June 18, 2006, - 1:04 pm

On Father’s Day: Touching Read; Mr. Mom Nation

By Debbie Schlussel
To all my friends and readers who are fathers, Happy Father’s Day.
On this Father’s Day, here’s a touching read about Paul Trudel, a single father who is fighting his 6-year-old daughter’s cancer fight with her. He is single because his wife, the girl’s mother, died of cancer, too.
***
Mr. Mom Nation
Thanks to the many readers who pointed out that the U.S. Census figures I quoted from the Wall Street Journal, regarding married fathers with kids under 15, referred to Mr. Moms a/k/a stay at home dads, and not otherwise, as the Journal’s Harwood made it sound. Whew, that’s a relief. Glad to hear that the number of married fathers with children hasn’t declined to the nadir that we thought.
In fact, there are 26.4 million fathers who are part of married-couple families with their own children under the age of 18.
Still the numbers are telling and bothersome, if on another trend. The Census reports that we are quickly becoming Mr. Mom Nation:

* There are an estimated 143,000 “stay-at-home” dads in America. These married fathers with children under 15 years old have remained out of the labor force for more than one year primarily so they can care for the family while their wives work outside the home. These fathers cared for 245,000 children under 15.
* 20% of fathers with employed wives were the primary caregiver for their preschooler. 6% of fathers provided the most hours of care for their grade-school-aged child.
* 32% of fathers, who regularly worked evening or night shifts, were primary source of care for their preschoolers during their children’s mother’s working hours. For fathers working part-time, the proportion was 38%. For fathers who were not employed, it was 52%.

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One Response

Don’t worry Debbie. Even though you pulled a Dan Rather on that “at home Dad” statistic I still like you.
I DID NOT PULL THE DAN RATHER. THE WSJ’S JOHN HARWOOD DID. AND DAN RATHER, TO THIS DAY, HAS NOT ADMITTED HE WAS WRONG. I DID.
REGARDS,
DEBBIE

shleppy on June 18, 2006 at 5:32 pm

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