Blazing A New Frontier



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University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work


My life changed drastically two years ago when my daughter was born. My wife and I prepared for parenthood as well as any other couple by attending parenting preparation classes, reading books, and talking late into the evenings. However, we were exploring the additional elements of unchartered gender roles. Now two years later, I am a stay-at-home father (SAHF). I am one of the many men across the United States taking on this new and unfamiliar frontier. The roles of men and women have been changing rapidly in today’s communities, especially how they relate to division of family labor in the home. Like me, many fathers are choosing to stay at home and raise the children while more women are staying in the work force. The U.S. Census Bureau (2002) reported an 18% increase in fathers who stayed at home from 1994 to 2001. Furthermore, the 2006 Census estimated that 159,000 men remained out of the labor force for at least one year to be the primary caregiver to a child while their wives or partners worked (U.S. Census Bureau, 2006). Despite the growing trend of fathers staying home to be with their children there is very little research in this area. This paper will address the challenges that this new frontier is presenting both men and women and I will draw from the current literature and my own personal experience.



Stay At Home Fathers, Matthew B. Drake, Perspectives on Social Work, Fathers, Career Mothers, Stay At Home Fathers, Social work, Perspectives on Social Work, Fathers, Career Mothers