With more women bringing home the money, men are now stepping into the childcare game.
The year is 1970. The sidewalks are filled with bell bottom jeans. Elton John had just released his first hit and the total United States population stood at 205.1 million. Of the population, six men admitted to being stay-at-home dads. That’s right, not six percent, six men.
Fast forward to the year 2016. In 46 years, the stay-at-home dad population has transformed from six men to 1.9 million. How did this happen?
It starts and ends with the new definition of gender roles. Women are now presidential candidates, men can be nurses and “gender” is a fluid term. In other words, women have gained power and according to Chris Munsch, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut, men might be okay with that.
Munsch released a study suggesting that a majority of men are unhappy with carrying the role of breadwinner. However, women see the role of breadwinner as an “opportunity” and are happy to take over. With more and more women pursuing careers, what does this mean for their children? It is simple — the dads are stepping in. Twenty-three percent of dads in 2012 stayed home with the primary focus of child care. This is a drastic change from five percent in 1989.
For people like Domingo Quintanilla this arrangement has proven useful. Every morning his wife, Layne and oldest son
, Jorryn leave for work and school while he stays behind to cook, clean and homeschool his youngest two boys.
“Being a stay at home dad just kind of happened, but it was something we wanted,” said Quintanilla. “We always wanted one of us to be home with the kids.”
When Quintanilla’s children were first born his wife played the role of stay-at-home mom. However, she was offered a job that required her to give up this position. That is when the decision was made to make Domingo a stay-at-home dad.
In addition to being a stay-at-home dad, Quintanilla also works from home as a voice over artist for NCG Cinemas. This balance of work and care-taking allows him to have the best of both worlds. Quintanilla said that while staying at home with his boys is a lot of work he loves seeing them grow.
“It’s not always easy but it’s worth it.” said Quintanilla.