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Parents / Stay-At-Home Dads and Breadwinner Moms

The next time you see a father out shopping with his kids, you might need to check your assumptions.

“I’ll get the, ‘Oh, look, it’s a dad! That’s so sweet!’ “says Jonathan Heisey-Grove, a stay-at-home father of two young boys in Alexandria, Va., who is pretty sure the other person assumes he’s just giving Mom a break for the day. In fact, he’s part of a growing number of fathers who are minding the kids full time while their wives support the family and who say societal expectations are not keeping up with their reality.

He and his wife, Dawn, a public health analyst, didn’t exactly plan for Jonathan to be a stay-at-home parent to Egan, 5, and Zane, who’s 4 months old. The Heisey-Groves were both working full time when he lost his job as a graphic designer two years ago. That also ended the company day care. Dawn says Jonathan stayed home at first just to save money on child care.

“And suddenly the world just became much calmer and quieter. Egan wasn’t as upset and he wasn’t as tense anymore. And our relationship, even though we were stressed about not having money, we weren’t rushing around when both of us got home. And so, it was just a happier place,” she says.

Dawn was surprised — and happy — to discover two colleagues whose husbands are also stay-at-home fathers. But she does feel like she’s missing out sometimes.

“I showed up for the preschool graduation, and they all looked at me like, ‘Who are you?’ And I kind of felt like the bad mom moment. Like, he’s got the Dad of the Year award, and I’m kind of sitting on the sidelines a little bit,” she says.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor

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via Stay-At-Home Dads, Breadwinner Moms And Making It All Work : NPR.

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