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3 Reasons I Would Consider Becoming a Stay-At-Home Dad

Studies continue to confirm the importance of a good father’s role in raising emotionally healthy children. Today, we’re going to specifically discuss why a father’s presence impacts his daughter’s emotional growth and why I would consider becoming a stay-at-home dad.

Stay-at-home dad

“Mr. Mom” came out in 1983. My parents watched it on VHS when I was a child. While I barely remember the plot, the idea of a stay-at-home dad was an odd and novel idea at the time. A normal family was one in which Dad worked and Mom stayed at home and raised the children.

My family was no exception. Dad worked 6 days a week, 12 + hours a day. He wanted to make sure he was a good provider…and he was. However, my dad also missed some monumental moments in my life.

The tide seems to have changed. Stay-at-home dads are no longer brow-raising. Over 2 million men are part of this growing trend, and for good reason too. Studies show a father’s presence can have profound impact on children…both boy and girl alike.

It would seem a father’s presence would affect a son more so than a daughter, right? But a father’s involvement can specifically lead to his daughter’s scholarship, vocational, and relationship success. These are 3 reasons why I would consider becoming a stay-at-home dad for our daughter.

Scholarship Success

I might already be going through multiplication tables with my 3 month old daughter. Whether or not she remembers any of it, it’s most important I’m actively engaged. “As you might guess, daughters whose fathers have been actively engaged throughout childhood in promoting their academic or athletic achievements and encouraging their self-reliance and assertiveness are more likely to graduate from college and to enter the higher paying, more demanding jobs traditionally held by males.”

Vocational Success

I’m already observing my daughter and taking note of what she enjoys. More than anything, I want to be there to encourage her in whatever she decides to pursue. I get to be there through her process of self-discovery.

Wake Forest Psychologist Linda Nielsen writes, “Indeed, a daughter’s relationship with her father during her teenage years is more closely related to her future academic and vocational success than her teenage relationship with her mother.

Diane Sawyer, a television journalist, recalled how her father would ask her, “What great question did you ask today?” Perhaps that daily question is a good part of the reason she’s been working in journalism for 55 years! In 2008, Forbes listed her as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women.

Relationship Success

When it comes to relationships, a father may have more impact on his daughter than the mother. A dad will “set the first model of how a relationship with a man” will be. It’s not that odd or coincidental that my sister married a man who is uncannily similar to my dad.

“The daughter who has a fulfilling relationship with her father is usually more trusting, more secure and more satisfied in her romantic relationships than the daughter with a troubled or distant relationship with her dad,” regardless of whether her parents are married or divorced, according to Linda Nielsen.

For me, as a new dad, these are three good reasons why I would never feel any sort of shame if I became a stay-at-home dad. I want to be a provider, protector…and be present. That can seem overwhelming at times as a man, but it starts with the little things with our newborn: changing diapers, putting on clothes, bathing her, and taking her on walks. The only big thing I have to worry about is loving her mom well since our daughter is continually growing and learning from our interactions.

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7 Responses to 3 Reasons I Would Consider Becoming a Stay-At-Home Dad

  1. Adrienn Andrássy September 22, 2017 at 4:06 am #

    Great. I would not doubt that a fathers’ presence is essential for raising a healthy child, but let’s face it: nature made the WOMAN give birth and by nature a woman is nurturing, a man is protecting. After birth a child needs breast milk, that is also provided by the mom. Do we really want to question and change basic gender roles and family models, and make the women go to work while lactating? Should she really take her milk into bottles in morning and go and provide the financials for the family? What happened to you, people? Everybody just gone out of his mind? Honestly. No wonder why so many men has role issues, as sexual roles mingles to the limit. For god’s sake. Men become more féminine, women became more like men. What is the use of it? Opposite sex’ will only loose interest. Who would be excited of a man changing diapers and do the housework? Will they learn to cook all of a sudden and provide proper nutritions to a toddler? They don’t even know where their socks are, or know any lullabies by heart. Can they use a washing machine? I mean properly. Who was that genius who figured this out? I am actually worried to see, that at more and more areas of life: I see people questioning whether nature was right, when creating men and women contemplating each other… The other idiocracy is raising a child genderless. What would be that child’s self image? A huge part of who we are is based upon our sex, our upbringing, and the attachment a motherly love provides. Most men do not even know what to do with a baby. (I am not saying there are no man who can cook, or wash, but please do not question what a baby needs after being born.) This is SACRED period for a woman. There is a special bond, as women can only concentrate ON THE child alone for months, because of the hormonal changes. A new mom’s mind is so impaired towards her baby, that bothering that period is against all common sense.

    • Kris Wolfe September 22, 2017 at 9:07 pm #

      I don’t disagree with you. My wife is a stay-at-home mom. It’s tough being a good and present father and be the provider through a corporate job at the same time. My point of the article is that a dad plays a critical part in raising children.

  2. Jeremy September 23, 2017 at 12:09 am #

    Hey Kris, great piece. I can appreciate that some believe wholeheartedly that the man should work while the woman stays home, but I also recognize that cultural dynamics have changed very much in just the last 10 years, let alone the last forty. Something modern families must consider nowadays is who’s job is better for the kids. In some cases, especially if the wife’s job earns more money and has better benefits, I suspect it would do the entire family a disservice to stick with the lower paying, lower benefits job just because of a cultural principle. Good pay and especially good benefits are of paramount importance today. In fact, I’m glad you mentioned the movie “Mr. Mom”. That’s a great example (which occurs frequently in the real world if we’re honest about it) of what I’m talking about.

    In the end, I get what you’re saying. And let me just add that we, as men, should not be quick to rush and judge one who’s situation dictates a flip in “traditional values”, with respect to whom works, especially if we are not in their situation. Instead, I would encourage others to be supportive and understand today’s societal and job market dynamics. In the end, it needs to be about what’s best not just for the family in general, but for the kids in particular.

    • Kris Wolfe October 9, 2017 at 6:21 pm #

      I agree. It’s not about pride. Today there are so many gray areas. I just wanted to point some of those out in this article. Thank you!

  3. Mitch September 23, 2017 at 4:53 pm #

    Love the article! I am a stay a work from home father and I have found a joy from being directly conected with my kids that few fathers get to experience. My family stumbled into this situation in 2009 when I lost my PM position with an IT firm follow a corporate downsizing. My wife was 6 month pregnant with our first child but had a good position at the company she worked for. After 3 month of job searching and our daughter due date fast approaching my wife and I made the decision that I should stay home with our daughter for the first year and work from home.

    I won’t lie it was challenging, I was very fish out of water in the situation especially with a newborn. As time went on I found a natural knack for being a full time dad. Now its been 8 years my daughter is a 3rd grader my son is in kindergarten and I have a growing business working from home while my wife has had opportunities at the same company she has been at for all these years. I can honestly say we have no regrets on the decision we made and while it may not be the norm, it certainly has left me with a stronger bond with my kids.

    • Jeremy September 24, 2017 at 11:15 pm #

      I, for one, appreciate your candid insight into your situation. I feel that such situations are a bit more common than we’re led to believe, but in the end, you took a step up by putting your family’s needs first. The fact is, you know your situation best, and no one is more qualified to determine what needs to happen than you and your wife. Hats off to you.

    • Kris Wolfe October 9, 2017 at 6:20 pm #

      Mitch, I have an incredible amount of respect for you. My wife and I try to juggle our careers. This past weekend, I took care of our daughter for a half day and then a full day. It’s a huge amount of work and it gave me so much more respect for anyone who parents and takes care of children full time.

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