Stay-at-home dads are flipping the standards, and Asia’s finally catching on.
If you grew up in an Asian culture, you’d know the way things go. Men are the main breadwinners heading off to work each morning, while the women take care of children and the home. And that’s not a bad thing; traditional roles for family members have been the reality for centuries.
However, the tide is slowly changing and more women are joining the workforce than ever before. A study released by the Pew Research Center has shown that women make up nearly 40% of the workforce in 80 countries. At the same time, the general assumption is that women are largely responsible for childcare and upkeep of the home.
But more mothers and wives are holding full-time jobs today, and enjoying it too. So men (thank you, guys!) are rising up to take on the challenge of housekeeping and 24-hour parenting.
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So you may be thinking that this is a very Western mentality (yes, we’re Asians and have been there before!) and that Asian cultures would definitely not agree with this role reversal. While that is still quite prevalent in some cultures today, a small but significant number of Asian families are choosing this arrangement.
And so stay-at-home dads are becoming a practice here in Asia, but it’s a lot more established in the West. US Census Data in 2015 showed that 1.9 million fathers stay at home with their kids, making about 16% of the population.
On this side of the world, Korea, the Philippines and Singapore have caught up. And last year, Malaysians heard the story of a stay-at-home dad, Sharulnizam Mustapa! After his third child was born, he made the choice to give up his career and take care of the children.
According to Sharulnizam, it made financial sense at the time and has made him a better parent in the process. So there are families challenging the norms in our own country!
As more families break away from stereotypes, fathers now have the choice to be the “at-home parent” and let their wives build a career. Often, it makes more financial and practical sense especially if the woman is earning more than the man.
The important thing to ensure is that both husband and wife mutually agree on the direction to take and make sure the other is happy with the decision. Traditionalist gender roles can at times limit families from achieving financial stability and a stable future for the development of their children.
As with all relationships, each person has to think about the good and happiness of the other. So if a stay-at-home dad and working mum works for the family, no one should criticise their choice.
Besides, fathers are also excellent homemakers. They can fix stuff, do the heavy lifting and be great dads at the same time. So, at the end of the day, it’s up to individual couples to decide what’s best for their family.
But we’re glad to see that stay-at-home dads are a growing trend, because that means we’re breaking stereotypes and truly looking towards the overall well-being of families and children.
Are you a stay-at-home dad, or part of a family with one? Let us know you’re experiences in the comments below!
Featured Image Credit: Centsai