There was a time not so long ago that House Husbands were rare. However in today’s society, it is becoming more common for men to find themselves at home in the traditional care-taking role. US Census Bureau data shows that in 2007, stay-at-home dads made up approximately 2.7% of the nation's stay-at-home parents. This is triple the percentage from 1997. "According to the 2009-10 Family Characteristics Survey, in Australia... (about) 4% of couple families with dependent children have a stay at home dad"(1). To cash in on the new trend, Australia's Channel 9 recently aired a new TV series called Househusbands. They have just announced a second season following the ratings success, and this was the most-watched show on television on Sunday nights.
When I refer to a 'House Husband', 'Stay-at-Home Dad', or a 'House Dad', I am talking about a man who performs the long-held traditional role of the Mum at home raising kids. He manages the household, 'mothers' all the children, and supports his partner’s employment in the workforce. Other titles also include 'Father at Home', 'Nursing Father', and 'House Spouse'. Although ‘House Spouse' rhymes, it just sounds weird to me. ‘Nursing Father’ evokes images of the man-boob scene in ‘Meet the Fockers’ where Robert De Niro appears to be breast-feeding. My quick research suggests about one percent of the male population can indeed produce breast milk without the assistance of oestrogen hormones. Let me honestly say that I do not want to know if I am in that one percent! I am tough but I know my limits, and breast-feeding a teething baby would be my limit.
I was a 'House Husband' and I like that term, but in my role as the primary caregiver, I was a 'House Dad' more than anything else. Time is precious to all of us so because 'House Dad' is easier and faster to read, I will use that term from now on. If you are a parent with young children, then I expect you are probably just stealing five minutes to yourself before the kids wake up from a nap. With this in mind I have also condensed my chapters to as short as I could make them.
(1) Lang, Jennifer, retrieved from, http://www.actuarialeye.com/2012/08/ 18/stay-at-home-dads-are-they-taking-over-on-the-home-front, 2012.