It's Official! The Rise Of The House Dad Goes From Strength To Strength

14/08/2014 16:47 | Updated 22 May 2015
It's official! The rise of the housedad goes from strenghth to strength

House dads of the world, rejoice. For we are a trendy breed - and that's official!

According to official statistics, men now make up nearly 10 per cent of those who care for children while their partner goes out to work.

This is something I was reluctantly forced to do two years ago after I was made redundant. Now my wife brings home the bacon, while I cook it for our three children, aged 11, eight and five.

But instead of being reticent about this new role, it is now time to declare myself and my brethren pioneers.

For new figures from the Office for National Statistics have revealed there were 227,000 men staying at home to look after family between September and November last year - a rise of 19,000 compared to the same period in 2011.

This represents the highest increase since figures began in 1993.

Welcome to the club, Newbie SAHDs!

The shift is down to men like myself losing their jobs in the recession and either failing to find new employment or deciding that it did not make financial sense for them to return to work if their partner was a high earner.

The ONS said the figures reflected a growing trend where it was more common for the man to stay at home while his spouse went out to work.

A recent European Commission report said couples where both the man and woman earn money 'lost ground' during the economic downturn in favour of female breadwinners, who increased their share to almost 10 per cent.

Jenny Garrett, the author of Rocking Your Role, a guide for women who earn the main salary in their family, welcomed the trend.

She told the Telegraph: "The figures don't surprise me. I think it's a lot to do with the sectors that have been hit most by the current economic climate, which in the private sector were quite male dominated.

"Many men are now having to think about whether to retrain or possibly take a job that is not as highly paid, and asking whether it is worth their while if their partner is in a good job."

However, she warned that there was still a 'taboo' around female breadwinners and stay-at-home fathers. (Not in my experience, but hey-ho, she's the expert).

"It's something that's kept quiet or treated as a bit embarrassing. We need to have more conversations about it in order for it to become more acceptable and for people to understand what makes the family unit work," she said.

Read more from our resident house dad with Keith's Reluctant House Dad column on Parentdish.


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