According to Pew Research analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, the number of dads who don’t work outside the home has doubled over the past 25 years. In 2010 this category reached its highest point-over 2 million-just after the official end of the Great Recession. Since that time the numbers are slightly lower due to a decline in unemployment.
These Mr. Moms represent 16% of all at-home parents. Roughly a quarter of them report they can’t find a job. And nearly as many of these stay-at-home dads say the main reason is to care for the family.
As Millennials take on more responsibilities of adulthood, more men are assuming the role of primary caretaker. For some it’s by choice, for others because of a shift in labor dynamics as women reach higher educational and career goals.
A survey from Baby Center found that close to 90% of Millennials want to be the perfect dad. They have high expectations that can lead to anxiety. And with this shift in priorities, they begin to seek out parenting information and resources for support, often online.
Transitions can create a lot of stress in relationships. According to research on the effectiveness of marital therapy, communication is one of the most commonly reported and difficult problems to manage. Discrepancies in how men and women talk can lead to further conflict as partners begin to focus blame on each other, on themselves or on the quality of their marriage.
So this Father’s Day, don’t buy into the commercialism that fancy tools or expensive ties will make the man in your life happy. Be direct about what you want and honest about what you’re willing to give in an effort to improve communication. Listen to your partner’s opinions, try to appreciate your differences, and be willing to compromise. Give the gift of understanding as you build a stronger foundation and strengthen your emotional ties.