Hsn Careers Work From Home

STAY-AT-HOME DADS: AN ELEVATED LIFE-FORM?

You can’t have missed all of the articles lately about the increase of stay-at-home fathers. According to Pew Research, in 2013 7 percent of fathers with children under the age of eighteen did not work outside of the home, up from 4 percent in 1989.176 These days, while nearly a quarter of stay-at-home dads report not being able to find a job, an equal number report they are home specifically to care for their kids. In 1989, only 5 percent claimed this as the rationale for why they were home. That means around 1 million modern dads have intentionally stepped back from their careers to push the strollers, change the diapers, and nurture the next generation.

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These trailblazing men take pride in their roles as primary father. Raul Castro certainly does. He said, “People think it is easy to take care of kids but it is one of the hardest jobs I have ever had. It certainly is the most important.”

Originally from Durango, Mexico, Raul met his wife, Julie Abrams, when they were both working at a restaurant in Chicago. Julie was wait-ressing to help pay for college. Raul, who had recently immigrated, was trying to get his footing in his new country. Despite the cultural differences and the fact that Raul barely spoke English and Julie barely spoke Spanish, they fell in love. It was obvious from the beginning that Julie’s career would take precedence and that Raul would be the one to offer support.

“She had more education and, as a result, more opportunities. Of course her career would come first,” Raul told me. I interviewed him over the phone with his daughter, Elizabeth, serving as interpreter. Although Raul has been in the United States for more than twenty-five years, he prefers to speak in his native tongue. Elizabeth explained that he does this because it ensures his children are fully bilingual.

When the children were younger, Julie and Raul both worked full-time. “We didn’t have a choice,” Raul said. But when Julie was recruited to be CEO of a nonprofit, which came with a much bigger salary but also a family move, Raul willingly gave up his job.

Like many women who have put family first and left the paid workforce, Raul believes children need a parent as primary caregiver. He said, “If you want to do right by your kids, you need to have someone at home.”

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