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Husband and I have been talking a lot recently about a whether we are going to have kids, and b how we might set up our life if we did so, and one idea that pops up often is that him being a stay-at-home-dad might be best for us all. A lot of the arguments against stay-at-home-parents seem to be predicated on the idea that someone is on a career ladder, and loses their place on it or years of progression by getting out temporarily. If husband is at the bottom of his career anyway, AND might want a totally new job not necessarily career anyway, that seems less of a concern. Still, there's lots of questions and concerns in my head. Since this community has a lot of financially-savvy women in it, I hope it might have people who have Thoughts on this subject, whether it's because they are doing it, plan to do it, thought about it but decided against it, whatever. As a starting point but not an ending point for discussion, here are some things I've been thinking about:.

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Traditional manhood, the kind that many young boys are taught at an early age, is made up of two ingredients: bodily strength and control, and breadwinner status as a husband and father. Melzer has spent his career studying how men respond when their masculinity is threatened, both individually and collectively. Melzer claims that men tend to respond to their perceived failure at living up to the body and breadwinner ideals in a combination of four distinct ways: internalizing the perceived failure, attempting to repair the failure, compensating for the failure, or rejecting it and redefining what it means to be a man.

Working mom + stay-at-home-dad (anybody doing it/thinking about it/decided against it?)

The conversation that follows has been edited for length and clarity. Ashley Fetters: How did you arrive at the conclusion that traditional masculinity is basically breadwinner status plus bodily strength and control? Scott Melzer: What we find is that men rank these as the most important aspects of their identities as men. My research is mostly about how men respond when they fail to live up to expectations, and when they fall short on these two particular measures of manhood, this is where we see the most dramatic reactions.

Fetters: Is there much research on how common it is to be a stay-at-home dad?

Tips for stay-at-home moms and d returning to work

I think these folks have been flying under the radar for a long time, even though with the Great Recession there was a pretty ificant increase in the of stay-at-home d, many of whom were forced into that situation sort of against their will. A lot of those men who were forced into being stay-at-home d returned to the workforce if they desired to do so.

Fetters: What are some of the indicators that a stay-at-home-dad situation is going to work out well? Melzer: Certainly resources matter.

Why 'stay-at-home parent' is a job title

Whether parents have the financial resources to be able to choose to stay at home—and that usually means having a partner with a good income—matters. And the support and expectations that they receive from their families matter quite a bit. All those things are essential in determining whether someone can choose to be a stay-at-home dad and essentially withstand the inevitable critiques and questioning from others. Why does that help?

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Melzer: Parenting young children in general can be a very isolating experience. And so having that support is essential. Men are expected to be breadwinners, to work, not to be stay-at-home d. Fetters: It surprised me how many men told you that stay-at-home moms and the stay-at-home-mom community were not welcoming to them.

Most stay-at-home d now actually want to stay at home

Melzer: I wondered how much of this was in their he and how much was just that those are the experiences that stood out to them, and they were downplaying and minimizing all the times they were invited to playgroup and so forth. Fetters: Do you think stay-at-home d will rise in over time?

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Melzer: Long term, yes. The distinct, positive impact of a good dad.

Stay-at-home d: the challenges and benefits

If you look at younger generations, boys and men just express a much greater desire to prioritize family over work. But because they then encounter workplace cultures, an economic system, and a lack of family leave benefits that discourage them from prioritizing family, the change is slow. Perhaps when we start changing some laws, the U. Melzer: Partners really bolster unemployed men.

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Some of them talked about finding outlets including therapy or writing, but men are less likely to seek those sources of support. So partners probably have an outsize presence for men in particular.

I'm a stay-at-home dad trying to get back into the workforce and i see why moms say it's so hard

This has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the economy. The healthier way to cope would absolutely be to find networks, support groups, and friends and family to talk about these issues and try to mitigate some of the consequences—of long-term unemployment, in particular.

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But we tell men to do the exact opposite, right? Fetters: Do you think this two-pronged ideal of masculinity—bodily control and power, plus breadwinner status—has relaxed its hold on men in recent years, or has it intensified? So in some ways we would expect that things would begin changing and some of these old ways might die off. The body ideal may be more entrenched. Popular Latest.

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