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Study: Half of working dads would stay at home if money allowed

By Brooke Walker | Posted - Jun. 17, 2011 at 5:25 p.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY -- The days when dad brought home the bacon and mom stayed in the kitchen to cook it are long gone.

Today's fathers are shifting their priorities from big promotions and bonuses to carpool duty and bath time.

A stay-at-home-dad is a term to describe a father who is the main caregiver of the children and is the homemaker of the household. As families have evolved, the practice of being a stay-at-home dad has become more common.

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A new survey from Boston College finds the role of breadwinning, working dad takes a back seat to providing love and support to children and being present in their lives. The survey found more than half of working fathers would consider staying at home if their spouse's salary could support the whole family.

"I think it's a very good impact on the kids to have one of the parents at home with them on a daily basis," father Otis Harris said.

Still, the vast majority of stay-at-home parents are women, and the survey shows more than half of men want to work toward senior management positions.

Chris Holmgren understands the demand and the divide. He's a banker who works 60 hours a week.

"It's a hard balance," he said. "You have your responsibilities in both places and ultimately, sometimes you don't please one or the other, and that's the challenge."

Full-time dad Christopher Barclay admits he sometimes wishes he could go back to the office.

"It would be less work than staying at home," he said with a laugh.

The Boston College Researchers say dads who want a bigger role in their kids' lives should start from day one. They found 96 percent of men took less than two weeks off work when their kids were born. Not spending time at home with a new baby seems to attach the mother to primary caretaker role -- something that's difficult to change.

Email: bwalker@ksl.com

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Brooke Walker

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