While the media’s portrayal of stay at home dads has improved over the last decade, compared to earlier film like Daddy Day Care and Mr. Mom which presented these man as incompetent when it came to raising children alone, many men are still faced with this stereotype when they tell people they are a stay at home dad. Thankfully, there has been a recent increase of positive portrayals that may help these dads become accepted and feel empowered.
The latest television show to do this is the NBC sitcom “Up All Night “starring Christina Applegate as the working professional mom and Will Arnett the stay-at-home dad. Critics have called “Up All Night” the anti-Leave it to Beaver as it completely swaps the traditional gender roles. The roles are switched up so much that it is the husband who is stood up on a romantic dinner because the wife has an important business meeting at work.
Another new show that features a positive view of the stay-at-home-dad is the CBS drama “The Good Wife” starring Juliana Margulies and Chris North. North plays a detective that is the primary care giver for the baby he has with Margulies’s character a career-focused litigator
And this increase in stay-at-home dads isn’t just happening on TV, according to the U.S. Census Bureau in 1997, 17 percent of children who had married parents were cared for primarily by their fathers. This percentage rose to just over 20 percent in just seven years and has continue to increase drastically. The Census Bureau saw the number of stay-at-home dads increase to 158,000 in 2012 from 140,000 in 2008 so this is definitely a trend that will continue to rise, hopefully resulting in total acceptance of the idea that either gender can be a great primary care giver for children.