The job world keeps getting more co-ed with every passing year. Oh sure, some fields are still a Boys Club—politics, money, more. But others are becoming Girls Clubs. And many employers prefer hiring women over men, if only to meet quotas. Women are making great gains in the workplace, yet are still free to opt out and stay home. Why can’t men enjoy such equality?
As this survey points out, nearly one-third of working men would make significant sacrifices to quit working or spend more time with their kids.
Those stats are sad, really, because the child-raising phase of one’s life is short. Since kids are largely independent by, say, 12, most families only “need” ongoing parenting for 15 years or so. That’s about one-fifth of a typical lifetime. What a bummer to miss most of those sweet years, slaving away instead—especially if he would prefer not to.
So then, why are home-dads still such a rare breed? Here are some of my best guesses…
This is serious stuff. After all, it’s an ageless American legend: Dad didn’t get to spend enough time with his kids—he realizes at age 55. He regrets it. He realizes his career was relatively meaningless, and that he is dispensable. Even his own kids may feel that way.
But it’s too late to do anything about it. So…what? He lives out his final years with a sense of disappointment and failure? He tries to bond with his kids in their adulthood? He vows to be a great grand-dad? Or he just accepts it and moves on—with any luck.
Please pardon my predictable conclusion: BreakAways are not just for the rich and self-actualized. They’re also for dads who simply want to change diapers, cook healthy food for their family, and above all: Hug their kids. Any time, on any day.
What’s wrong with that?