Sunday, October 19, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Study: At-home dads down slightly since recession

At-Home Fathers

Father Mike Brandfon holds his daughters Abby, left, and Sophie in Chicago. Brandfon was the primary caregiver for his children in their early years. AP photo

By
From page A6 | June 08, 2014 |

By Leanne Italile

The number of U.S. fathers home with their kids full-time is down, from a peak 2.2 million in 2010, the official end of the recession, to about 2 million in 2012, according to a report released Thursday by the Pew Research Center.

The slight decrease in their ranks from 2010 to 2012 was driven chiefly by employment gains since the recession eased, the report said, defining stay-at-home fathers as those not employed for pay at all in the prior year and living with children 17 or younger.

The largest share of at-home dads, 35 percent, said they were home due to illness or disability. Roughly 23 percent said it was mainly because they couldn’t find a job, and 21 percent said it was specifically to care for home or family, the researchers noted, relying on census and other government data.

By contrast, 1.1 million men were at-home dads in 1989, the earliest year reliable government figures are available for the sector.

Gretchen Livingston, a senior researcher who worked on the report, said fathers comprised 16 percent of parents at home full time in 2012, up from 10 percent in 1989.

The 21 percent who cited caring for home and children as the specific reason for being out of the for-pay work force was up from 5 percent in 1989 and 18 percent in 2007, the start of the recession, Livingston said.

While unemployment is a factor overall, Livingston said Wednesday in a telephone interview from Washington, D.C., that the “continuing convergence of gender roles” between moms and dads is key.

“It’s becoming more acceptable for dads to be caregivers, and it’s becoming more acceptable for moms to be responsible for breadwinning,” she said.

But Livingston warned that affluent, highly educated dads at home to raise children remain a subset.

“It’s important to note that a lot of these dads are actually not doing that well economically and they tend to have lower income levels, too,” she said.

And despite a greater acceptance of dads staying home to raise kids, other Pew research shows 51 percent of the public believes kids are better off when the mother stays home, compared to 8 percent that cited dads.

“There clearly has been a lot of gender convergence in recent decades, but then at the same time, you know, some things haven’t changed as far as people’s perceptions of the roles,” Livingston said.

Mike Brandfon, 48, of Chicago falls into the laid-off category. He lost his job at a mid-size public relations company in December 2009, at a period when he and his wife had been thinking about having kids.

“I was looking for jobs but we just happened to get pregnant with twins at the right time, as far as me being able to stay home with them since I couldn’t find a job,” he said.

After the girls were born in October 2010 and his spouse’s four-month maternity leave ended, her marketing job allowed them to just make ends meet.

“It was quite a shock, to say the least,” he said of remaining out of the for-pay work force. “You don’t think about it in that sense when you’re going through it. You just try to get through each day and each moment.”

Brandfon joined a dads’ group for park outings with the kids and the occasional night out for a beer. Once the girls were nearly 3 years old, he began looking for work again and landed a job last September as media director for Web2carz.com, an online-only auto and lifestyles magazine.

In the end, he was thrilled with his time home as primary caregiver.

“I couldn’t get those years back,” he said. “Looking back, it was amazing, seeing these little things develop into real people.”

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

.

News

$18.75M grant aims to build global food security

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Return to sender: MRAP removal options go to council

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Housing First pilot project targets West Sac homeless

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

Howzat! Cricket tradition grows in Davis

By Lily Holmes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Hawaii hit by winds, rain as hurricane veers west

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
For the record

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

Evidentiary hearing set for man shot by CHP

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Cop witnesses car-pedestrian collision

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

Safe viewing of solar eclipse planned

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Fill the Boot for the hungry

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

Crash victim ID’d as Woodland man

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

 
Guns to be discharged at police range

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

Donate used books at Co-op

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Love-life tips on ‘Heart to Heart’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Wolk sets ‘Morning with the Mayor’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Volunteers sought to chip in on parks cleanup

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

DHS ski and snowboard swap set on Nov. 9

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Quiz Master Gardeners at open house

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Firefighters on the town

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A3

Senior Computer Club hears from county official

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Celebrate origami at Davis library

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Esparto home targeted in three-city pot bust

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4

 
Apply by Friday for Biberstein grants

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Wolk earns perfect score from senior advocates

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

UCD celebrates 50 years of global agricultural success

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Special education information night scheduled

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A11

Be on the lookout for tagged Monarch butterflies

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A16 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

Old news disturbs the present

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Are we there yet? Yik Yakking the day away

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A8

Take time to reach out for help

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A8

 
A bionic hand with feeling

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Ain’t Snow Mountain high enough

By Our View | From Page: A14

 
Proposed lights harm kids

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A14

Teach cyclists to obey laws

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A14

 
Let’s take Davis’ energy future seriously

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A14

Be careful cycling on Fifth

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A15

 
Water theater isn’t fun

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A15

Elect Granda to board

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A15

 
Yes on Prop. 47: reasonable changes to curb recidivism, save money

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A15

No on Prop. 47: an end to safe neighborhoods, and more victims

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A15

 
.

Sports

Vargas emerges from crowded Aggie WR corps

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Competitive Aggies fall at No. 6/7 Montana

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devils stick it to Chico, cancer

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

JV Devils fall to Franklin

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
Niemi leads Sharks to win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

UCD roundup: Big crowd sees Aggies nip Guachos

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

 
Davis is a temple for fine beverages

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Arcadia Biosciences earns spot on global innovation list

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
35 employers will be at West Sac job fair

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Rob White: Building an economy on innovation

By Rob White | From Page: A6

 
.

Obituaries

Peggy Belenis Swisher

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Sadie Louise Barga

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Morgan Wheeler

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, October 19, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8