Stay-at-home dads used to be an exotic rarity — like white tigers or un-incarcerated Chicago mayors — but not so much anymore. Today, lots of dads make the choice to stay home either for economic or personal reasons. Some want time off from a career and time on with kids and others are stepping up as caregivers. Still, though it’s not unusual anymore, it is still tough. Stay-at-home dads often feel isolated and can feel emasculated. There’s no need for that, but traditional gender norms are nothing if not sticky. So it’s an emotional choice too — one that requires real thought.
That’s why Fatherly built this guide for dads deciding whether or not to stay home or just trying to cope with the experience. We spoke to economists, therapists, and dads and moms about their own experiences to find solutions to stay-at-home dad problems and to get a sense of the broader social change normalizing stay-at-home fatherhood.