Today’s world and its changing dynamics are leading to a non-traditional enactment of gender roles. The number of stay-at-home fathers has increased by more than 50% since the year 2002. It’s only a new concept that we are seeing something other than the breadwinner father and stay-at-home mother concept.
Why Do We Need To Address The Changing Realities?
The shape and structure of families are shifting away from the traditional family image ingrained in our minds. Previously, we were led to believe that an ideal family consists of a hardworking breadwinning father, a mother who dutifully looks after her children and household affairs.
However, today, this is not true at all. In most societies, men and women enjoy the same status, More and more women are opting to pursue a career rather than be stay-at-home moms, whereas more and more dads are professing a desire to raise their kids rather than work.
For us to effect social change in the status quo, it is crucial to examine the role of stay-at-home fathers and their non-traditional gender identity. Furthermore, we also need to transform society’s biases to discuss the role of dads as primary caretakers.
The Traditional Norms that Didn’t Allow Growth
For many centuries across many cultures, men have been the sole breadwinners of the family. The laws and media have also greatly contributed to the perpetuation of the traditional family. It was not until the late 80s that knowledge and awareness spread about the changing structures of family and gender roles.
The Reality Now
The concept of stay-at-home fathers is relatively new to the realm of family. If we concentrate on the reality of work-life arrangement today, we see that two million fathers in the United States of America are stay-at-home dads who take care of their children while the mothers are primary earners.
Men can be good at taking care of their children as much as mothers, despite the “normal” society has created. However, it is also clear that stay-at-home dads do not want to be referred to as “Mr. Mom.” Parenting does not make them mom, they are not mothering, they are parenting.
Some of the famous psychologists also disagree on the stereotype of Mr. Mom. They argue that it’s time to move ahead of the typical views on unmanliness and leave the stigmatized roles in the past.
Stay-at-Home Fathers & Masculinity
Instead of subsuming into Mr. Mom identity, the stay-at-home fathers must maintain their masculine identity. According to a study, fixing up the house and coaching children in sports and other stuff makes a stay-at-home dad’s fathering more enjoyable while easy down community scrutiny of giving up work as well.
However, some scholars argue that the father and mother’s split of responsibility is greatly tied to their physicality. Men are more biologically capable of work that requires strength, which leaves women as the caretaker of children. The problematic stereotype mostly emerges in the media as a form of television characters and commercials as they establish mothers as the primary caretakers.
They are telling the world that they are no less of a man just because they choose to stay home and look after their children because these roles were assigned to genders by archaic societies, and we have moved past them. It is high time that the mainstream media and social institutions play their role to normalize this shift, rather than emasculating men who chose to stay at home dads.
Crucial to Progress and Become a Progressive Nation
Whether men in today’s world are becoming the primary caregivers because of choice and their desire to provide nourishment to their children, or because they are forced due to the corporate layoffs or unemployment, these people take on the role of caregiver and perform it with a sense of commitment to the well-being of their families.
Challenges As A Stay-At-Home Father
While the people who have done it claim they would not have it any other way or trade the experience with anything in the world, the reaction they get tells a different story. As the stay-at-home dads go about their routine activities such as accompanying the children to a school bus or to school activities, grocery runs, etc., they are given quizzical looks by the school officials, stay-at-home mothers, and grocery store staff.
A survey by the Cleaning company found that men are not expected to be in charge of household cleaning. Most cleaning companies still target women as their primary audience, believing that they are the ones who are responsible for all decisions related to home cleaning.
Among other misguided notions is disrespect for a male who burdens his wife with the financial responsibilities of supporting his family. In this article, we tried to explore how society responds to non-traditional family roles. We believe that the positive outcomes of fathers taking the lead ring far beyond the traditional homes. To sum it up, caring is masculine.