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More men are staying at home to take care of their families, according to a 2018 Pew research report. Historically, economic downturns have forced men a part of their labour force and into stay-at-home roles. “Perhaps as many as 2 million men but stay-at-home dads, depending on how you measure it during the height of the Great Recession,” says sociology professor Scott Melzer. However, changes in women’s workforce participation and women’s advancement in education have also left lasting impacts on gender roles.
Many have accepted that it has increased their level of patience being a stay-at-home parent. A pretty significant change, much recently, just in the last generation, is how involved fathers are in child care. There’s a significant increase in the share of hours that fathers spend on household chores and child care. There’s still a big gap between the amount of time that mothers devote. It’s a long way to go.
People still say that women should be the primary caretaker of their children. They should be the ones to take time off work when a new child enters the family. Public polling data says that men are expected to be the breadwinners. Societal attitudes seem to lag behind these trends of advancement. The experience of stay-at-home dads today mirrors the experiences of stay-at-home moms for generations. The challenges, the mundane repetitive nature of parenting day after day is common to both of them. The challenge of being not being appreciated for their work is also common. The biggest struggle they have is the isolation and their value and self-worth. Stay-at-home dads also to find support groups.
Experts expect to see similar trends following the covid-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, many fathers by force enjoyed spending time with their kids and like parenting but ultimately they wanted to get back into their workforce. If we compare them with stay-at-home dads who chose to stay at home in agreement with their partners, typically they were the ones who were much more comfortable with this new situation.