More and more fathers are changing their job titles these days: they’re now known as Mister Mom.
That’s because the recession has eliminated many male-dominated jobs, like construction and manufacturing.
Rob Dalton has a job different from any he’s had before.
“And I show up at the school up there, all the mothers see me and they never see my wife.”
While his wife is at work, this mechanic and avid hunter now works at home. He keeps his 2-year-old daughter Anniston during the day, and cares for his third-grader, Allison, after school.
“Since the economy’s gone south, not quite as many jobs to be done out there and so I just took the opportunity to stay home with this one full-time,” Dalton said.
As the recession continues, the unemployment rate for men is up to 10.5 percent, compared to 8 percent for women.
That means more families, like the Daltons, have new decisions to make on child-care and benefits.
Experts say families like the Daltons should define roles and be flexible.
“What do we see is each other’s roles and responsibilities and how are we going to work through this,” said Rhonda Rakow of the Child Care Group.
Being an expert on child care didn’t make Rakow immune. Her husband now stays at home caring for their triplets after losing his job.
“I had expectations somewhat, too, that oh, he would be able to do this and do this,” Rakow said. “But it turns out his whole day was spent running errands or doing things either for our house or helping other people.”
Getting back to work for many men is taking longer than expected. But this father — who’s now a pro at lunch-time and reading his daughter’s favorite books — says he’s not in any rush.
“I mean, it was a big adjustment at first but I love the satisfaction I get out of this job,” Dalton said. “Best boss I ever had.”
Research shows having a more-involved father means children are more likely to make better grades, and less likely to get involved in violence or drugs.