The growing phenomenon of Mr. Mom
April 12, 2010 (WPVI) -- Several stay-at-home dads contacted me through Facebook to share their own stories about being Mr. Mom. Since it would be nearly impossible to feature them all during our Action News special report, I thought I'd offer a few of them in this Parenting Blog. Enjoy!
Vince DiSanto of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania:
"Been at home now since August 1st, 2003. Both my wife and I had very secure jobs and on a great career path. We are both college graduates with post-collegiate degrees. When we got pregnant with our first child, a girl born May 3, 2003, we wanted to have someone home with her. Child care was not an option. We made the decision based on future salary and career paths along with a strong old-fashioned approach to raising children where one parent would be home. We also figured it would be easier for me with my skills to go back to work when it was time. It was very difficult in the beginning trying to decide but in the end it was me who we decided to stay home. Once the decision was made, it fell in to place for us as a couple but other hurdles like stereotypes and convincing our parents needed to be crossed. Financially we were living above our means a little but with some adjustments the money fell in to place. To this day my parents are still leery about our situation. In the beginning it was also difficult doing the day time activities that all the moms were doing just because of my own insecurities (I was the only dad at library story time - ughh) and worry about if my child would start asking questions. Turns out it was just a normal situation for her and questions never even came up."
"We now have a son who was born July 2008. It turns out to have been one of the best decisions we have ever made. We share in most of the housework and I do not mind doing any of the cooking / cleaning / laundry etc. I have family dinner ready most nights when my wife gets home from work. I do mostly everything that a mom would do if she were home. We go to the playground, library, movies, and all the fun stuff. I take my daughter to school in the morning, go home and play with my son, and when he takes his nap I get some free time for myself or get things that need done around the house. Yeah I take A LOT of ribbing from my friends (Mr. Mom, "what's on Oprah today") but they will never have the relationship with their son or daughter that I am building. I would never trade this time and we are very lucky to be able to be in this situation. We are very thankful."
Bob Walton of Wilmington, Delaware:
"I lost my job in the fall of '08 from Clear Channel Radio. My oldest son is seven and my other boy was born last summer. After a month of taking "shifts" with the two-hour feedings, my wife went back to work and I was Mr. Mom ... I've had the pleasure of teaching "da da" and getting nearly unlimited snuggling time. We're working on crawling and taking walks to the park. I get to pick up the older one at the school bus stop. Just daily things that a lot of dads don't get to do & We haven't had to pay for day care, and neither of us has to take off of work to take care of doctor appointments."
Jeffrey Rappaport of Moorestown, New Jersey:
"I used to manage a comic book store and with my wife's salary it was impossible to have another child. So, I started doing Ebay and have been doing it ever since. I raised our 10-year-old son and was able to spend more time with him in a month than some fathers get to in a lifetime. It's busy & but I wouldn't change a thing."
Timothy McGrory of Philadelphia:
"I was a SAHD [stay-at-home dad] for only three months though. My twin daughters were born May 29th, 2009, very premature. Unfortunately one of my girls was not strong enough to keep fighting. But my daughter is doing well. I used NJ's new family leave act and was able to stay home for some time to take care of her. It was AWESOME I wish I was still able to be with her at home."
Bill McCrae, Washington Township, New Jersey:
"I am a stay at home dad (I didn't realize we had our own acronym). I left a very good career about five years ago because my mom had Alzheimer's and it had gotten too dangerous for her to stay home by herself and my family wasn't ready to put her in an adult care center. She reached this new poitn just after my wife gave birth to our second son so it only made sense to "switch careers" and become a stay at home son/dad (no acronym for that one). I did not take long before I fell in love with the "job" of being a stay home dad/son and caring for my mom while playing with my kids. I also believe they got a lot out of the experience being around each other for the time they had together ... even after my mom eventually passed away I am still a stay at home dad to three boys ages nine, five and almost two. I have an amazing wife that was in complete agreement with me staying home to take care of my mom and our boys and I haven't regretted changing "careers" once."
Frank Louis of Philadelphia:
"I've been a stay at home dad for just over two years now. I love every minute of it. I quit my job to stay at home with my twin sons. The only thing I miss now is talking to an adult. It's not too bad though since I take them to play dates and to the library for story time. I'm the only dad there but it doesn't matter to me since the moms make me feel welcome."
Michael Podgurski of West Chester, Pennsylvania:
"Sad thing is there are no programs out there (or they are really hard to find) to help single fathers. Plenty for mothers but not fathers."
On that note, Michael, here are some helpful links for dads like you:
matt o'donnell parenting reports, parenting, matt o'donnell
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