This is a month of milestones here at Rock Father HQ. Not only will The Rock Father website officially turn two on Father’s Day, but the day before that – my youngest daughter, Finley, will turn one. Being a big month for Dads as a whole, the folks at Lake County Magazine (which covers life here in the far Northern Suburbs of Chicago) have published a “Men’s Edition” to follow-up the Mom-centric issue they put out last month. The cover story? Stay-At-Home Dads… and I’m one of three featured.
Excerpt from “Daddy Day Care? I Don’t Think So…”
Don’t call them Mr. Mom. Or describe what they do as “baby-sitting.”
“We were in Home Depot, and I was going through the line with the girls in my cart, and someone says, ‘Oh, spending the day with Dad today?’ And I said, ‘Actually, they spend every day with Dad,’” says James Zahn of Lake Villa, who stays home with his daughters Adalyn, 3, and Finley, 11 months.
A generation ago, the comedy “Mr. Mom” defined stay-at-home fatherhood, starring Michael Keaton as an unemployed man who bumbles his way through full-time care giving.
Today, three Lake County stay-at-home dads see things a bit differently.
“Sometimes, I feel like getting a T-shirt that says, ‘I have a college degree. I’m not a bum. I chose this,’” says Ryan Gillaspie of Lindenhurst, who stays home to raise his 4-year-old triplet daughters, Jade, Phoenix and Rogue.
A more common, but still lonely, trend
According to U.S. Census data, in 2011, about 176,000 American fathers spent at least one year out of the work force to care for their children while their wives worked. Seventeen percent of preschoolers were regularly cared for by their fathers during their mother’s working hours.
For the full story, pick up a copy of Lake County Magazine‘s June Issue (if you live in the area), or check out their Digital “E-Edition” over on ISSUU. Thanks to Elizabeth Harmon for penning the story and presenting at-home Dads in a positive light, and to Editor Stephanie N. Grimoldby for the kind words in her “From the Editor” column.
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