The U.S. Census Bureau reported yesterday that “One-Third of Fathers with Working Wives Regularly Care for Their Children.” Yep, you read that correctly! Thanks to Al Watts & the Daddyshome, Inc. team for sharing this with us. “Among fathers with a wife in the workforce, 32 percent were a regular source of care for their children under age 15, up from 26 percent in 2002, the U.S. Census Bureau reported.” Even more interesting were their findings among these fathers with preschool-age children: “one in five fathers was the primary caregiver, meaning their child spent more time in their care than any other type of arrangement.”
Is this significant increase based on the recession (termed “mancession”) or because fathers genuinely want to spend more time with their children? The real answer is Both. This topic forces me to dissect further and take a closer look at our small NYC Dads Group community of nearly 500 dads – including stay-at-home dads, work-from-home dads, teachers, entertainers, freelancers, and full-time working dads, etc.. Predominantly, the dads within our community become the primary caregiver as a result of choice (not the economic downturn)!
Bloomberg News/Businessweek decided to delve deeper with this new research and speak to a few fathers that were forced into their role as primary caregivers as a result of the recession as well as a couple of dads who chose their role to give the story some balance. Jobless Dads Get Quality Time With Children as Caregiving Rises by Joel Stonington of Bloomberg/Businessweek reports that “The recession isn’t the only reason (that dads spend more time as a partial or primary caregiver). Women are increasingly contributing more to family income than men, and there is a growing desire among men to take part in the lives of their children, according to Ellen Galinsky, president and co-founder of the New York-based Families and Work Institute.”
Full Disclosure: Thanks to Joel Stonington for including us in this important article on fatherhood.