According to 2010 data from Statistics Canada, the number of stay-at-home dads has tripled since 1986.
There is still a stigma attached to the choice, of men, to stay home and do the child rearing. A BMO Financial Group poll indicates that 66% of Canadians continue to see the domestic realm as the woman’s domain.
But 12% of dads are home with the kids, these days, and there are a number of reasons for the momentum of the shift. A survey, by Leger Marketing for BMO, presents a number of theories.
Greater gender equality was the assertion of 59 percent of respondents. A proportional increase in the number of women earning top dollar in the family, was the response of 54 percent.
A consequence of the recent economic recession has been job loss, but interestingly, more men lost their jobs than women. This “he-cession” was the reason cited by 31 percent of respondents.
All of these reasons undoubtedly play a role in the decision of 8.1 million dads to stay home.
Whether it’s mom or dad, if one parent is going to stay home, the family has to prepare financially, for the loss of income. Caroline Dabu, vice-president of retirement and financial planning for BMO Financial Group, strongly suggests spending two years laying the foundation for such a financial change.
Dabu says, “When you have a child, that could consume between 15 to 24 percent of your household income, so if you take that into consideration, and then if one parent decides to stay home, you are going to have to really look at what your day-to-day expenses are going to be and there may be a trade-off.”
“That is a significant financial impact and that is why we say ideally if you are planning on having kids, think about those financial needs and those financial aspects two years out,” explains Dabu.
Acceptance is growing, so if Dad wants to stay home with the kids, he can do it. Just make sure to plan ahead first. – Jen R, Staff Writer
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