longer a taboo or silly concept.
During the summer before middle school, my father was in between jobs and my mother was a busy administrative assistant. Being too old for camp at that point, my parents agreed that my dad should watch me during the day, and so that's how I spent my summer. It was awesome. I'd arrive at my dad's house, start watching reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, about an hour later we would eat breakfast, I'd watch more TV and just chill with my dad all day. It was nice to see both parents have a very active role in my life: my mother taking care of the finances and my father taking care of me.
Why It Works
The new normal is great. It blurs gender roles and allows kids to see their parents as more than just the personal ATM or the cook and laundress. And when it comes down to it, dads are just cooler. Dads exude authority, confidence, and knowledge. Sure, they may not know what to do at first, but once they get the hang of it, they own it. I'll always remember the summer my dad stayed home with me because I got to see him out of his traditional role. Yes, bringing home the bacon is important, but so is the simple, yet important task of caring for a child.