Thursday, November 08, 2007

At-Home Dads: Happy. And Able to Kick Your Ass

Two at-home dad items have been flagged to me today that show the wonderful diversity of at-home dads.

The first is a Yahoo Sports profile of Houston Alexander, who is both a single father of six and a Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight contender who can bench press 450 pounds and is nicknamed the "Nebraska Assassin." Can we get this guy at the 2008 convention?

The second is a Wall Street Journal column (sub req?) by work-life columnist Sue Shellenbarger that breaks little new ground (17-word summary: at-home dads are happy, but it does alter career paths ... not that that's a bad thing) but further emphasizes that the old at-home dad stereotypes are dead wrong:

For years, the stay-at-home dad has been treated as a cultural oddity, an ill-at-ease comic hero who can't wait to don pinstripes again and get back to the office.

Interviews with men who stayed home with their children for several years, and are now looking back on it, paint a different picture. While much attention has been paid to at-home mothers who opt out of the corporate rat race for good, many at-home dads are quietly doing the same thing -- finding flexible alternative work. And while the adjustment can be rough, some of these men discover at-home parenting marks a permanent turning point toward better life balance.

Bonus Shellenbarger link (free): Last week, she profiled the details of a negotiation that got a dad down to a three-days-a-week schedule. Worth checking out if you're looking to step off the work treadmill a bit.


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