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Mr. Mom vs. Working Dads: Stay at home fathers spark culture war

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Hey, Mr. Mom.

What’s up, Workaholic?

Whether they say it out loud or acknowledge it at all, that work-home divide traditionally reserved for the Mommy Wars can also rear between dads who go off to the office every day and the kind in the trenches with the kids.

There are bound to be rifts, given the growing league of dads staying home at least part-time. But do the paths of work dads and home dads intertwine enough to make them care quite so deeply as the ladies? How, exactly are they perceived, not by researchers or journalists, but by each other?

“To be a stay-at-home dad requires a lot of confidence in who you are,” said Paxton Helms, 41, in Washington, D.C.

He became one about four years ago, when his daughter was 3 months old. A son followed and he now takes part-time contracts as an international development consultant, with flexible hours. His wife also works part-time.

“The strangest thing that ever happened to me as a (stay-at-home dad) was riding on the Metro with both my kids and a guy asking me, ‘

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Comments
  • comment avatar Chris June 18, 2012

    I don’t think it matters as it’s all a very personal choice. When it comes to couples I believe whatever works is the right thing to do and it’s nobody else’s business.

  • comment avatar DK L June 18, 2012

    You know what? I could care less whether a father works full time or stays at home. Either option is much, much better than what I grew up with, ie., an absentee father than rarely sent child support, rarely saw or phoned his two daughters and only occasionally sent birthday cards on time. My mother had to handle both of the caregiver and breadwinner roles and she never had the energy to do anything ‘fun’ with us. My father wasn’t there for my high school or college graduations. He wasn’t there for any of the milestones and he wasn’t at my wedding. No matter what ‘camp’ these men fall into, they share one thing in common: they are actually there and present for their children. They’re involved. They contribute to their child’s upbringing. They WANT to be part of their kids’ lives. And that will make all of the difference, whether they work outside the home or not.

    Hat’s off and Happy Father’s Day to any Dad who is man enough to be there for his kids.

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