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Love Life

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'It's tough' being a stay-at-home dad

Friday, July 12, 2013

A Facebook employee has written a candid blog about the challenges of being a stay-at-home dad.

With female breadwinners on the rise, many men are taking up parental responsibilities during the day. Stay-at-home dads might not necessarily be a new trend, but it is certainly a growing one.

The problem is that it still attracts a few raised eyebrows and is more difficult than many men can ever possibly envisage.

Tom Stocky is one such individual who knows all too well the challenges facing men who decide to take up what is still a socially unconventional role.

The 35-year-old California-based dad who works for Facebook has detailed his experience on the social media website.

The product manager explains that the reality of his situation dawned on him the first day of paternity leave.

"Caring for my daughter was physical work that required being constantly alert," he wrote recently.

"I had thought her two naps each day would serve as breaks, but instead that time was mostly used for showering, feeding myself, washing bottles, cleaning up her high chair and toys, and doing tasks around the house that would be more difficult when she was awake."

One of the most interesting things he discovered during his four-month break is the evident gender discrepancies. For example, most of the parent groups often referenced the word mummy, while he felt awkward being the only dad on the playground.

"What I never got used to was the double-standard for fathers when it comes to childcare," he wrote.

"I experienced it predominantly in three forms: one, low expectations for fathers; two, negative perceptions of working mothers; and three, negative perceptions of 'non-working' fathers."

He is now back at work, readjusting himself to the everyday working life. He has mixed feelings about this because it is a job that he loves with all his heart but equally, he misses his daughter.

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