Rise of stay at home dads
More fathers choose family life over work
Research from leading Child Trust Fund provider, The Children’s Mutual, has identified the rise of stay-at-home Dads. Families across the UK are experiencing a new trend as more dads are choosing to spend time at home looking after the children rather than work full-time.
Contrary to concerns of an allegedly worsening work/life balance in the UK, many fathers are electing to be at home either full or part-time, looking after their little ones and taking care of the house.
Following the birth of their children, a quarter (26 per cent) of dads decided to work part-time and nearly as many (24 per cent) started working flexibly. Fourteen per cent of dads chose to stop working outside the home altogether.
More than four in 10 (43 per cent) of these dads are responding to the current recession by spending even more time helping around the house, with only 27 per cent feeling that they now need to become more focused on earning money.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, stay-at-home dads spend the greatest amount of their time each week looking after the children (4 hours, 22 minutes) and cooking (3 hours, 50 minutes), as well as arranging the family finances (3 hours, 45 minutes). And even though they have more time to be with their children than full-time working dads, stay-at-home dads wished they could spend a further hour a day with their children.
The Children’s Mutual’s research also looked at the idea of a traditional breadwinning dad versus a more modern domesticated dad. When asked to define the characteristics of both, stay-at-home dads felt the top three responsibilities for each are:
|Rank||Traditional Dad9||Modern Dad10|
|1||Main breadwinner||Contributes towards childcare|
|2||Contributes to family finances||Contributes towards domestic tasks|
|3||In full-time employment||Contributes to family finances|
The majority (40 per cent) said they were happy being a mix of traditional and modern dad, sharing both financial and domestic duties. They are as comfortable organising money matters as doing the washing up. Although nearly two thirds (65 per cent) said they are satisfied with the role they play as stay-at-home dads, 53 per cent feel they face challenges and even prejudice for choosing this route.
David White, Chief Executive of The Children’s Mutual, said: “The changing role of dads within families is a positive step towards the greater recognition of what dads can and do contribute to family life. Dads play a vital role within their children’s lives and their homes, so it’s great to see these changing family dynamics.
“One of the most important roles for every dad is being a provider for his children, whether that’s as the main breadwinner or lead carer. Dads want to provide for their children now and will want to continue to do so as they grow up. One way dads can really help provide for their children is planning for the future and saving regularly over the long term. Contributing towards a Child Trust Fund is one of the ways dads can save for their children’s futures. By opening a Child Trust Fund early and saving regularly and encouraging friends and family to contribute too, dads can help to give their children a financial springboard into adulthood”. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/recession/5850213/Quarter-of-Britons-working-longer-as-recession-bites.html
 Stay-at-Home Dads, TCM Working and Stay-At-Home Dad research was undertaken by 72 Point. 2,187 dads interviewed in June 2009 Q1
 ibid Q3
 ibid Q3
 ibid Q3
 ibid Q1
 ibid Q14
 Standard Stay at Home Dads, average of Q13 minus average of Q12 = one hour, three minutes per day
 ibid Q6
 ibid Q7
 ibid Q8
 ibid Q11
 ibid Q4